The Official 2019 Formula One Season

Posted by madotter 
Re: The Official 2019 Formula One Season
Date: February 18, 2019 09:26AM
Posted by: madotter
Sauber... I mean Alfa, well, it looks the same anyway:










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Re: The Official 2019 Formula One Season
Date: February 24, 2019 02:34AM
Posted by: Vader
Butter my butt and call me a biscuit, but for the second year in a row I think Indycar looks sexier and cleaner. Come on, McLaren's livery must be a joke.






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Re: The Official 2019 Formula One Season
Date: February 24, 2019 03:07PM
Posted by: J i m
Vader Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Butter my butt and call me a biscuit, but for the
> second year in a row I think Indycar looks sexier
> and cleaner. Come on, McLaren's livery must be a
> joke.

It’s all highly personal and subjective. I haven’t followed Indy for a while so can’t fairly compare. What I do know is that my personal taste seems to fall outside of the mainstream agreed opinions... I mean I actually quite like the Williams and it does seem to be very popular to almost automatically dislike that upon principle.

My first reaction to the McLaren was eurghhh. But after that initial recoil that too has grown on me. I mean that blue and it’s contrast to the orange reminds of a terry’s chocolate orange and I like terry’s chocolate oranges.

The first week of testing is over and it seems that the general analytical consensus has detected a change in the competitive order. It’s not uncommon for Ferrari as (Ron Dennis may coin it) to win the winter world championships for setting headline lap times whilst the Mercedes plods round on the harder compounds to mask extent of its pace. But this time the trackside pundits are quite simply impressed by the on track behaviour of the Ferrari with some observations also raised about some difficulties in the handling of the Mercedes which go so far to suggest that the pecking order of the top three may actually have reversed with Red Bull being piggy in the middle.

The midfield may have jumbled a bit too. Alfa certainly seem to making good progress and Toro Rosso don’t look too shabby either with Renault in that mix too.

The biggest dont know, wait and see at the moment seem to be Williams. Popular opinion would probably have them bringing up the rear in F2. Certainly having the car ready late and missing more of the allotted track time in this era of heavily restricted testing is not a good start. But equally a lot of assumptions have been made and even more conclusions been jumped to. We haven’t even seen them attempt a performance run yet.. so until they do it’s not really fair to completely write them off into 2018 mode or worse. I’ll concede that I fear they won’t make a significant recovery on last years form but I’d Like to give them the chance to show us what they can do first.

Re: The Official 2019 Formula One Season
Date: March 02, 2019 05:05PM
Posted by: J i m
Great, tasting has finished.

Ferrari are looking gooood, but I don’t believe that Mercedes are really half a second behind them. I think they’re simply trying to manage the pressure and expectations. I mean six double titles in a row is pretty much unprecedented so they’ve got to fear being toppled. But no, even if Ferrari are the favourite and they are at this stage Merc will still be ready to exploit any Ferrari.... well any Ferrari Ferrariness.

Red Bull Honda seem to have made a promising start. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised by any Verstappen victory and I hope he turns out be a genuine title contender this year instead of basically a title contender in waiting. But just now it’s a little bit difficult to know if they’re really on par with the Ferrari / Merc pace just as Pierre Gasly seems to have developed the habit of crashing somewhat.

The midfield is set to be manic.. indeed I suspect at times it could even represent a medieval battlefield for it’s sheer furious ruthlessness. The pecking order here could be really difficult to call. Renault ought to and probably need to win this fight. Their status as a prime works manufacturer team with what should be a top notch lineup in Ricciardo and Hulkenberg almost demands a big step forward.

But I don’t think they’ll manage it and will be in the thick of the medieval battleground as actually... Alfa Romeo, Toro Rosso, Hass and Racing Point etc are all looking fairly nifty. Even Terry’s Chocolate Orange (nee, McLaren) seem able to turn a decent lap time.

The sad thing is that Williams seem to adrift at the back. Anyone here who knows me will recognise that I hate accepting this.. but sadly it looks like it’ll be true. The car was late and seems to be slow. The only glimmer of hope being that reportedly the handling problems of the FW41 have been repaired and Kubica & Russell represent a much more exciting driver lineup than Stroll & Sirotkin. They won’t be able to do much in car that’s half a second a lap or more slower than the next slowest car though :(

Mind you, it should be a decent season for racing.

