F1 2019 season

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Mon 07 Jan 2019, 10:36 am

First topic message reminder :

Felt like a new season deserves a new thread...

It's reported in Italy that Maurizio Arrivabene has been fired. His strained relationship with Ferrari's prized asset Sebastian Vettel and cost him his job. Arrivabene got one last dig at Vettel though by replacing Raikkonen with LeClerc.

Mattia Binotto will be confirmed as new team boss

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Post by Fernando on Wed 08 May 2019, 12:57 pm

Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:The Dutch GP has agreed terms to return for 2020, contract not yet signed but all will be completed imminently. Netherlands will replace the out of contract Spanish GP, and honestly Barcelona is a boring race. Monza has also agreed a new 5 year deal, contract again not yet signed but mere minor details to iron out.

If that's Zandvoort we're all Frak can barely overtake with touring cars there let alone an F1 car.

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Post by Just John on Wed 08 May 2019, 1:33 pm

£4m boost to update Zandvoort, I heard. Agree, but Liberty Media are only bothered about capitalising on the popularity of Verstappen, and not about whether the track is any good for racing.

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Post by GSC on Wed 08 May 2019, 3:32 pm

Apparently the straight is being lengthened as part of the development but yeah, F1 really needed another procession
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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Wed 08 May 2019, 10:54 pm

The Brazilian president has announced that the race will move to a new circuit in Rio from 2020.

I’m pretty disappointed São Paulo will be leaving at it’s an iconic venue.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Thu 09 May 2019, 10:12 am

Just John wrote:Alonso’s WEC career was always going to be a quick snatch and grab. His name alone guaranteed him the best seat in the formula. Winning an uncontested LeMans 24 hrs was a gift, and he’s already close to securing the 2019 WEC championship, with Buemi and Nakajima this season.  

I have a feeling the Indy 500 might be a bit tougher though. Also Monaco can be a complete lottery - even if you are in one of the best teams.


Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:
The Brazilian president has announced that the race will move to a new circuit in Rio from 2020.

I’m pretty disappointed São Paulo will be leaving at it’s an iconic venue.

Oh god - another garbage street circuit, no doubt. Rolling Eyes  No respect for the sport's history and one of the most famous tracks on the calendar. mad

Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:
The Dutch GP has agreed terms to return for 2020, contract not yet signed but all will be completed imminently. Netherlands will replace the out of contract Spanish GP, and honestly Barcelona is a boring race. Monza has also agreed a new 5 year deal, contract again not yet signed but mere minor details to iron out.

Hmm...never seen Zandvoort. That will be a novelty, at least. Guessing it will require a fair bit of work to bring it up to current standards.

Funny how Barcelona is considered such a great test track, yet rarely produces exciting races. Hoping it will return to the calendar in a few years' time, but that they will improve the track, including getting rid of that ridiculous chicane near the end...turn it into a straight or a sweeping curve.

Would really love to see Imola return to the calendar...but I guess that would require too much work...


In other news, Callum Ilott will make his F1 debut, testing for Alfa in Barcelona next week. The 20-year-old from Cambridge is currently competing in F2 and joined Ferrari's junior driver programme in 2017. Last year he finished third in GP3.


Last edited by dyrewolfe on Thu 09 May 2019, 10:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by dyrewolfe on Thu 09 May 2019, 10:18 am

Just John wrote:£4m boost to update Zandvoort, I heard. Agree, but Liberty Media are only bothered about capitalising on the popularity of Verstappen, and not about whether the track is any good for racing.

Similar to why Monaco has stayed on the calendar all these years...to put on a show for the rich & famous. Nothing to do with actual racing...

Probably a good opportunity for teams to hook up with current and/or potential future sponsors.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 09 May 2019, 11:19 am

This will give you an idea of the Zandvoort circuit dyrewolfe:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3QRJVmoyLs

It is right on the Dutch coast next to sand dunes which get blown onto the circuit.
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Post by Fluxy on Thu 09 May 2019, 1:42 pm

Or this one from a driver's POV - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEC1lYtXEJQ

Which provides an idea of how narrow it is.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Sat 11 May 2019, 10:37 am

Interesting videos guys - thanks.

