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F1 Team-mate Comparisons Part Two: Who’s ahead at the summer break?
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Posted By: Editor   |  07 Aug 2018   |  7:32 pm GMT  |  156 comments

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

A clearer picture is starting to emerge between this season’s team-mates; 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?

Haas

Leading Driver: Magnussen

JA on F1 start of season prediction: Magnussen

Six races ago, Romain Grosjean was a man under serious pressure. He was without a point and had lost big points-scoring opportunities at Baku and Barcelona, whilst team-mate Kevin Magunssen was, rightly so, receiving all the plaudits.

His form has improved since Monaco, but remains patchy. He’s demonstrated that there is little wrong with his pace; he was the lead car in Haas’ best-ever result of fourth and fifth place at the Austrian Grand Prix, but incidents at the British Grand Prix and qualifying for the French Grand Prix have prevented him from taking what should’ve been more points.

Over the last six races, Magnussen has led the qualifying battle 4-2, although Grosjean was unable to participate in the Canadian Grand Prix qualifying session due to technical problems. Points-wise, Magnussen leads that contest by 26 points to 21.

Overall, the duel between them is much closer, but Grosjean still has work to do if he’s to prove that he can have the consistency required to be kept on by the team for 2019. As a Ferrari customer team, Haas may have the option of using a Ferrari junior driver (Charles Leclerc or Antonio Giovinazzi) for the second seat alongside Magnussen.

Renault

Leading Driver: Hulkenberg

JA on F1 start of season prediction: Sainz

At the start of the season, many thought that Renault would be the perfect opportunity for Carlos Sainz to break away from the Red Bull stable – although still technically on loan – and flourish in a works team in order to give himself the best chance of being at the sharp end of the grid.

However, Nico Hulkenberg – who has already been at Renault for one season – has kept the highly-regarded Sainz quiet this year, and the Spanish driver already appears to be considering his options away from Renault, to either be called back replace Ricciardo at Red Bull, or even leave the Red Bull family altogether.

Hulkenberg generally had the upper hand in the first six races, but Sainz’s recovery has started by levelling up the qualifying battle, which is 3-3 over the last six races, although Hulkenberg’s Q2 exit in the wet Hungary qualifying – where Sainz shone – was blamed on a fuel system issue, which meant he was late onto a worsening track.

The race performances still favour Hulkenberg, though. The pair have one race retirement each; where Hulkenberg retired early from the Austrian Grand Prix, and Sainz was taken out by Grosjean in the British Grand Prix. However, Hulkenberg was ahead in both races.

Sainz can claim to have definitely beaten his team-mate in two races; the French Grand Prix and the Hungarian Grand Prix, whilst Hulkenberg was the victor in Canada and Germany. The points over the six races are 26 to 10 in Hulkenberg’s favour.

Red Bull Racing

Leading Driver: Tied – but Verstappen in the ascendancy

JA on F1 start of season prediction: Verstappen

How things can change in six races. Ricciardo, fresh from his second win of the season at Monaco, looked to be the most coveted driver on the grid, and there were murmurs about whether he would leave Red Bull for a team more likely to give him a chance at fighting for a championship straight away; Mercedes or Ferrari.

Now, with Mercedes all signed up and Ferrari looking to partner either Kimi Raikkonen or Charles Leclerc alongside Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo has opted to move to Renault in order to establish himself as the lead driver at a ‘works’ team.

In the meantime, he has to do something about the resurgent Max Verstappen, who has upped his consistency, taken a race win in Austria and – mostly – kept his nose clean in the last six events.

The recent qualifying battle is 6-0 to Verstappen, although this includes two race weekends of poor fortune for Ricciardo; Red Bull, sensibly, didn’t run a complete qualifying session in Germany after the Australian was given a 20-place grid penalty for power unit component changes, and he was caught out by yellow flags in Q2 for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Red Bulls have had two mechanical-related DNFs each; Ricciardo was eliminated from the Austrian and German Grands Prix, whilst Verstappen went out of the British and Hungarian Grands Prix.