Re: The Official 2019 Formula One Season
Date: March 04, 2019 01:09PM
Posted by: fongu
It's interesting to see people crunch the testing numbers and try and get a pecking order as well as relative gaps.

[www.motorsportmagazine.com]
[www.bbc.co.uk]

Both agree Ferrari are ahead, but by different margins, with Mercedes clear of Red Bull. Whilst Mercedes won on the laps done, Red Bull have done surprisingly few laps, and did not do a representative quick run due to Gasly's crash.

We knew the midfield is close, with Haas or Renault debatably the best of the rest by a slender margin. Toro Rosso had a great start to 2018, and it seems they may be able to spring a surprise or two early in the season. In recent years, we've seen Toro Rosso slip back as the season progresses, whilst Force India seem to be set up to make swift progress as their new funding starts taking effect.

With the budgets at Renault and McLaren, there ought to be signs of them breaking away from the midfield this season, so it remains to be seen if the "B" teams (Alfa, Toro Rosso & Haas) manage to keep up with them.

It's not good reading for Williams at the back, but with their delays, and judging from Kubica's interviews, they didn't really get any time to put in some quick laps, so there's a bit of hope they aren't as far away as testing showed. However driver comments have been cautious at best.


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Re: The Official 2019 Formula One Season
Date: March 13, 2019 07:57PM
Posted by: Laton
Mercedes

They don't even have to look like they're trying anymore, such has been their competitiveness over the last few years. The results speak for themselves and they are probably more confident about this season than they let on. All data analysis from testing points to Mercedes being behind Ferrari, but it is always so difficult to tell. Expect Hamilton to be fighting for the championship from the first corner in Australia and if you compare the track record of maintaining focus and momentum over the course of the year, Hamilton has to be title favourite again. Bottas must have a better year than in 2018, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. If he can start stronger, he may pose more of a threat than you think.

Ferrari

I am not a Ferrari fan. That said, I grew up watching F1 in the early '90s and the Ferrari of that era was a sleek, blood-red, black-winged affair synonymous with two of my favourite drivers, Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger. The cars were fast but fragile and underachieved over a score of years. With the involvement of Vodafone and more heavily influenced by Marlboro the livery suffered and the white flashings of various descriptions totally ruined the aesthetic. However, those offending parts are now gone, the black wings are back and with a new matte paint scheme, this is certainly the best looking car Maranello have produced since 2007 and possibly the nicest since 1995. Vettel endured a horrible year in 2018 which cemented the growing view that he is now past his best. That's rubbish, he's always been clumsy and unsure of himself in wheel to wheel combat and with the lack of a car capable of keeping him at the front that has been all too apparent. If the SF90 is as fast as testing indicates, this might be Vettel's championship to lose. Leclerc could cause some upsets. He carries himself with a quiet confidence and although he has a lot to learn, he could provide us with a good measure of where Vettel is at these days, too.

Red Bull

Ricciardo is gone after deciding he didn't much care for the attitude of his bosses post-Baku, when Max moved twice under braking, caused a double DNF and then lacked the maturity to admit his mistake. It was a familiar story in the first half of 2018 and it did nothing for his reputation outside of the Netherlands. Gasly is promoted from the b-team and remains largely unproven despite some good performances. Verstappen must rein in his 'tude and begin to learn from his mistakes if he is to mount a serious challenge. Towards the back end of 2018, he was very strong and probably would have beaten Ricciardo anyway had the Australia not suffered from abhorrent reliability. The big question mark of course is what happens with Honda power. Horner is making all the right noises, but he is the master of lip-service and we won't really know what the score is until we're a few races in. If Honda have got it right, Max will give them some much deserved victories. If they haven't, it's tantrums all round. Again.