In the 1981 race video, the tracks looks pretty wide in places - particularly on the main straight. There are also a couple of other straight-ish sections and you even see overtaking through some of the corners.

In the Max Verstappen video it looks like a go-kart track.

The difference between BBC broadcast cameras and an on-board camera?

When they gave Zandvoort its makeover, did they actually narrow the track, or are we just seeing very distorted perspectives, thanks to the different cameras?

Here's hoping the people responsible for the track refurb weren't actually stupid enough to make it so overtaking was almost impossible. In its old configuration it doesn't actually look that bad.
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Post by Just John on Sat 11 May 2019, 3:02 pm

Bottas Pole by 0.634.
Hamilton 2nd
Vettel 3rd
Verstappen 4th
LeClerc 5th

Nobody improved on second run. Stroll out of Q1 for the ninth race in a row.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Sat 11 May 2019, 3:04 pm

Bottas different league so far this weekend

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Post by dyrewolfe on Sun 12 May 2019, 11:11 am

Just John wrote:Bottas Pole by 0.634.
Hamilton 2nd
Vettel 3rd
Verstappen 4th
LeClerc 5th

Nobody improved on second run. Stroll out of Q1 for the ninth race in a row.


Thats probably how they'll finish too, barring mistakes / failures etc.

Surprisingly big margin by Bottas. When was the last time you saw Hamilton beaten to pole by over half a second? Shocked
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Post by Just John on Sun 12 May 2019, 2:13 pm

Comfortable win for Hamilton at Barcelona, and gains the extra point for fastest lap. Back in the lead of the WDC. Bottas finishes second, and Verstappen in third.

Unsurprisingly, some mind-boggling strategy from Ferrari today.

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Post by No name Bertie on Sun 12 May 2019, 5:43 pm

Didn't watch the race, but the BBC is commenting that Ferrari are still favouring Vettel in terms of strategy and Leclerc is being relegated as support act. Yet to me it seems that Leclerc (team-Leclerc) is faster than Vettel ...

It has also been said that the Ferrari upgrades in engine & aerodynamics were at least matched by the aerodynamic upgrades of Mercedes. It is strange because in testing at Barcelona before the start of this championship - everything seemed to be in Ferrari's favour - and it was generally agreed at that point in time Ferrari was indeed the fastest car.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Sun 12 May 2019, 6:25 pm

Absolutely terrible race once again Barcelona and mercifully it's now off the calendar. These engines and these tyres are truly awful. This era of F1 is fortunate it's hidden behind sky's paywall, as it this rubbish was on free to air the tax pay would be seriously pissed.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Sun 12 May 2019, 8:43 pm

No name Bertie wrote:Didn't watch the race, but the BBC is commenting that Ferrari are still favouring Vettel in terms of strategy and Leclerc is being relegated as support act.  Yet to me it seems that Leclerc (team-Leclerc) is faster than Vettel ...  

It has also been said that the Ferrari upgrades in engine & aerodynamics were at least matched by the aerodynamic upgrades of Mercedes.   It is strange because in testing at Barcelona before the start of this championship - everything seemed to be in Ferrari's favour - and it was generally agreed at that point in time Ferrari was indeed the fastest car.
LeClerc wasn’t quicker than Vettel, this was an artificial situation, caused by Vettel damaging his front right tyre at the beginning of the race. When both where on fresh tyres Vettel was miles quicker than LeClerc

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Post by Just John on Sun 12 May 2019, 10:36 pm

Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:
No name Bertie wrote:Didn't watch the race, but the BBC is commenting that Ferrari are still favouring Vettel in terms of strategy and Leclerc is being relegated as support act.  Yet to me it seems that Leclerc (team-Leclerc) is faster than Vettel ...  

