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F1 2020 Season

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Post by GSC Sun 25 Oct 2020, 6:14 pm

First topic message reminder :

That said id rather the default position be racing incidents unless someone does something dangerous. We do want people to try to overtake even if it goes wrong at times
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Post by dyrewolfe Wed 02 Dec 2020, 9:28 am

GSC wrote:I don't think Bottas had much if any chance of being around in 2022 anyway. Lewis will be 37 and seems to commit annually to another season at this point, so Merc need to be prepared to have a new team leader

Given next season will likely pan out much like this one, I think the only reason for Lewis to stay on will be his interest in seeing what the new ground-effect cars are like and whether they will enable closer racing, as promised. I think he'll want to experience that for at least 1 season. After that it will be down to whether he still has the motivation to continue.

So yeah, Mercedes likely only have a year or two to identify and sign their new #1 driver.

If Perez is available he'd be a good candidate I reckon.
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Post by dyrewolfe Wed 02 Dec 2020, 9:35 am

Just John wrote:
dyrewolfe wrote:On the positive side, there is no serious pressure on Russell

I don’t really agree with there being ‘no pressure’ on Russell. There is pressure on both drivers. Valtteri doesn’t want to get embarrassed, and if Russell drives poorly, or is seen off by Bottas relatively easily, then he’s potentially harming his career.

I’ll predict Russell is right with Bottas. Tbh, if he is the real deal, then he should be, especially on this track.

I meant as far as the season is concerned and Mercedes needing him to perform.

If you read my post properly you'd have seen I said that all he needs to do is focus on his own performance and make sure he does himself justice (which is still pretty important).

Most of the pressure will be on Bottas as the senior driver. He's going to be expected to pick up the slack now Lewis isn't there.

George is still a relative newbie, so driving for the top team for a couple of races, there aren't going to be any huge expectations on him. If he does poorly, he'll just go back to Williams. If he impresses, he's going to put himself in the frame for a seat in future seasons.

That said, he has been getting into Q2 on a fairly regular basis for Williams, so provided he can keep his car on the track, I'd expect him to be in the top 4 at least.
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Post by GSC Wed 02 Dec 2020, 10:00 am

dyrewolfe wrote:
GSC wrote:I don't think Bottas had much if any chance of being around in 2022 anyway. Lewis will be 37 and seems to commit annually to another season at this point, so Merc need to be prepared to have a new team leader

Given next season will likely pan out much like this one, I think the only reason for Lewis to stay on will be his interest in seeing what the new ground-effect cars are like and whether they will enable closer racing, as promised. I think he'll want to experience that for at least 1 season. After that it will be down to whether he still has the motivation to continue.

So yeah, Mercedes likely only have a year or two to identify and sign their new #1 driver.

If Perez is available he'd be a good candidate I reckon.

To be honest I just can't see Perez at that level. He's closer to Bottas than Hamilton
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Post by Just John Wed 02 Dec 2020, 10:08 am

Perez will never drive for Mercedes. In his press conference on Monday, he said he’s waiting to hear from RB, or has stated he will have a sabbatical. Apparently, he’s been offered a reserve role by Ferrari for, 2021.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 02 Dec 2020, 2:49 pm

Having Russell in the Mercedes for one and likely two races will make those races a lot more interesting.  All everyone will be looking for at Mercedes is how quickly they can adapt Russell to the car (seat etc) and how quickly Russell can get the feel for the car.  The interesting thing is that they will be racing on the "outer circuit" of Bahrain which seems to be just a loop with four corners, so should not be too difficult as a first track to get a feel for the car.

Russell is 36 - 0 in beating his team mate in qualifying though I doubt he will maintain that given Bottas has had nearly four seasons in that Mercedes, and he has more or less matched Hamilton in qualifying.   Bottas' issue has been his race craft on race day.

This is going to be the strangest transition for Russell essentially going from the slowest car in the field to the fastest. He will have to adapt to the dual axis steering system as well as any other additional gadgets the Mercedes has.

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Post by Just John Wed 02 Dec 2020, 3:01 pm

I don’t honestly buy this supposed difficult transition he may face. I think he’ll hit the ground running.

He’s familiar, and driven every evolution of Merc car since 2017. He’s used their simulator, and worked for a whole year with the engineers in 2018, as reserve driver. Hulkenberg’s job was much harder, going into Silverstone as an inactive driver, and he still put it on the second row of the grid.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 02 Dec 2020, 3:10 pm

I think Bottas always feels pressure when facing Hamilton.  I don't think he will feel any pressure facing Russell in comparison to that.  I imagine the Mercedes team will want to ensure that Bottas gets the second drivers position for what it is worth.  Bottas is 12 points ahead of Verstappen and has two wins over Verstappen one win.  I can't see Russell beating Bottas in qualifying and I can't really see Russell beating Bottas in the race assuming there are no mechanical issues.  Russell just needs to be not too far away from Bottas.  I would expect Verstappen and Bottas dueling it out and Russell behind them challenging for third / fourth position maybe.  Given this is near the end of the season maybe some teams will be tuning up their engines on race day.  Maybe that was one of the possible causes for Perez's engine failure in the previous race.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 02 Dec 2020, 3:16 pm

Surely Bottas should feel more pressure facing Russell than Hamilton, he'll be expected to beat his 'team mate' comfortably as opposed to getting routinely beaten.