Despite the side notes that you can put next to Ricciardo’s name at some of the races, the form doesn’t make for great reading. Even if you discount the races where he was set back by qualifying dramas, it’s still 4-0 to Verstappen, who has now reversed his early-season form and is now looking like the stronger driver. Can Ricciardo fight back after the summer break?

Ferrari

Leading Driver: Vettel

JA on F1 start of season prediction: Vettel

A combination of qualifying errors, pit stop problems and mechanical issues prevented Kimi Raikkonen from being closer to his championship-challenging team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the first six races of the season.

His pace since then hasn’t been enough to challenge Vettel in qualifying, a battle he trails 5-1, but with no in-race reliability issues to contend with, he managed to take five podiums from six races, despite not winning a race.

The race record is three races apiece, with Vettel ahead on points (93 to 86) over the six races mostly thanks to his two victories at the Canadian and British Grands Prix, and despite his retirement from the German Grand Prix.

Raikkonen hasn’t been helped by the fact that he’s running the older-specification power unit, but updated Ferrari power units – due to be assigned to the Ferrari works team after the summer break – may help the Finn edge ahead in qualifying slightly more frequently than he has been doing.

It may not be long before Raikkonen is officially called on to play second fiddle to Vettel, but the target for Raikkonen must be to get himself into more positions where the ‘move over’ call has to be made, as opposed to being behind regardless.

Vettel, meanwhile, will be keen to avoid the mistakes which have beset his mid-season. Added to the error whilst in the lead of the German Grand Prix, he was to blame for the collision with Bottas at Paul Ricard, and he hampered his Austrian Grand Prix chances by receiving a penalty for blocking Renault’s Carlos Sainz in qualifying.

Mercedes

Leading Driver: Hamilton

JA on F1 start of season prediction: Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas’ 2018 season continues to be plagued by things not quite going his way, whether or not they are within his control.

He was the lead Mercedes throughout the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, but was bumped off the circuit by Vettel at Paul Ricard. He suffered a cruel hydraulics failure whilst in the lead at Austria, was put onto a sub-optimal strategy after the VSC at Silverstone, denied the chance to attack his team-mate for the win in Hockenheim and had no choice but to try and make a ambitious one-stop strategy work in Budapest.

It could be argued that other drivers may have been able to make the difficult tyre strategies at Silverstone and Budapest work, but there’s no denying that he deserves to at least be a bit closer to the title fight than he is.

The qualifying record is 3-3 for the last six races, although quite where the blame lies for Hamilton Q2 exit in Hockenheim might be the subject of some debate.

However, with three pole positions and three victories, Hamilton has fully-executed the chances that have come his way, including a superb pole position at a wet Hungaroring after looking like he was in for a very difficult weekend.

By: Luke Murphy

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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1

I feel Max had a s***ty start of the season and but for Ricciardo”s engine failures /DNFs, he could be easily 50 points ahead.

Max showed immaturity at the start (crashes galore) and lost out heavily (only recovered last few races). In my view Daniel was the easy winner in 1st half.

Now that Daniel is leaving he will be number 2 for rest of the season.

2

RedBull Racing

Leading Driver: Tied – but Verstappen in the ascendancy

Ummmm…I’m sorry, but who wrote this garbage?

Let’s do a little maths test here shall we?

Let’s take two numbers…oh I don’t know, let’s say 118 and 105. Now, if these two numbers are the same or ‘tied’, when we subtract one from the other, the result should be zero. So let’s do it and see what we get?

118-105=13

WOW! Would you look at that! There’s a 13 point difference. When I went to school 13 was not the same as zero or ‘tied’. As far as I knew, if the championship was over today, that would make Ricciardo higher in the championship than Verstappen, yet again. But according to this website, nah, theyre tied and would finish the championship in equal place.

Wow! Because – maths!

3

The article wasnt about points, but about performance. Just like last year, Dan scored more points, but Max was considered to be the better driver by the most of the paddock.

Max has been ahead of Dan in most of the races, but he had a rough start with a few mistakes.

If youblook at the relative performances this year or last year, you can easily see Max outperforming Dan.

Last year reliability played its part and it will likely do so again this year, but before Reliability, Max was ahead on track.