It has also been said that the Ferrari upgrades in engine & aerodynamics were at least matched by the aerodynamic upgrades of Mercedes.   It is strange because in testing at Barcelona before the start of this championship - everything seemed to be in Ferrari's favour - and it was generally agreed at that point in time Ferrari was indeed the fastest car.
LeClerc wasn’t quicker than Vettel, this was an artificial situation, caused by Vettel damaging his front right tyre at the beginning of the race. When both where on fresh tyres Vettel was miles quicker than LeClerc

Did you watch the race? That’s because, in that particular stint, Ferrari put LeClerc on the hard tyres, so it was inevitable Vettel being on a softer compound, would be faster than LeClerc. All in all, Vettel ballsing up T1, and flatspotting his tyres, cost him dearly, and another mistake to add to the collection.

Having said all that, it’s all pretty irrelevant, seeing as Ferrari have pretty much conceded both championships after five rounds. All very embarrassing and humiliating.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Mon 13 May 2019, 12:35 am

LeClerc was put on the hard tyres as he'd not struggling on the mediums over the course of the weekend.

After the safety car LeClerc on brand new mediums couldn't get near Vettel on considerably older mediums.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 13 May 2019, 7:30 am

F1 takes another step towards it's slow painful collapse into the SPL of the racing world...another boring pointless race track, and boring race. Still at least it can only get better with the next race at Monac....ah, more of the same

Can't say the battle for 9th between Renault and Haas every race is doing it for me chaps
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Post by dyrewolfe on Mon 13 May 2019, 8:54 am

No name Bertie wrote:Didn't watch the race, but the BBC is commenting that Ferrari are still favouring Vettel in terms of strategy and Leclerc is being relegated as support act.  Yet to me it seems that Leclerc (team-Leclerc) is faster than Vettel ...  

It has also been said that the Ferrari upgrades in engine & aerodynamics were at least matched by the aerodynamic upgrades of Mercedes.   It is strange because in testing at Barcelona before the start of this championship - everything seemed to be in Ferrari's favour - and it was generally agreed at that point in time Ferrari was indeed the fastest car.


I think on this occasion Ferrari were rather cute in how they managed it. I think the original plan was to 1-stop, but Vettel trashed his tyres early on with a rash move at the start, forcing him to a 2-stop strategy. They ordered Vettel to let Leclerc through before the first round of stops, when it was apparent he was quicker.

Leclerc continued with the 1-stop strategy, only pitting for fresh tyres under the safety car, which allowed Vertappen & Vettel to pass him. They'd made their 2nd stops just a couple of laps earlier, so were able to maintain their positions.

General consensus is that Ferrari have the best engine, but that their chassis & aero are lacking. This is backed up by the quali results, which showed they were 0.2sec quicker than Mercedes on the main straight and through the 1st sector, but lost a full second through sectors 2 & 3 to end up around 0.8sec down overall.


Race itself wasn't that great. Pretty hairy start, where both Hamilton & Vettel got away better than Bottas and they ended up going 3 abreast into the first corner. How there wasn't any contact I'll never know. Hamilton squeezed through on the inside, Vettel tried to go round the outside, but had to stamp on the brakes, flat-spotting his tyres in the process and Bottas just managed to hang on to 2nd place.

Verstappen had a pretty good race, getting another podium.

Sainz got into the points for McLaren. Silly mistake by Norris, trying to go up the inside of Stroll through a corner, when the gap wasn't really there - hit Stroll's inside rear and took them both out.

Decent race for Haas - both Grosjean & Magnussen finished in the top 10 - though Romain had an interesting race, cutting the same corner 3 times when under pressure from other cars. Surprised he wasn't penalised for this.

Horrible weekend for Racing Point & Renault who were basically nowhere.

Overall a pretty forgettable race, though the safety car for the Stroll - Norris incident bunched the field and made things briefly interesting again.
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Post by dummy_half on Mon 13 May 2019, 11:21 am

It was dull because there was no racing at the front. Midfield actually had some interest and a couple of good overtakes amongst the guys battling for the last few points. That's where multiple teams are quite evenly matched - this time the race was really TR v Haas v McLaren, with Renault and RP just behind. Front 3 teams are way in front, but also mostly spread from each other.

I don't blame Vettel for taking a risk into T1, given how hard it is to pass here (especially given the Ferrari's power to protect it from DRS passes on the main straight) - it was his one chance to take the lead and possibly win. His return to the track and impeding Leclerc, costing them position to Max was an error though. Of course, ruining his tyres compromised his race strategy, and Ferrari were slow to react 'on the fly' especially with regard to switching the car positions.