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Post by GSC Wed 02 Dec 2020, 3:22 pm

Bottas is fighting for his next drive
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Post by No name Bertie Wed 02 Dec 2020, 3:32 pm

I assume no matter what happens in these last two races Bottas is contracted to Mercedes for 2021, while Russell will be returning to Williams.

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Post by Just John Wed 02 Dec 2020, 3:40 pm

I wouldn’t assume that

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 02 Dec 2020, 3:43 pm

With regard being the team mate of Lewis Hamilton, we have two credible examples of team mates succumbing to the pressure. One was Fernando Alonso (the reigning two time world champion) in 2007 in Hamilton's rookie season and the other was Nico Rosberg who after winning the world championship in 2016 retired because he could no longer face the pressure of having to race against Hamilton.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 02 Dec 2020, 3:52 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:Surely Bottas should feel more pressure facing Russell than Hamilton, he'll be expected to beat his 'team mate' comfortably as opposed to getting routinely beaten.

Yeah Bottas and now Latifi have suddenly gone from having relatively comfortable two final races of the season, to suddenly under a fair bit of pressure with new teammates that they *should* beat. Really, they have pretty little to gain and quite a lot to lose.

While it would be a shame if Hamilton missed Abu Dhabi, it would be good to see Russell/Aitken at a proper circuit. They're doing a glorified Indycar race this weekend
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Post by No name Bertie Wed 02 Dec 2020, 3:54 pm

With regard the debate as to whether Bottas is going to feel more pressure facing Russell under these circumstances compared to Lewis Hamilton - I think the arguments for and against have been raised and we can agree to disagree.  At the end of the day I don't know.   Bottas has already shown his capability compared to Hamilton, and that won't change, while I can't really see Russell troubling Bottas too much in these circumstances.   If the 2021 seat is not 100% secure however then I can see pressure arising from that.  

In theory nothing really changes as Bottas will continue to try to get the most out of his car as possible, as he does for all qualifying and races.  Bottas and Russell will have to work as a team in qualifying in terms of getting or giving a tow (I assume Bottas will be favored here) and maybe they will have to cooperate as a team in ensuring a win against Verstappen (or whoever) assuming Verstappen is close enough to the Mercedes.

Ps: On reflection I think Russell will be employed as a sort of wingman to Bottas, assuming he can stay close enough to him. The problem at Red Bull is that the second driver hasn't been close to Verstappen to be deployed as a wingman let alone compete against Verstappen.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 02 Dec 2020, 4:21 pm

With regard fast recovery following a positive test for Coronavirus I seem to recall the one they call the orange man, President Trump, testing positive for it and then testing negative for it in hardly any time at all.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 02 Dec 2020, 4:25 pm

No name Bertie wrote:I assume no matter what happens in these last two races Bottas is contracted to Mercedes for 2021, while Russell will be returning to Williams.

This is factually correct as things stand today - fair to say though that in the past F1 team owners have found ways around inconvenient contracts or clauses therein when it has been in their best interest to do so. If Russell out-shines Bottas I would be unsurprised to see GR in the Merc next year and VB reduced to a reserve driver role or even them swapping seats, with Merc paying Williams either directly for VB's salary or with more technical input.

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Post by Just John Wed 02 Dec 2020, 5:08 pm

dummy_half wrote:
No name Bertie wrote:I assume no matter what happens in these last two races Bottas is contracted to Mercedes for 2021, while Russell will be returning to Williams.

This is factually correct as things stand today - fair to say though that in the past F1 team owners have found ways around inconvenient contracts or clauses therein when it has been in their best interest to do so. If Russell out-shines Bottas I would be unsurprised to see GR in the Merc next year and VB reduced to a reserve driver role or even them swapping seats, with Merc paying Williams either directly for VB's salary or with more technical input.

Exactly, my thoughts.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 02 Dec 2020, 7:15 pm

I assume Mercedes will be looking at a number of metrics.   If we look at Red Bull, the simple solution seemed to be to switch Gasly back to Red Bull and drop Albon to Alpha Tauri.  But they seem convinced that Gasly would "fail" again because they claim that Gasly racing style is sort of fixed and doesn't match that required to get the most out of the Red Bull car, which is designed to suit Verstappen's driving style, which apparently is fairly unique and extreme.  Yes, I have heard some say this is BS, that the reason Gasly is not being promoted back to Red Bull is politics, but I have difficulty in believing that in its entirety.

