Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, Interlagos, 2017

Vandoorne says he “fared very well” against Alonso

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In the round-up: Stoffel Vandoorne says he’s performed strongly as Fernando Alonso’s team mate in his first full season in Formula One.

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Liberty Media’s plans for F1 continue to provoke debate:

I’m really worried Liberty is going down a direction that encourages random results and doesn’t reward excellence.

F1 should be a meritocracy, if you build a good car you should win races. Yes it’s maybe not super exciting every week but it gives the sport legitimacy, someone in a bad car shouldn’t expect to win in a dry, clean race.

There are plenty of series with crazy races where anyone can win, but then great cars and drivers don’t shine. F1 needs to have the best cars, that means constructors need to compete with each other which inevitably means sometimes one team will nail their car and clean up, it’s up to the other’s to catch up.

I’m definitely in favour of sorting out the stupid prize money to make it more fair, but I’m not sure about budget caps or spec parts, it limits where teams can innovate. I loved F1 when smaller teams could gain performance by innovating areas other teams had ignored (side skirts, turbos, f-ducts etc).

Renault and Honda can’t really up their game because the engine designs are so prescriptive and they’re behind in development when compared to Ferrari or Merc. If we want many engine providers just limit things like fuel flow and a fuel limit then give them the freedom to design a W16 or a V12 or whatever they want to catch up. That’ll engage the fans with the technical side and keep true to F1’s DNA.
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  • 75 comments on “Vandoorne says he “fared very well” against Alonso”

    1. Vandoorne was disappointing in the first half of the season, but he’s definitely grown into his seat as the year has progressed.

      I think he looks more assured and more like the driver he had pre-F1, and I feel he’d have been up to a more impressive pace far more quickly if he’d had a more reliable, functional car right from the start. Hard to get to grips with something that can’t be pushed, spends half its life breaking down and couldn’t defend against a hamster on a skateboard on any decent-length straight. Once the car got a little better, so did he.

      1. I agree, it really took him a bit of time to get up to speed, but the second half of the year largely showed that he is getting there.

      2. The other contributing factor for a Rookie is 4/6 of the first races were not finished or started due to reliability. Once the car was under him he has looked a lot better. He was stellar in GP2 blowing away the field, if he can find that performance again next year…..

        Alonso has suffered from even worse reliability even so Vandoorne has three points finishes to Alonso’s four.

        1. Vandoorne got more gridpenalty’s and had almost no practice in some gp’s

      3. @neilosjames ‘can’t be pushed’? I think you’ll find the stewards were pushing it quite regularly!

    2. If we want many engine providers just limit things like fuel flow and a fuel limit then give them the freedom to design a W16 or a V12 or whatever they want to catch up. That’ll engage the fans with the technical side and keep true to F1’s DNA.

      I think the problem with that approach is that as has been seen in the past 1 engine type will always come out as the best & everyone will just move towards that.
      in the turbo era of the 80s everyone had something different to start with but by the end everyone had gone the 1.6ltr v6 route.
      in the post turbo 3.5ltr era again to start with you had 3 different solutions (V8/v10/v12) but by the mid 90s it had become clear that the v10 was the best one & everyone went towards that with only the smallest teams stuck using the uncompetitive v8.

      if they opened up the rule book now the same would happen, initially you may get a few different solutions but within 5 years it would become clear which was the optimum & everyone would end up moving towards that spec & as was the case with the v10’s you would end up with everyone running the same.

      Additionally in the modern climate of everyone hating somebody finding an advantage, How do you ensure that say a N/A V10 could compete with a 1.6ltr V6 Hybrid? we saw in the 80s that those running the turbo had a huge advantage over those without to the point where for 1987 the fia started a separate (and deeply unpopular) jim cleark cup championship within the overall championship for non-turbo cars.
      the only way to ‘fix’ that would be to balance performance, however that isn’t in f1’s dna & would turn a lot of people off. any sort of performance balancing is one of my red lines & would see me instantly drop f1 as that just isn’t what i want to see.

      for all the whining about how some teams can’t compete now, i was watching in the 80s and having multiple engine formulas created a far more uneven grid than we see now with far larger gaps from front to mid field and even from mid field to backmarkers.

      1. How You ensure a v10 conpetes With the Current engines? Well that’s the point, You don’t. The Damn Things will die out because they are not an appropriate Solution to the Problem and maybe, just maybe this way People can finally stop bitching about ‘muh v10s’ and ‘muh Sound’

        1. Quite right. A smaller turbocharged engine would be much more efficient than the huge beasts of the past but if you gave them freedom in design everybody would come up with different solutions anyway. Even if all of them ran with V6s they could have different displacement, turbo size/pressure, rev limits, sizes, hybridized or not, hell let them put some electric motors on the front wheels.