Interesting to consider that in testing Ferrari and Alfa were the stand-out teams, both of which had developed front wings that have more elements in-board. Perhaps these were just easier to set up 'out of the box' but haven't allowed the same development as the more conventional set up favoured by most of the other teams.


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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Tue 14 May 2019, 11:11 am

Dutch GP at Zandvoort confirmed this morning on a 3+2 year contract.

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Post by No name Bertie on Tue 14 May 2019, 4:46 pm

Jolyon Palmer makes the case that Ricciardo is a better driver than Vettel (debatable and based on 2014 comparison) and Verstappen is better than both of them by a noticeable margin. His key point is that Verstappen and Red Bull (Honda power) should not be ahead of the Ferraris.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/48268251

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Post by GSC on Tue 14 May 2019, 5:56 pm

From what I've read previously, Palmers column isnt really worth reading
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Post by Belgarion of Riva on Wed 15 May 2019, 1:33 pm

Afternoon strangers. Been a very long time.

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Post by Just John on Sat 18 May 2019, 9:15 pm

Alonso’s car is an absolute dog. Might not even qualify for the Indy 500 at this rate. Currently outside the top 30.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Sat 18 May 2019, 9:22 pm

A royal tug of war going on regarding the future of the Brazilian gp. The São Paulo government has ensured the track remains state owned rather than sell it to a local development firm. Furthermore São Paulo officials state their circuit has a legally binding contract until 2020.

The president of Brazil doesn’t seem to care though.

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Post by Just John on Sun 19 May 2019, 10:07 pm

Alonso fails to qualify for the Indy 500. That’s what happens when you drive a McLaren, and not an Andretti run car, like in 2017. Triple Crown must wait.

Niki Lauda, Three Time F1 World Champion, dies aged 70. RIP rose

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Tue 21 May 2019, 8:25 am

RIP Niki

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Post by dummy_half on Tue 21 May 2019, 10:18 am

Sad news on the passing of Niki Lauda. When you look at his record, he really should be in the discussions over the really elite drivers, but somehow (like Prost) he gets slightly forgotten about. Perhaps the consequence of being less flamboyant on the track but winning because he set the car up better than everyone else. Most certainly an invaluable skill as a racing driver of his era.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Tue 21 May 2019, 1:38 pm

Just John wrote:Alonso’s car is an absolute dog. Might not even qualify for the Indy 500 at this rate. Currently outside the top 30.

Rumour has it that McLaren are considering the future of their Indycar team, after sacking team boss Bob Fernley. Looks like Alonso may have to try and get a seat with Andretti, Penske, or one of the other established teams, if he wants another shot.


Rest In Peace Niki Lauda. Sad, but not really surprising to read of his passing, given his well-documented health issues.

I think anyone who has watched Rush, or read his bio, can't fail to have immense respect for what the guy achieved in his career, as well as the guts and determination he showed to come back from that horrific crash, to win 2 more titles.


In other news, Jamie Chadwick is joining Williams as their development driver (the role previously held by Susie Wolff). The 2015 GT4 title winner is also the only female driver to win a F3 race and is currently competing in the W Series.
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Post by dyrewolfe on Sat 25 May 2019, 6:36 am

Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:The Brazilian president has announced that the race will move to a new circuit in Rio from 2020.

I’m pretty disappointed São Paulo will be leaving at it’s an iconic venue.


The BBC has got a computer-generated version of the planned Rio circuit up on its website. At least it looks as though it will be a proper track and not a street circuit.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/formula1/48380990

That said, it looks a typical Tilke-drome. Massive main straight, but tight and twisty pretty much everywhere else. A couple of short straights, but probably far too short for overtaking. Designed to suit the car regs, instead of being a good racing circuit. Though I suppose all the various corners will give the drivers a good workout and test the cars' design.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 25 May 2019, 11:20 am

Another driver error from Vettel in final practice. He brakes late into the first corner and crashes into the barrier and ends his session.
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Post by Just John on Sat 25 May 2019, 1:00 pm

Vettel has been shot for quite some time now. Evident, seeing as he hasn’t won a Grand Prix, since Belgium last year. LeClerc quickest in FP3.