Teams dont care about points alone and take when they decide which driver is better or which driver they want to hire. They unilaterally shared the opinion Max was better despite scoring less points.

4

NIck, perhaps you should read the article more closely. It explains it’s findings. Although you’re correct that points are in the end what counts, there’s a lot more to overall performance. The latter is what this article is about and there it looks like MV as the upper hand. This does not take anything away from DR, who is a great driver and certainly deserves his pay check.

5

Those discussions about Ver and Ric. Laughable some times. In my opinion they are/were the most exciting team on the grid. They are different personalities and different drivers, but it seems they are more or less equal regarding performance. Furthermore they seem to get along quit well with each other, this considering the tension which is always part of the ‘game’. I don’t care about the nationality of a driver, I care about performance and their contribution towards the ‘spectacle’ of F1. Then regarding the ‘building a team around a driver’, pfffffffff. Don’t believe that nor the so called vital input from a driver on the technical side. Yes for the set up their input is very important, but for the basic construction of a car, nahh. Look at the highly respected and experienced Alo, the car is not competitive to say at least. I hope Ric and Ver will be part of F1 for many more years and that they will contribute to the show as they have done until now. Good luck for both 🙂

6

K-mag has upped his game, still a bit of a loose canon at times though.

7

For Merc the the trubbel Bottas’s had was a blessing. Now they can start their winggman strategies with no worries in mind.

8

För Sainz one can only hope that he stays away from McLaren. I dont think he will get a fair chance. But he needs to make a good move though.

9

Would like to see him at Red Bull next year against Max. He at least deserves a year there before they decide if it’s worth promoting Gasly over him. Seems like the politics might prevent that from happening though, and I’m not sure what his options are. McLaren seems destined to be a graveyard of driver’s careers for some more years to come, but I guess he has a chance to settle there as their future number 1 after Alonso throws in the towel. Haas and Sauber could have openings but are more likely to be filled by Ferrari proteges. Williams? Going back to Torro Rosso isn’t even looking like the worst option for Sainz…

10

It doesn’t take a genious to figure out that Kimi is more or less outperfprming Vettel, when the engine and other circumstances are talen Into account. But then again this team mate comparison is a bit outdated as a tool.

11

@Chris D. Don’t you think your 4 posts in a row could have gone into one post??

12

Or is it just a friendly advise? It feel safe that someone keep a record and takes on as their task policing peoples coments. Kudos to you

13

Another set of inane posts.

By all means carry on spamming the site if that’s what does it for you. Kudos.

14

Or to many things shaking your Worldview?

15

What part is really bothering you?

17

Maybe it’s a Millennial thing. My son always texts me rapid-fire basically every sentence, instead of putting it all in one. I always ask him why, but I think it’s just how they’ve grown up “conversing” with each other. It’s engrained now.

18

Good thing you’re not to old to be a fanboy at least. You would not want to be outdated, that really hurts

19

How dare you. I love being outdated. 😀

20

Lol You’re probably right KRB.

Premier league back this weekend, good timing with the F1 on break.

Liverpool have had a good transfer window, could well be City’s closest challengers.

As for Spurs, the only team in the entire football league (all divisions) to not sign a player! That’s Spurs for you!!

21

I know what you mean, a week earlier start this season and with the World Cup it feels like they’ve barely had a break.

Re the transfer window, the clubs agreed to end the window before the season starts, some managers were disgruntled last year that their players were being tapped up after the season had started. Although I think it’s backfired and a lot of clubs didn’t get deals over the line. Man U couldn’t even sign a centre back. Plus European clubs can still sign Premier league players until their window shuts! Makes no sense.

Spurs tried for Grealish but Levi wouldn’t loosen his purse strings. Familiar story really.

I won’t be holding my breath for an arsenal win! City looked pretty well oiled in the Community shield.

And yes Jimmy really let rip yesterday! In English conditions there’s no one better.

22

It can be a bit discombobulating, trying to reply while a flood of new texts are streaming in! They probably do it on purpose!! 🤯

I thought Spurs were gonna get Grealish? I thought that was as good as done. Are all transfers in? I know sometimes there have been straggling transactions.