If Hamilton is only out for one race rather than two, then I am not sure how much they are going to learn about George Russell and Aitken at Williams, especially given the unusual characteristics of this second Bahrain race track.   Both Russell and Aitken need these two races so that some sort of credible assessment of their respective abilities can be had in those cars.

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Post by GSC Wed 02 Dec 2020, 7:22 pm

I doubt Mercedes are going to spend money to pay off Bottas when they have a guaranteed title winning car and have Russell contracted beyond.

The people that brokered the deal to get Bottas out of Williams in exchange for a discount on engines also aren't in charge anymore.
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Post by Just John Fri 04 Dec 2020, 1:58 pm

Ridiculous this little track. Traffic going to be interesting tomorrow.

Bottas does a 55 second lap. Russell responds by going a tenth quicker

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 04 Dec 2020, 2:28 pm

After 23 laps George Russell goes top in FP1. Don't know how long that will last.

Some have said this race is going to be crazy because there is going to be no clear air and it is going to be difficult to find clear space on this track to set fast times.

Ps Verstappen the first to get under 55 seconds.  54.848 s

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Post by Just John Fri 04 Dec 2020, 2:41 pm

Bottas looking ragged. Russell goes quickest 54.5sec

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 04 Dec 2020, 2:57 pm

This is really surprising.  It is only FP1 but I was expecting Russell to be well behind Bottas.   Bottas is also a marker for Hamilton.  On single lap pace there is not much difference between Bottas and Hamilton. Too early to say and this track is weird but so far very surprising.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 04 Dec 2020, 3:04 pm

Williams is the slowest car in the field by about 0.6 seconds. Stand in drivers Aitken and Fitipaldi are currently 0.6 s and 0.95 s behind their team mates.  Russell has to return to Williams no matter what it seems.

I think Alonso has said he has found Russell to be one of the most impressive drivers in F1 but for someone like me and others it is very difficult to judge because he is sat in the Williams and the Williams is the slowest car on the grid by a distance (despite having a Mercedes engine).

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Post by Just John Fri 04 Dec 2020, 6:36 pm

Middle sector proving to be quite tricky and very bumpy.

Russell currently quickest in FP2. Bottas having a mare at T8, with track limits.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 04 Dec 2020, 7:49 pm

Russell is too big for Hamilton's car.  They have had to tape up his feet and squeeze them into size 10 boots (he is a size 11) and he is about 6 inches taller than Hamilton.  After free practice today he was saying he was feeling battered and bruised and was hoping something might be able to be done to improve his comfort.  Despite all this he seems to have outperformed Bottas in FP1 and FP2. Where this is all going I don't know.

In FP2 Russell finished 0.6s ahead of Bottas on fastest lap (Bottas having trouble keeping within the limits of the track), Aitken finished 0.5s behind team mate Latifi, and Fittipaldi was 0.4s behind team mate Magnusson.

Ps: Hamilton is reported as having mild symptoms but still not feeling well.

pps: Grosjean has been speaking about the accident, how he found himself trapped inside, his numerous attempts to get out, his resignation that he was going to die in the car. It is a very powerful and stark picture.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Fri 04 Dec 2020, 8:35 pm

Pretty poor day for Bottas, but only a Friday and he wasn’t too far off the pace according to whatever the predicter thing they use is, if he could keep it in track limits

Great for Russell, but a tad worrying about really not actually being able to fit into the car.
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Post by Just John Sat 05 Dec 2020, 1:07 pm

Great racing in the F2.

Tsunoda wins the feature race and gains his F1 super licence

Championship standings with one race to go

1- Schumacher - 213pts
2- Ilott - 199pts

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Post by No name Bertie Sat 05 Dec 2020, 1:52 pm

Christian Horner said yesterday that because Perez doesn't have a seat in F1 in 2021 Red Bull can afford to give Albon until the end of this season to claim his red bull seat - "it is his seat to lose".  He suggested if Perez had options they would have already decided to go for Perez.

He also said that Alpha Tauri want to go in a different direction so Albon will either retain his seat at Red Bull for 2021 or will be on the "bench".

I guess all those that previously said Alpha Tauri's 2021 line up will be Gasly and Tsunoda have been shown to be correct, although the second seat hasn't yet been officially announced.