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Post by Just John on Sat 25 May 2019, 2:19 pm

LeClerc out of Q1. Fuming inside the garage, and confronting Jock Clear.

Stroll out of Q1 for the tenth GP in a row

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Post by No name Bertie on Sat 25 May 2019, 2:43 pm

It is being said that Leclerc's failure to qualify for Q2 on a track that was getting faster and after being fastest in third practice - is another example of the main problem at Ferrari - operational and organisational decision making.  He was held in the garage after an early run as car after car began beating his time - and he was eventually relegated to 16th position without a second run.  Both Vettel & Leclerc were in danger of losing out so the Ferrari team sent out Vettel for a second run and held Leclerc in the garage.

There have been periods where Mercedes made operational mistakes but it has never been for more than a few races.

What happened here reminds me of a mistake Hamilton made - he had pole position and then decided to pit while five cars overtook him in the final few minutes on what turned out to be a drying track.

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Post by Just John on Sat 25 May 2019, 3:00 pm

Hamilton pole
Bottas 2nd
Verstappen 3rd
Vettel 4th and hit wall again

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Post by No name Bertie on Sat 25 May 2019, 4:07 pm

I think it can be said that Leclerc is an order of magnitude upgrade to Raikkonen.  

Raikkonen is a great driver and is doing relatively well at Alfa Romeo - with 13 points compared to his team mate Antonio Giovinazzi's zero points.  

But as a team mate to Vettel, Raikkonen was mostly non-existent - Vettel had everything his own way - Vettel was consistently faster and more competitive than Raikkonen and consistently bettered him in qualifying.

But along comes Leclerc and he seems to have shaken up the apple cart.  I assume Leclerc inherited the engineering team around Raikkonen - which was presumably the B team.  But he is creating such pressures within Ferrari that it is revealing problems within Ferrari that were in the past more hidden from view.   And that is operational and organisational issues.  

Ferrari seem to be holding Leclerc back because of their absolute belief that Vettel is their main championship contender and the net result is mistake after mistake in terms of race strategy.

This might also throw light on the reason why since pre-season testing when everybody seems to agree Ferrari had the best package - Mercedes have been able to overtake them where it now seems they have a considerable advantage over them.  Even Verstappen's Red Bull is now ahead of the Ferraris - and it is generally agreed the Ferrari have the better car to Red Bull.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Sat 25 May 2019, 8:13 pm

Yawn. Another Mercedes front row lockout.

This is worrying for the rest of the season. If they can even dominate at a low-speed track like Monaco, I really don't see where Ferrari or Red Bull are going to get a look in.

Yet another inexcusable screw-up from Ferrari, telling Leclerc he didn't need to do another run in Q1, thus dumping him out of quali and meaning he will start 16th on a track where overtaking happens as often as monsoons in the desert. picard mad

If I didn't know better I'd say they deliberately sabotaged his qualifying, so he didn't upstage Vettel, who was clearly off his game all weekend.

The only reason I'm happy Merc are running away with this season is because Ferrari are in such a mess, they don't deserve to win anything. They are also doing their level best to trample the one bright spark at the team into the ground.


No name Bertie wrote:
This might also throw light on the reason why since pre-season testing when everybody seems to agree Ferrari had the best package - Mercedes have been able to overtake them where it now seems they have a considerable advantage over them. Even Verstappen's Red Bull is now ahead of the Ferraris - and it is generally agreed the Ferrari have the better car to Red Bull.

Ferrari are acknowledged to have the best engine currently, in terms of raw power output...marginally better even than Mercedes. However, they are lagging badly in terms of chassis & aero development.