Why did the EPL unilaterally decide to close their window on August 9th? It’s stupid to put the league off of other European leagues.

Of course I hope you’re right where it concerns Liverpool. It’s going to be mighty hard for anyone to beat Man City though. Let’s hope Arsenal can do everyone a favour to start (that might be anathema for you lol!).

It does seem like a very early start this year. I haven’t looked, but it seemed to me that 3rd week in August was the usual start time for the league.

Just read that the “Burnley Express” Jimmy Anderson snagged a 5-20 today. Swing master! Surely he’ll be Sir Jimmy one day. Get on it Liz! 🗡

23

Despite the results, I think Bottas is doing the best team mate job, & Grosjean has the most to improve.

Maybe Max’s newly found patience contributed to Ricciardo jumping ship.

@James, off topic, but I have not recieved any email notification of post responses for over six months. Is this normal? Not complaining, just saying.

24

If your car is not an outright winner, do you set it up for qualifying or the race on Sunday?
That may be a team strategy to split the cars for quali & race….

25

Once again, James sinks the boots into Ricciardo – over it!

26

Some experts, media and F1 people made the predictions that Max will come on top, and Ric will stay in RB.

They were proven wrong, that is why you see those over-justifications.

27

Exactly. Apparently a 13 point difference in the championship is ‘tied’.

Glad the FIA don’t see it that way.

I wonder if Verstappen was ahead by 13 points the article would have said ‘tied’.

I highly doubt it.

28

That would be the same James that had him as driver of the year s couple of seasons back.

29

Of course, nothing in the above comments mentions the fact that all of these teams give preferential treatment to one of their drivers, from deliberate strategy calls, Max winning Spain for example. As they got rid of Vettel, so they get rid of Ricciardo.

It was no surprise to see Valtteri sign again for Mercedes, after seeing a new partnership with a Finnish company.

30

Phil, i don’t think anybody in RB believed Max could do 59 (or so) laps on those tyres, while being chased by KR. Note that Ferrari had the same strategy for Vettel as RB had for DR. The 2 stop was for the lead drives and the 1 stop for the wing men.. So unless Ferrari was in on this scheme to make MV win that race, I think RB was genuine in its belief that DR got the best strategy. Fate/luck/skill decided otherwise.

31

Luke, first of all thanks for your many contributions to the site. I enjoy reading them. You do realise however that our Aussie friends will not appreciate your (defendable) assessment of the RIC-VER team battle? No ‘Lucky Luke’ anymore in Australia… As to his creator Morris, from now on that may be the only car you can afford to be seen in down under.
For what it’s worth, expect bigger gap RB towards MB/FER the rest of thye year, plus more Renault engine failures at RB. Oh sorry, I must call them poor-Renault-engine-implementation-by-Red-Bull-instigated failures lately. Both ways, Max will have a hard time catching up with Ricci because RB podiums and even P4s will be harder to achieve.

32

Well put Lemwil…

I have another take on the rest of the season at RBR.

Cyril has already pulled off the best retaliatory coup I’ve seen in my 40 odd years of watching F1.

Stealing Dan from right under their arrogant noses, ‘in the final minutes of the 11th hour’, is the sweetest revenge possible for a guy who has worn the derogatory wrath of the big-mouths at RBR … or is it?

The best way to continue that hurt and pile it on in truckloads over Marko, Horner and Max, is to ensure that Dan’s Renno PU finishes every race for the rest of 2018 and Max suffers as many DNF’s via PU failures as possible.

If it does happen, Dan’s massive smile will only be matched by Cyril’s … HornySpices disgust will only be matched by Marko’s big mouth … and Max’s expletive-laden potty-mouth will be let off the leash for all and sundry to behold!!!

Bring it on! 😉

33

@Jack,
Phew! Such resentment, such payback sentiments!… A shame, really. Despite your 40 years of experience you seem to see things through a red haze. Better to acquire some Jack-in-the-Green qualities (Jethro Tull).

34

My “resentment and payback sentiments” are probably born out of my time watching exactly how F1 works.