Renault

Toleman-Benetton-Renault-Genie-Lotus-Renault are still in their rebuilding phase and we won't see what they really are capable of again until 2021. However, they now have once of the more attractive driver line-ups on the grid. Daniel Ricciardo makes the unexpected move from Red Bull and joins Hulkenberg, who must improve his consistency. There probably isn't much to choose from between Renault and Haas but given the budget the French manufacturer has, they have to be favourite to take 4th in the standings and depending on how the great Honda mystery pans out, they could even steal a few podiums. Just don't expect much else.

Haas

Now genuine midfield contenders, with a well-financed and structured operation the only weak link in the chain is Romain Grosjean. It is folly to have retained him once again and until he is replaced, expect points to be haemorrhaged at every opportunity. Now that the world has accepted their sleazy relationship with Ferrari, it will be interesting to see what the plucky Magnussen can achieve and it'll be good to see where Haas place come the middle of the season. Neither Grosjean or Kevin are show-stopping though, and until the team attracts a bigger name it will remain at its peak where it currently is.

McLaren

There's an air of quiet optimism at Woking having had decent (and reliable) testing pace. You just never know though. In 2018 the flying papayas were comfortably in the points in Australia but then the whole outfit endured an awful second half of the year. At a time when they could no longer hide behind a GP2 engine, their car was atrocious. Sainz, whilst hard working and capable of respectable results just feels to me like a midfield runner rather than a team leader and as I don't follow the lower Formula, I don't really know what to expect of Lando Norris. McLaren could be 5th, or they could be 9th. Place your bets.

Racing Point

Jordan-Midland-Spyker-Force India-Racing Point or whatever the pink team calls itself these days are another enigma entering 2019. I'm bored with people saying Ocon should be in this team instead of Perez. What they mean of course is that Ocon should be in this team instead of Stroll, but without Lance there is no Racing Point and F1 needs these pink cars to liven up the grid. There are more funds available this year, so development should be maintained across the year. Perez is a great driver capable of delivering great performances and putting the car where it has no business being. Stroll may well have been limited by Williams's dire car last year - certainly Perez has had nothing but good things to say about him so far. So. We'll see what happens.

Alfa Romeo

Sauber is now gone from the team name completely for the first time since 1993, which is sad. But in its place we have a well run and financed outfit which now has Kimi Raikkonen and... some other guy driving for them and things are now looking up. This is Ferrari's true b-team (think of Haas as something like a customer team) and after saving Sauber from certain oblivion we now wait to see what the long term plans are. Kimi will perform really well on some weekends and will all but forget to turn up for others. Giovinazzi has another chance to show what he can do.

Toro Rosso

Daniil is back! Again! Only a cat seems so have more lives and as I like the guy I hope this is the year it works out for him. I don't know much about Albon but I do know he is highly rated and may spring some pleasant surprises. Regarding the car, it looks largely unchanged since last year. Expect a more powerful Honda engine and a slightly stronger driver performance, but I rather think Toro Rosso's success this year completely depends on what happens to its rivals.

Williams

On one hand we have the triumphant return of Robert Kubica, back after nearly mangling himself to death in a rally crash in 2011. His presence on the grid is the closing chapter in what has been one of the best come-backs and feel good stories in F1 for a long time. He won't be 2010 spec, but he made it. He's back. George Russell joins him, like Norris I don't know much about him so it remains to be seen how he performs. The sad truth however is that this already looks like a horrible year for Williams. They finished last in 2018, were late to testing, slowest in testing, then sacked technical director Paddy Lowe three weeks before the first race of the year. The title sponsor is a telecoms company nobody has heard of and the livery looks like a tube of Aquafresh. Things don't look good. Williams are not a manufacturer, they refuse b-team status and will not become a satellite to anybody else. They are now in a pickle. They need to stop the rot and reinvent themselves fast or the only thing they will have a say in is how they leave the sport - absorbed by a bigger entity like Tyrrell and Stewart were in 1998 and 2000 respectively or folding into oblivion as the likes of Brabham and Lotus did. Yes, things are that bad.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2019 08:05PM by Laton.
Re: The Official 2019 Formula One Season
Date: March 18, 2019 01:27PM
Posted by: fongu
My thoughts on the first race are up on my blog [fongugp4.blogspot.com]

I've categorised the drivers and teams' weekend between stinkers, unlucky and stars, and then I've put out there some of my other random thoughts from the weekend.


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