          1. electric motors on the front wheels would be one of the most road-relevent things they could do at the moment. The FIA and manufacturers are going to be left behind and make a complete nonsense of their ‘road relevence’ policy, it should be scrapped.

        2. Maybe in 2018 we should give Sauber the V10’s of yesteryear and fans will flock to them due to the amazing sound ;)

      2. I think like in the old Turbo days reliability could even the playing field. F1 could limit data from the car to the pits, which would definitely cut costs. It would also force manufacturers to simplify these modern power units and perhaps allow a simple combustion engine to compete. F1 looks stupid when drivers are coasting around and engineers are basically saying ‘have you tried turning it off and on?’. A simpler power unit wouldn’t have these problems.

        I totally agree that after a while the teams would converge, but then that’s the moment the formula should be changed, so for example there could be a gradual reduction in fuel use if we want to have road relevant cars, or an addition of safety devices (please not the halo, it looks like someone’s draped a thong over the cockpit) it doesn’t have to be these specific examples if F1 ever gets round to deciding in specific terms what it wants to be then they could push that direction.

    3. The manufacturers were given their strength by Bernie as part of his strategy to be allowed to keep asset stripping the sport, the independent teams could not afford to continue under the old regime.

    4. One thing that is constantly missed when it comes to adding conditions that enable more teams the potential to win is the fact that there are far less DNFs than there used to be.

      The bg one was gravel traps – how often these days do we see front runners go off track and not lose position or even much pace?

      When there was an actual penalty for going off track, it wasn’t unusual for a leading car or two to either get stuck in the gravel and have to retire or to lose a number of positions as the crawled their way out.

      That coupled with engine detonations enabled (occasionally just like Baku) some of the lower teams to suddenly find themselves in a winning position.

      Frankly I don’t really care about reliability – having a potential failure used to add some interest to the races, so did gravel (or some kind of 2017 applicable equivalent). These days the cars are so “managed” from the pit wall, it’s almost impossible for the lead car to fail so as soon as it’s in the lead, it’s pretty much over. Imagine how much better it would be if the driver had to risk his motor just to stay in front.

      And IF they blow it up on track, they lose the points anyway, so let it be replaced – you won’t find too many teams sacrifing engines just to get a new one next race as the points lost are too valuable but at least let them take the risk.

      1. These days the cars are so “managed” from the pit wall, it’s almost impossible for the lead car to fail so as soon as it’s in the lead, it’s pretty much over.

        Tell that to Lewis last year…

        1. Would be interesting to see how many times the lead car and lap 1 has been passed on track since the start of the hybrid era. Not including failures or crashes.

          My guess is the count is in single digits

        2. +1

          Will be interesting to see the strategies next year with 3 engines for the season. Starting last and finishing 4 with full power with the knowledge that you have a fresh engine for the next round, seems like a better option than starting 3rd or better and not knowing if your pu will last that race.

        3. Tell Lewis not to use Qualifying modes in the race, for an extended time :)

    5. Takes big balls to compare yourself to one of the sports greatest ambassadors especially when the machine you drive is one of histories all time worst racecars. Imagine that Vandorne, how wrong it is to make such a ridiculous statement. Sounds like a dumb rookie statement really.

      Until you race a truly competitive machine, the same kind your teamate also has, then you have little to stand on. Vandorne has done little with the awfullness that the McLaren continually displayed.

      My advice is keep your mouth shut and let your driving speak for your greatness.

      When you start outperforming him continously then you may speak about your place in history.

      1. One of Histories all time worst racecars- well that’s a Bit much. It got the reliability of a Late 90ies frontrunning car and it didn’t even struggle With the 107%

        1. I honestly can’t tell if you’re being serious or not. Well done.

          1. @ludemus it’s actually not untrue :-) Macca has like 16 technical retirements (assuming i didnt forget any crashes) at the moment out of 20 races. In 2001 they posted 12 DNFs in 17 races and clinched 2nd in both the driver and constructors table. So there, reliability (roundabout that) of a frontrunning (yeah i know i said 90ies) early 00s frontrunner, and the 107% part is obvious right?

      2. Q: So what do you take from 2017 – what are the big positives?

        SV: That I fared very well against Fernando. Yes, the race results were not as expected, but having a super strong team mate is a well known value in the paddock.

        He makes the effort to state that the big positive from the season is that he fared well against a teammate which he knows is one of the strongest drivers in the grid. Talking about dumb statements.

        1. It may be me that is “dumb”, but what exactly is “dumb” about Van Doorne’s statement?

          1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
            16th November 2017, 0:44

            His point is that there’s nothing dumb about Stoff’s statement.

          2. @baron Nothing, i was redirecting it to OP :) Vandoorne was quite sensible with his words which is why I have no idea why the OP is so angry.

