Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Hamilton and Bottas warn of Ferrari threat

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas believe Ferrari will be a serious threat at the start of the season.

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Adam says it’s time for McLaren to think the unthinkable:

I tend to think McLaren probably need to rethink the way they approach Formula One in at least the short term, from being a front-runner or a big player in Formula One terms to a midfield runner. I mean this ‘downturn’ of performance has lasted several years and they don’t really appear any closer to the front. A lot of that is Honda and their inflexibility but McLaren’s not without blame here either. Only a few years ago they were renowned for starting with a bad car and having a brilliant one by the end of the year but now they just don’t seem anywhere near that capability.

I can’t imagine how deep McLaren’s pockets are to survive this long with such little return but eventually something’s got to give. I tend to think McLaren’s insistence of being a premium or prestigous brand hurts their ability to deal with this kind of situation and I can’t help but think this ‘downturn’ isn’t going to go into an upward swing for a while yet.

To be honest I think Honda could do with powering another team – the added data for the engine surely would help. I tend to think having their own backed team, even part-ownership, would help them too – without the ‘pressure’ of McLaren they could develop the engine as slowly as they like.
Adam (@Rocketpanda)

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  • 38 comments on “Hamilton and Bottas warn of Ferrari threat”

    1. Would this car have had the most allison input? He did leave towards the end of last year, notwithstanding family issues, but I would have thought he had some input here.

      1. If I recall correctly, Ferrari started (as normal) development of this year’s car very early, so I imagine the basis for it will have been James Allison. Having said that, building on somebody else’s design can be a lot more challenging. It also depends how closely he was working with the engineers (I imagine very), and if they were able to carry on building on what had been started.

        His sad family problems, again if I recall correctly, happened quite early too though, so it’s hard to say how much he will have actually affected the end result.

      2. No chance. Ferrari would never have allowed James to join Mercedes or any team so early if he had any input into the SF70H. His leave would have extended another 6 months.

        1. @aceace Not possible for Ferrari to do that. European employment law forbids it without both parties agreeing to it.

          1. He only left Ferrari in August. I’m sure if Ferrari were worried about James they would have placed him on gardening leave, but it seem they didn’t, because he knows nothing about the sf17h.

          2. Ferrari: Here is an extra $$$$. Allison: OK, I agree to extend my gardening leave by six months.

            See? No big deal.

    2. One has to presume that front wing is legal. The middle is the required distance in front of the sides (although I’m unsure of the specific regulations). Although, if looks are what F1 is after, that isn’t it. I’m sure red bull know a lot more than I do, but aren’t there more advantages of swept wings? Including following a car.

      I only saw the video of Wherlein’s crash a few days ago, and I’m incredibly unimpressed by the safety at the race of champions. Firstly, I remember when the track layout was announced, I asked them whether they were sure such a crossover was safe, and the cars wouldn’t get in each other’s way. They were sure it was fine. Although, that wasn’t the actual problem (no doubt it didn’t help). The issue was that those barriers seem to be good for absolutely nothing. Instead of slowing the car, or correcting its path, they launched it into the air. Furthermore I was unimpressed with how easily the car rolled at such a relatively low speed, although no doubt aided by the low barriers. Finally, it was scary watching how the car flipped over the final barrier, Wherlein’s head narrowly avoiding being taken off altogether. He is very lucky to still be walking.

      1. My iPhone is yet to recognise the spelling of Wehrlein

      2. Again, we should be celebrating these differences in front wing design, not saying they look ugly. This pursuit of ideals ended with Plato didn’t it?!

        1. The history of ideals is long, and in some quarters continues today. “Fast is beautiful” is, perhaps, the version of it that works best in motorsport…

      3. And sorry to sound confrontational, but the worst aspect of the Wherlein’s crash was his own driving. Maybe you’re right to point out about the barriers but sometimes you can’t entirely legislate for that kind of thing at the finish. The organisers can only do so much of a driver basically decides to drive like a madman.

      4. That is not the real wing, its from Redbulls dummy pit stop practice car.

    3. I really hope the top 4 Is as tight as the times show but it’s hard to believe it will be. Maybe we will all be shocked and Ferrari are as fast as they say. We need a good year in F1 to bring people’s excitement back up!

      1. Ferrari didn’t say a word this time around! They are just doing their own programme and didn’t make any bold predictions.