The whole circus is and always has been about who can steal sponsors, drivers, team personnel, engine suppliers etc etc etc off their rivals whenever they can.

Behind the scenes rivalries are what has kept this sport alive through some of it’s dullest years!

Every time I turn my laptop on in the past 5 years and click on a Formula 1 website, it has some form of derogatory comment from HornySpice, Marko, Mateschitz or Max about the P.O.S Renault PU and it’s terrible French suppliers.

Red haze is what has kept some of the best rivalries alive on-track too!

This is a big boy’s sport … some people like to think it’s tiddly winks for 12 year olds … like Liberty does, but then someone always pops up through the mist – guys like Ecclestone, J Villeneuve, Dennis, Horner, Marko, etc etc and delivers a tirade of abuse born out of jealousy, hate or resentment and the cold hard reality of F1 bares it’s fangs!!!

Nice song reference, the irony wasn’t lost on me … although … F1 has taught me that life is a lot more like Dirty Deeds (AC/DC) than a utopian belief that if you wish hard enough, things will simply return to their wonderful status quo and miraculously appear perfect after a torrid season of destruction!

You might miss my metaphor but think RBR, arrogance and petulantly believing the world owes them something … just because they have shiploads of money and they exist!!!

35

Yep, I agree with you. Renaul (Cyril) lured and stole Ricciardo from Red Bull. Mr. Abitboul did say one day that Red Bull would regret it. Renault did it with this move. And I’ve only been following F1 since 2011! Some much happening in just a few weeks!

36

A good driver doesn´t make a good car and engine. Ask some guy named Alonso. This is all nice and sweet revenge for Cyril, but Renault won´t be anywhere near Red Bull next year.

37

“Renault won’t be anywhere near RBR next year” ….

Famous last words of a fool who thinks he knows all … can I borrow your crystal ball … I’d like the lotto numbers for tomorrow night!!!

You obviously think RBR’s new car with its totally new PU, totally new aero and new chassis will be perfect straight out of the box!

Who is going to develop it in 8 days of preseason testing … Max?

He’s never even developed a Formula 3 car … where the hell is going to get the experience all of a sudden to understand and help engineer the most technically advanced racing car in the world?

You’re seriously dreaming Dijk … hahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

38

Abiteboul said that one day Red Bull would regret it

And we all know ‘one day’ is in the past – I’d say about one and a half years Red Bull have been paying now!

39
Blavio Friattore

A combination of qualifying errors, pit stop problems and mechanical issues prevented Kimi Raikkonen from being closer to his championship-challenging team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the first six races of the season.

And when there are no errors or mechanical issues, someone will come on the radio saying the words we all know:

“So Kimi, Sebastian is faster than you”

40

Although I’m Dutch and living in the Dutch universe I have to agree with you Aussies. Judging now RIC heads Max. He won 2 GPs versus 1 for Max. He is slightly ahead in points. That should outweigh the fact that Max clearly is the faster driver in qualifying. The margins are thin however, so I’m curious what the second half of the season will bring. Furthermore I hope fans can remove their nationalism a bit, because both Dutchies and Aussies bend things their way massively. As I see it: Max and RIC make the best & most fun & competitive driver combination in F1. For now Max is faster, but RIC more polished and mature. Which makes sense because RIC is 9 years older. If Max can continue the way he is driving last 6 races he may beat Danny, but I think it’s 50/50. Unfortunately for both they probably won’t win another race, given the strained relationship between RB and Renault.

41

@RJDB, Good comment and i wish more people on this forum would take it from the same angle. Jake here above somewhere might learn a thing or two.

Am waiting for Spa..

42

I’m glad to see Ric out if Red Bull and out of contention with Max, the speculation itself could undo his performances even his career. To some, qualifying is most important. Is the race won on Saturday, or Sunday? Some are better racers, others qualifiers. Some are both! Ric and Vers are tied, which doesn’t help in coming up with a resolution but if both racers are so close; small margins are cruel at the end of a season. I see it differently. Max, unafraid of speed and risk – but prone to mistakes that could be ironed out eventually. Also prone to disrespecting others space. Danny, calculated, a team worker, clean and methodical. Given to respectful but calculated huge overtakes with good speed. I’m on the side of Ric, LeClerc racers. Max is clouded with HYPE. Now that Max will be one at RBR, can be lead the team to success? I hope so. Just don’t crash on Seb, Lewis or Ric please. In the end, the one with MOST points wins, sometimes with luck, or better: skill and foresight.