      3. And so speaks, actually who are you?

        Even the Caterhams and HRT’s were better than a lot of the rubbish we had in the 80s. I think when you made your sermon, sorry, comment – you should’ve said one of the worst Mclarens.

        1. You can’t blame him. we live in an era of hyperbole. Everything that happens now is the ‘one of the best ever’ Hamilton’s last drive from the back for example, the next wet race with a lot of overtaking will be ‘one of the best ever’ and so on. Bottas himself was described as ‘a future world champion’ simply for winning in the best car by a mile and now it’s already not looking that way. It gets embarrasing sometimes, as does the pre-race hype. It’s like the media and pundits are trying to justify their jobs,

          1. I Blame alonso- constantly driving the best race of his career in the worst car on the grid since 2012

            1. good example :)

      4. A lot of people especially the ‘Alonso is past it ‘ brigade were fully expecting Stoff to make a massive dent in Alonso.
        So either Alonso still has it, or Stoff is not going to make the same impact on F1 as Verstappen, Hamilton and Alonso himself did.

        1. Anyone who thought Alonso would do anything other than dominate Vandoorne in 2017 probably doesn’t pay much attention to F1…

          1. oh they do pay attention, to fine detail, when it comes to findng fault with ‘cry baby’

        2. Meh; we’ve been hearing that stuff for years. Many were claiming Raikkonen would ‘completely destroy’ Alonso ahead of 2014, and I even remember many claiming that Massa would make a mockery of Alonso ahead of 2010. At this point I kind of chuckle when I read these things. One day, Alonso will be ‘past it’, but I don’t think that will be for a few more years.

    6. From the Sky article: ”Ricciardo is forging a nice reputation in every driver’s psyche that he’ll launch from a long way back and still make the corner apex without locking his brakes. He makes overtakes out of nothing which will come in handy when he has a faster combo.”
      – I Couldn’t agree more with this paragraph. He’s definitely the best at dive-bomb style overtaking moves in F1.

      1. Great lead-in for my main contention of last weekend’s race: IMO Ricciardo had a more impressive drive through the field than Hamilton. @jerejj
        Ricciardo had to use his ‘dive-bomb’ skills, whereas Hamilton could primarily rely on DRS and a superior PU.
        (I keep on making this point as it is beyond me how many fans here voted for DOTW)

        1. While Ricciardo could (all year) use the superior breaking performance of his chassis to do the late dive @Egonovi @jerejj? I agree Ricciardo uses his car very well, but I do think you have to balance it a bit in saying both he and Hamilton used the best bit of their car to go through the field at an embarrassing pace – for F1, that shows the gap between the top three and the rest.

    7. Reading the COTD reminds me of the usual misunderstanding of ‘making things more equal’. No one’s looking to ‘punish success’, we just want to see the difference between first and last reduced to increase the chance of more then 1 team winning all the time. Nothing will be stopping 1 team winning all the time, see F2 for an example (all the cars are identical yet Leclerc still rinsed the field), it just makes it less likely.

      1. How do you do this? Should Mercedes be forced to share engine tech with Ferrari to help them catch up? Of course some of the difference between first and last is due to prize money but certainly not all. I worry that the only way to close up the field is to impose more spec parts, then F1 becomes who can design the best 2% of a car, which the big teams will obviously still do better and for the fans the constructors lose their individuality.

      2. + 1. It annoys me when people say the authorities are trying to punish success. Rubbish.

    8. I indeed think Vandoorne did very well. We’re comparing Stroll to Massa and Ocon to Perez and of both we’re also saying they did very well. And their comparisons are not made against a 2-time world champion with close to 300 starts, a driver who many think is the best of the last 15 years.

      So if we make the comparison, the car was unreliable, and Alonso had the updates long before Vandoorne all season long, and he hardly had any preparation time during pre-season testing, and he had to drive loads of new tracks, so if you look at where both are now in the points, and how close he has been in the last half of the season I’d say he did very good indeed. I’d go as far as saying Vandoorne did no worse than a Kimi or Massa against Alonso.

      1. I think you are being a bit too kind to Stoffel but he is indeed a very good driver.
        I don’t agree with you concerning Alonso having updates long before Vandoorne “all season long”. I do agree Alonso got preference at times for obvious reasons.
        Taking into consideration Alonso has had 11 DNFs (and didn’t race in Monaco) versus Stoffel’s 6 (counting Brazil), it’s fruitless to compare the 2 but pretty obvious Alonso has the upper hand.

        http://grandprixrankings.com/compare/2017-f1/alonso-versus-vandoorne/

        Cool video of the two dueling in Canada
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig-u_Rr8jGo