    4. Zak Brown doesn’t even look “McLaren”. Not sharp enough.

      1. No, he looks an American sports commentator, marketing Burger King during the breaks.

      2. ExcitedAbout17
        8th March 2017, 8:43

        He clearly has his priorities right :p (Sarcasm in case readers don’t notie it)
        There is absolutely nothing I’ve see this guy do at McLaren that heightens my hopes of a resurgence (and on top of that I was never a Boullier fan either)

        1. @ExcitedAbout17 I agree. To be fair to him he hasn’t has much time to put into place much of a turnaround, other than firing people and changing the livery McLaren have a massive task ahead of them to even get close to the front of the midfield, never mind the front of the grid.

        2. Where did Honda get the motivation to suddenly decide they need to fix the problems that have been in their engine for 3 years? Why aren’t we hearing veiled complaints from Fernando? It seems to me Brown is the right guy for McLaren.

      3. He looks to me like a guy who is knocking on the door of number 10 to request a corporate tax cut, possibly

    5. After watching videos of cars going around the track I noticed that drivers make mistakes more often and kind of powerslide sometimes. Has it something to do with the cold track and harder tires or just drivers are pushing the limits?

      Here’s the video from day 5:
      moments: 1:20, 2:20, 5:05, 6:18

      I HONESTLY don’t remember seeing anything like this in recent years.

      1. I’ve also noticed the Merc has still massive understeer, and today on hot conditions it was sliding everywhere. On the other side RB started to develop some pace.

      2. @albedo, Interesting, thanks for the link, my guess is that the teams are looking for the tyres limits in low-drag setup before they start adding downforce/drag for optimal lap times. If the cars can run close together those little twitches will be exactly what the following driver will want to see as he launches an attack for position.

      3. @albedo I’m not sure what it is, but that looks like something that’d be welcome in the races

    6. MG421982 (@)
      8th March 2017, 5:30

      Regarding the COTD… will some other team still want to buy&use a Honda engine?!?!? I hardly believe it.

      1. @corrado-dub – quite true. Red Bull might be heaving a sigh of relief and thanking McLaren for blocking the sale of Honda engines for 2016 :-)

    7. The Red Bull rear wing is way, way weird.

    8. ExcitedAbout17
      8th March 2017, 8:30

      Monza to host sub two-hour marathon bid

      Still struggling to beat the 3hr mark. But what the heck, let’s just aim high ;)

      1. I have a great tip if Monza is serious about the sub-two-hour bid: don’t put me in the line-up. Or maybe do, and have a prize for who can lap me the most times (I’ve yet to break the three-hour half-marathon threshold…)

      2. Maybe with wider shoes and slick soles you two might be an hour faster @alianora-la-canta

        1. @strontium Maybe, if only :D

    9. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      8th March 2017, 8:48

      If relationships are that strained they should follow Red Bull’s lead with Renault and rename it Mclaren Timex or something. Just such a shame to think what could have been with Fernando in a Merc this season. Imagine if he ends up taking a sabbatical after declining Mercedes due to Mclaren contract. A very sad situation.

    10. Has anyone contacted McLaren about entering the sub-2-hour marathon at Monza?

    11. Really glad to see Massa’s actions (168 lap) and attitude!(twit). He is not a slouch for sure. If he have a good car then he may achieve podiums.

    12. Considering the past years i strongly believe that MB is talking nonsense and they are sandbagging from the engine side at least. 2 years in a row they just turned the thing up when the season starts (AKA qualy mode on or Strat switch to 4 if i remember right) and they gain a sec for the qualifying at least, so i hear all this not seriously.
      Off course they need work to do especially i think in the front of the car since it seems undeveloped in comparison RB and Ferrari but again the past shown they have the resources to do great improvements.

      I predict the worst scenario would be in start of the season that the 3 big teams to be almost identical but during the season RB and MB especially to go ahead. I hope Ferrari will keep up this year since its the team i mostly support but mainly i wanna see good races and who wins is 2nd ;-)

    13. Kimi or Seb winning title this year would be the best thing that can happen for F1.

      Then there is Mercedes and their constant crying of wolf. RBR is a big threat, Ferrari is a big threat, then they win easy.

      Ferrari tends to overperform in testing, but atleast the car is super interesting.

    Comments are closed.