43

Been a while since I posted but…

The MV “he will develop, improve, be the most amazing ever so let’s ignore the ridiculous start to the year” brigade of which this review seems party to.

You cannot compare different times but I really really would appreciate it if MV fans suggesting much is to come, would appreciate that for the same number of races entered, Jim Clark had 33 poles and 25 wins and was a double champion – oh and F2 and Tasman championships…. at the same time. And one for Alonso fans, BTCC and Indy 500 champion…

That’s before we get to what current drivers have achieved.

Yes he is good but wow, so reckless and has a long way to go.

The first step is to beat his team mate…

This review is truly slanted – his team mate has done a far better job this year cos there are no prizes on Saturday.

44

If you are reading this and happen to be from the senior management at Redbull, please consider KIMI to drive for REDBULL !

Redbull has an image associated with all kinds of ADVENTURE sports activities, so has KIMI.

Redbull is a marketing genius juggernaut, and Kimi in his own unique way is marketing gold, off the track.

And also, because some of us wonder – how Kimi’s sensitive narrow band when it comes to confidence in ones car, is affected in an Adrian Newey excellent aero design environment. Come on Redbull, give Kimi some Wings! 🙂

45

That’s about as likely as Ericsson to Mercedes.

Or Fernando to Red Bull Honda…..

Haha 😀 But at least Honda will not be worried about Kimi doing suicidal BRAND MURDER for Honda attaching too much Drama and EMOtioNal comments -should the Power Unit fail. A win for Honda PR as well !!

Verstappen is already moulded by the media and the world to think that he is the future Champion. A-political and ultra calm – a team mate like Kimi could be the anticipatory balm Horner needs for the future to avoid ego clashes. Kimi is cool with their previous problem child Vettel, now at Ferrari.

Come on Red Bull Honda, make the magic happen 😉

46

That’s about as likely as Ericsson to Mercedes.

47

Or Fernando to Red Bull Honda…..

48

Hi James!

Sorry for the off-topic.

Some idea just come up, it’s about tyres change regulation in 2021.

It would be good to see two tyres suppliers in championship and … regulation to use tyres from two different tire suppliers for a car in one race!

Almost like it’s right now, a car must use two different types of tyres, but with one extra things – using different tyres suppliers.

I think this brings more strategy shows!

49

The only real surprise on this list is Hulk vs Sainz, although Carlos has rallied somewhat lately, Nico has clearly had the upper hand there, and thoroughly deserves to be retained for next year. Carlos’ future is unknown, apparently Alonso has been pushing hard for him to be hired by McLaren, and while I’m sure Fernando means well, he may not be the right man to guide anyone’s career! A return to Red Bull makes the most sense for all involved, it would be better for Gasly to spend a bit more time honing his craft and Sainz needs to get a win to elevate his standing amongst the mid field pack. Red Bull is his only realistic option of that happening, If I was him I would be moving heaven and earth to make that happen, any personal animosity with Max must be pushed aside for the good of his career.

Lewis has been clearly ahead of Valterri, and Kimi has been consistently slower than Sebastian, albeit while making fewer errors. Bottas has earned his retention through strong performance, and while Kimi has hardly been terrible, it really is time for him to move on and free that seat up. Leclerc is a risk, but if he is Ferrari’s future focus, the more experience he gets in the team the better, and while I wouldn’t expect him to beat Vettel, I would expect him to score at least as many points as Kimi.

Kmag has been good, but this doesn’t surprise me, Romain hasn’t been good, and this doesn’t surprise me either. Romain has always flip flopped between being completely useless and merely competent. Even on his very best days his performance hasn’t been that special, it only causes a stir when he has a good race becuse his previous one was likely to have been a complete disaster! His peaks aren’t high enough and his troughs are far too low for a driver with his experience level. There were rumours that Perez may end up at Haas next year, and it would be great for them to have a North American driver. Checo would be a far more consistent performer for them than Romain, and although I have previously questioned why he stays in F1, if he is determined to stick it out, Hass would be a good place for him.