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Post by Just John Sat 05 Dec 2020, 5:41 pm

Albon qualifies 12th. Poor

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Post by Just John Sat 05 Dec 2020, 6:01 pm

0.026 between Bottas and Russell

Bottas Pole
Russell 2nd
Verstappen 3rd
Leclerc 4th
Perez 5th

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sat 05 Dec 2020, 6:04 pm

Closer than I thought it would be between them there, impressive from Russell
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Post by GSC Sat 05 Dec 2020, 7:20 pm

Russell is a bit of a Saturday specialist, tomorrow is a bigger test in what is likely to be a very weird race
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sat 05 Dec 2020, 7:34 pm

GSC wrote:Russell is a bit of a Saturday specialist, tomorrow is a bigger test in what is likely to be a very weird race

Yeah a podium would be a good result - especially as he’ll be starting on the wrong side of the grid grip wise, in a car he’s presumably not done many race starts in, and going into turn one, which is where he’s been losing time all weekend.
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Post by dyrewolfe Sun 06 Dec 2020, 10:24 am

Very impressive by Russell, especially considering how rushed his transfer to Mercedes was. So close to his first pole.

Bottas hasn't been getting very good starts lately, so there's a good chance both George and Max can pass him at the start.

Amazed at the lap Leclerc seemed to pull out of nowhere. If he has similar race pace, he could be in the mix too.

Perez again looking strong in the RP. Not the best quali, but he usually comes good on Sundays.

With any luck it could be a 4 or 5-way fight for the win today, with no Hamilton disappearing into the distance. At the very least we might get a battle between Russell and Bottas.
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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 06 Dec 2020, 1:04 pm

Mick Schumacher wins F2 championship after both he and Illot fail to score in final race of the season.
Red Bull junior Jehan Daruvala won his first F2 race. Fellow red bull junior Yuki Tsunoda cape second. Both Tsunoda and Mazepin have achieved their super licences.

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Post by Just John Sun 06 Dec 2020, 1:07 pm

Great racing again in the F2. Congrats, Mick  clap

Schumacher was very lucky Ilott couldn’t capitalise today.

Romain Grosjean confirms he won’t be driving in Abu Dhabi.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 06 Dec 2020, 2:49 pm

Both Mercedes are starting on the mediums while those immediately behind them are on the softs. Russell is on the slightly dirtier less grippy side of the track. Both Russell and Toto Wolff have said Russell doesn't really fit into the car - so it is a tight squeeze and uncomfortable.

For next year it is very much looking like Verstappen - Perez for Red Bull and Gasly - Tsunoda for Alfa Tauri.

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Post by Just John Sun 06 Dec 2020, 5:13 pm

Russell leads. Bottas woeful

Verstappen out
Leclerc out

Shame for the race

Should be an easy Merc 1-2 from here

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Post by dyrewolfe Sun 06 Dec 2020, 5:16 pm

Holy crap - another dramatic start!

Verstappen and Leclerc out on the first lap. SC deployed. Perez goes off track - pits early.

In other news Russell got ahead of Bottas and is currently leading the race!
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Post by Just John Sun 06 Dec 2020, 5:17 pm

Crap from Leclerc. Ruined the race for me.

Interesting to see how Russell can deal with Bottas from here. All their rivals are out.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 06 Dec 2020, 5:19 pm

LeClerc taking out another Racing Point on lap one is it
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Post by Just John Sun 06 Dec 2020, 5:20 pm

Really wanted to see Max/Perez test the Merc boys tonight, but we’ve been denied that.

Just a load of DRS chains

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Post by Just John Sun 06 Dec 2020, 5:46 pm

As it stands, Bottas doesn’t really have an answer to Russell.

Embarrassing for the Finn.

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Post by Just John Sun 06 Dec 2020, 6:03 pm

Russell in control

Not sure how Bottas will get over this.

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Post by dyrewolfe Sun 06 Dec 2020, 6:09 pm

Russell 8.5 seconds ahead of Bottas after pit stop...its almost like Hamilton didn't catch Covid.

Really not looking good for Valtteri, getting schooled by a rookie.
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Post by Just John Sun 06 Dec 2020, 6:11 pm

Poor error from Stroll. Perez doing a superb job

Bottas starting to come back at Russell

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Post by Just John Sun 06 Dec 2020, 6:17 pm

Big problems for Bottas in the stop

2nd to 5th

I actually feel sorry for Bottas right now. Didn’t deserve that.

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Post by Just John Sun 06 Dec 2020, 6:18 pm

Wha a f*** up by Mercedes

They got Bottas tyres on Russell and Russell tyres on Bottas.

What a mess

Perez leads hahahaah

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Post by dyrewolfe Sun 06 Dec 2020, 6:20 pm

Oh thats cruel!

Bottas was starting to reel in Russell. Aitken goes off - SC deployed again. Mercedes do a double pit stop, but screw up Valtteri's stop, costing him a huge amount of time.

I know he doesn't help himself, but something always seems to go wrong for him.

Oh wait - Russell has to go back in because they mixed the tyres up!!! Both drivers losing a huge chunk of time. picard

Perez, Ocon and Stroll now occupying the podium places, with the Mercs 4th and 5th. Will we see some late wheel to wheel drama?


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