The main reason Verstappen consistently outperforms them is because Vettel just hasn't turned up this season and the team keep screwing Leclerc over.
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Post by Just John on Sun 26 May 2019, 3:56 pm

Hamilton wins in Monaco. That was tense stuff with Max at the end.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Sun 26 May 2019, 3:59 pm

This era is just about the Mercedes engine. Max has more talent in his little toe to than Hamilton, who lets not forget lost to Rosberg laughing

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Post by Just John on Sun 26 May 2019, 8:58 pm

Simon Pagenaud wins the Indy 500. Rossi second, and Sato in 3rd

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Post by GSC on Sun 26 May 2019, 9:32 pm

A cynicist would suggest they keep playing radio messages from the leader at Monaco and try and stop people falling asleep.

Ricciardo had half a (renault) engine last year and won without too many headaches
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Post by No name Bertie on Mon 27 May 2019, 12:28 am

According to Vettel - this season he just hasn't been able to get the tyres to properly work - he says he is not able to get enough heat into them and that is causing the lack of grip and downforce - and this is most troubling in slow corners.  I assume Team Leclerc are having a better time in getting the tyres to work a bit better - hence Leclerc challenging Vettel and maybe bettering him.

ps: Hamilton always seems to have problems with this circuit compared to elsewhere. Same happened with this race - with Hamilton apparently on the wrong set of tyres - how could that have happened? Hamilton has now won this race three times the same number of times as Nico Rosberg who won three in a row from 2013 to 2015. Mark Webber has won this race twice - the same number of times as Vettel.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Mon 27 May 2019, 12:04 pm

Well at least Monaco is over for another season. Crashes aside, it was the usual yawn fest.

Safety car made things interesting for a little while. Most exciting moment was Versatappen's late attempted dive up the inside of Hamilton, forcing Lewis to cut the corner.

Shame Max picked up that time penalty.

Already looking like another 2-horse race for the drivers' title...assuming Bottas can maintain his early season form. Looks like Mercedes already have the constructors' title in the bag, barring some calamitous development issues.

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Post by Just John on Mon 27 May 2019, 12:58 pm

dyrewolfe wrote:Already looking like another 2-horse race for the drivers' title...assuming Bottas can maintain his early season form

Modern F1, out-grew Monaco a long, long time ago. Just isn’t fit for purpose anymore.

Signs that Hamilton is starting to turn the screw on Bottas 2.0, which isn’t a surprise. The problem with Bottas, is that he throws in too many anonymous Sunday drives, where you just wonder where his pace goes. Way off Hamilton in Barcelona, and even though he was hindered by the pitstop, he was pretty much nowhere yesterday.

If Hamilton wins at his stronghold in Canada, you do wonder if that could already break Bottas’ belief.

Rumours also circulating, that Vettel is contemplating retirement at the end of the season. Wouldn’t be surprised at all.

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Post by No name Bertie on Fri 07 Jun 2019, 6:52 pm

Canadian Grand Prix: it seems that the Mercedes have upgraded their engines.  I guess this may result in the Mercedes pulling further away from the opposition.  Some notes:
• I assume Mercedes will hold on to the older engines (as they still count for the three allowed engines).
• The only possible downside I can see are potential reliability issues.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Fri 07 Jun 2019, 8:55 pm

Rumours circulating that Red Bull want Nico Hulkenburg to replace Pierre Gasly. Red Bull, Hulkenburg and Gasly unsurprisingly labelling the reports 'fake news' - gotta love Mr Trump and his trademark slogan...

Anyway for my money Hulkenburg would be a really good signing for Red Bull.

Also Montreal FP2 Hamilton crashed and damaged his floor, Max hit the wall of champions.

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Post by No name Bertie on Sat 08 Jun 2019, 5:33 pm

Despite Mercedes apparent engine upgrade Ferrari still seem to have the fastest car - which this track should favour. The Red Bulls Honda has performed quite well also. Taking fastest lap averages for both drivers we have the following gaps after P3:
Ferrari - Mercedes: 0.47s / lap
Mercedes - Red Bull: 0.49s / lap.

More comment from another driver on the tyres for this season - claiming only the Mercedes are getting the tyres to work consistently - and that has been their main advantage so far this season. It is being said that the tyres are thinner this year and that their "window of operation" has reduced from last year.

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Post by Just John on Sat 08 Jun 2019, 7:22 pm

Stroll out in Q1 for the eleventh consecutive weekend.

K-Mag crashes, and Verstappen fails to make Q2

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