50

It’s just nonsense to believe that anyone would beat Vettel with a with a lesser engine. Although Kimi is more or less on par with Vettel on points.

51

Good write up. The most interesting given recent events is the section about the Renault drivers. It’s could be quite the show watching Dan vs the Hulk next season. Looking forward to it.

Haas was interesting too. I can’t see how Romain will keep his drive next year. Sure he certainly has pace but he’s done some really crazy things this season. Surely he can’t be in line for a Ferrari seat so as a result his Haas drive must be under great pressure. Personally I think Ferrari should be doing everything to get Leclerc in that car. Kev would be a very good yardstick.

Lots to pan out yet in the driver market. Should be fun.

As I was reading this I was thinking that if one of our comments contained those observations about the Red Bull pair they’d have been greeted with vitriol, personal attacks and a whole world of excuses.

What a surprise they’ve already started…

Careful Luke, some sad idiot will be asking if you didn’t get enough attention as a child soon enough!!!

🙂

Good write up, cheers!

52

quote]The most interesting given recent events is the section about the Renault drivers. It’s could be quite the show watching Dan vs the Hulk next season. Looking forward to it.

I think this will be a very interesting battle. Don’t really think it’s a given that Riccardo will “own” the Hulk.

53

The only surprising thing about the whole article is to learn that before the season James fancied Sainz. Wow !

54

Hey Jungle, I don’t think so either. Nor is it a given that Renault are going to win anything. It’s a weird move from DR I think. I guess he just really needed to get away from Max. I can understand why but to take such a downward step in the hope it will come good in a few years is a big gamble, especially as he’s almost 30 now. Time is running out.

Of course, the Red Bull could be terrible next year with the engine switch…

Either way, it should all be fun to watch.

55

Max is beating Rici as he did last year, it is only when the scene is viewed upside down, through the glass of Nationalism, that the excuses and delusions start.

Grossjean is a funny one, he used to believe that he had some God given talent to out brake the best in the field by an absurd margin, he must have taken out more cars than Maldonado… But yet he just scraped through… Will it be enough this year though?

56

You said exactly the same thing in you previous post on another thread – in the beginning thread. Does Max Media Company hire trollers @ 5 bucks a post? It doesn’t even make sense at all. Others provided data also and you didn’t give any response. Are you going to make Max president one day with the social media influence?

57

#Jam. Paid PR bloggers posting on this site? Never I won’t hear of it🤔😁

58

Must admit I enjoyed the quietness and more balanced postings that we enjoyed on this forum for some days after when we brought up the complaint about the paid professionals and their aggressive tunnel-vision techniques they employ here online. May I even add, the friendly banter that we observed (as the forum rules allow) versus the manipulating negative sniping ‘the pros’ contribute with (which the forum rules actually say are not allowed, but rarely enforced)

59

Cyber. I wonder if making completely unfounded allegations is against the house rules? Why not grow a pair and come right out and say who you think these ‘paid bloggers’ are?

60

Some comments are so absurd, no wonder it gets to some people including me.

61

Fluffy

It is only through a lack of “objectivity” that would cause one to write what is written in your first paragraph. A far more nuanced analysis is required.

Balancing all the relevant KPIs, namely qualifying, race wins, unforced errors leading to podium losses, mechanical failures and slim points differential I am inclined to agree with RJBD, the Dutch poster who called it 50/50.

The second half of the season may provide a clearer picture as to the standing of these two drivers however I would advise caution. It remains to be seen how the strategy calls play out considering not only that Ricc will be leaving the team but the manner in which he negotiated his exit.

One thing is probably certain and that is in all likelihood neither driver will win another race this year.

62

Fari points Adrian. I just hope RB manage the next 5 months or so to stay at the front. Singapore is an opportunity, but elsewhere it will be tough.

About the Honda deal, i seem to be more optimistic. TR is not doing too bad with that engine and if you consider that Williams is running mercedes and still way off the pack (mostly), you could argue that RB with their excellent chassis and drives can get more out of the package with Honda than TR, and stay at/near the Merc/Ferrari teams. Or is this wishful thinking?

63

Singapore is the one.

64

Does Ricciardo’s electrical system failure in Bahrain nor count as a mechanical DNF James?

No offence but it seems that the media doesn’t know how to add up when it comes to DNF’s due to reliability issues for Red Bull. Just look at Crofty’s halfway report. He’s still saying Max had worse reliability than Dan when it’s actually 8 DNF’s for Dan And 6 DNF’s for Max since the start of the 2017 season.

65
Lars Kragh-Hansen

While Günther Steiner reports that Haas is in a favourable situation in terms of finding good drivers to fill their seats for the 2019 season there are still many moving parts.

Magnussen has been consistent in most of the races so far this season and has even outgunned the qualification specialist Grosjean so KMag would be the obvious choice for one of the seats.

The future of Grosjean is somewhat more tricky. Having the age where he ought to be peaking he finds himself outshone by a five year younger driver which does not bode well. However, he still has a realistic chance of landing a seat for 2019 – it all depends on how the other cards of the driver cabale falls.

Assuming RAI is extended at Ferrari the LEC is obviously an option. However if LEC does not get a Ferrari seat this year it will likely make most sense for him to just do a one-year contract. For Haas it will not be ideal of just having a driver onboard for one year – despite his obvious talent.

GIO has already been showed that he is capable of wrecking more F1 cars per minute than GRO or VER during even his worst spells. For a small team as Haas it is especially important not to have their drivers wreck their cars as having to make too many spare parts suck the production juice out of making upgrades.

Since Force India situation has fortunately been resolved either OCO or PER will have to find themselves a new seat. If it is PER who ends up “on the market” he will be an obvious replacement for GRO while there is very little chance of seeing Mercedes backed OCO joining Haas.

Finally SAI would also be a good replacement for GRO. These days he seems to be headed for McLaren (given that he will eventually be let down by Red Bull (again)).

If GRO is being replaced by any of the above his only real chance would be heading for Williams – at least he is old enough to satisfy the age requirement from Martini 😉

66

With the Hulk doing well, and Stroll buying Force India, where is Ocon headed. Things do not look great for him despite a good year?

FI – Perez + Stroll

Renault – Ric + Hulk

Williams – Ocon + Russell/Sirotkin/Kubica? (Are the Mercedes B-Team rumors true?)

McLaren – Ocon + Alonso/Norris?

Haas / Torro Rosso – Will Mercedes consider releasing him to RedBull or Ferrari B-Teams?

67

Dan and max have been pretty much even this year just can’t like max especially when he changes directions under braking

68

Agree on the pretty much even part, all this nonsense about points/qualis/DNF’s etc don’t mask that these two guys are awesome to watch.

About the changing direction, well..you’re allowed to move once under braking and i believe it is “from the racing line” (anyone pls correct me if that’s wrong), which allows for some creative interpretation by MV that the stewards in Baku seemed to have accepted. nevertheless, it remains dangerous and high risk (again see Baku). On the other hand i truly enjoy watching MV doing his stuff as he brings entertainment. and so does DR.. Both are among my favourite drivers on the grid with LEC and HLK

69

Except his 2nd move was not towards the racing line, but back towards the inside wall again. That was Max’s fault 100%. I have no idea why the stewards didn’t come down on it hard. If it was Ricciardo in a Renault (i.e. a different team) then I suspect they would’ve.

70

Well l am glad l am not a betting man having wrongly picked, Ocon, Grosjean and Sirotkin as the winners of their pairing. I still see them finishing ahead of their teammates by season end though. Marc

71

The problem is you csn permutate any three from several in finding your top dog. For example Quali, points total, race finishes above team mate, positions gained in race, engine etc penalties, crashes not their fault, mechanical failures , pit calls in favour of team mate.

Half the posts on this site pick and choose their metrics to make a point about driver superiority. Hence I like you had Ocon ahead but it is really just opinion after all.

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