        1. Vandoornes mileage in pre-season testing was doable on a single set op tyres
          Every aero update on the McLaren has been used in qual or race on Alonso’s car first, some updates up to 2 races later for Vandoorne.
          ALO stopped more than a few times when he had no issues, other than running out of fuel. At the same events VAN had to lift and coast so much his brakes were too cold.
          Actual components replaced / penalties taken by ALO and VAN indicate a clear advantage for ALO on race starting positions.
          In the end, there is little available to compare, but whatever is, has shown a decent performance

      2. Fernando Mariano
        16th November 2017, 4:59

        How Vandoorne did no worse than Felipe? I do also think that Vandoorne does okay once in a while, bu I don’t agree he’s been better than Felipe by no means. Last year of Fernando and Felipe in 2013 it was 10-8 to Fernando on qualy, quite close… not to mention that in Ferrari the team was all about Alonso, the whole car was made for him, the best strategies calls, the updates, the inside stuff, he was not only a great driver but a great politician also inside Ferrari. Many races Felipe was genuinely faster than Fernando, something that we didn’t see it yet with Vandoorne. Even on the rain there were races where Felipe was faster, like Canada 2011, Malaysia 2012, Brazil 2012 (just the ones I remember now). Many races Felipe could have finished in front of Alonso if it wasn’t for the way Ferrari favoured Alonso and his championship intents, even potential wins for Felipe. Many times Felipe was less than within a tenth with Alonso, they were more competitive than the numbers show actually, even tho it wasn’t as competitive as people thought it would be, mainly because of Felipe’s struggles and Santander Ferrari with Alonso. With McLaren now they don’t even fight for championships or anything, so it’s a way more fair battle between them, even if Vandoorne sometimes have to play as 2nd driver, wich I don’t like it either.

    9. Funny how people seem to feel Bottas did not live up to expectations, when in reality he rather held his own well, given who he was up against in the second car.

      For Bottas, this was the first time in ages where he came into a new team with a teammate who he would not expect to beat easily. And that teammate not only has his legs firmly under the table but also is on top of his game and on top of the ladder. Sure, Bottas was promoted for showing promise, but he did not step into the team like Button (or Alonso) with the confidence of a freshly minted World Championship.

      He seemed to get on with the job, settle in the team and be a very solid man in the second car. And he is still growing into it, learning from Hamilton etc. So yeah, he’d want to make another step forward, hope that he can beat Hamilton more often. But then, that is something the whole grid was striving for this year!

      1. He certainly did better than kimi raikkonen

      2. Funny how people seem to feel Bottas did not live up to expectations, when in reality he rather held his own well, given who he was up against in the second car.

        I might be one of those people.
        Not that I necessarily think Bottas disappointed, but more that he topped out early after having a very impressive start of the season against the guy ‘in the second car’.
        @bascb

        1. As someone kindly pointed out to me in another thread, this is Bottas’s first year in the Mercedes and comparisons with Rosberg are unfair for that reason, so one should give him a chance. However, I can’t help but think he hasn’t shown himself to have a finely tuned “racer’s brain”. I can’t think of one move he’s made this year (in the manner of Hamilton, Verstappen or Ricciardo) that has made me sit up and take note. Perhaps he will get up to speed in 2018 but it’s almost like he is too nice to get his elbows out.

          1. he is too nice to get his elbows out.

            He was quite good at that in the Williams (especially against the other Finn). @baron
            But it seems that his elbows are too short for these wider cars.
            Maybe they’ll grow some next year; especially after watching replays of the Brazilian GP start ;)

          2. Yes, the main thing I get frustrated with is the people who are saying he’s not as good as Rosberg was. Not the recent Rosberg, no. But last year, Rosberg had been with Mercedes for 7 years! If Rosberg had been against Hamilton for his first year out of Williams (when Hamilton had been in Mercedes for 4 years previously), Will Rosberg have done better than Bottas? I’m not at all certain. Considering Mercedes has been far less dominant over the last year compared to the previous 3, the fact that Bottas has managed to get 45% of the teams points so far this year is clearly a good thing. In 2015, Rosberg got 46% of them. Not much difference really and that was Rosberg’s 6th year with the team. This is Bottas’s first.

            If Ferrari and Red Bull hadn’t been as close this year, it is quite possible that Bottas would have close to 90% of Hamilton’s points. Currently, he has 81%. For Bottas’s first year with Mercedes, that really isn’t that bad is it? Against someone who many seem to be saying is the best driver on the grid and is at a whole new level this year.

            1. I think VB did well considering the circumstances. Not just new to a team where LH is engrained, but new to having a win-capable car. And indeed he won with it.

              What will be interesting is to see how he does when the gloves have to come off. I really enjoyed Toto’s comments after Baku when he said, paraphrasing, that up until then the two rivals LH and SV were pretty congenial with each other but if we (F1 and it’s audience) are to have an enthralling season like the pinnacle of racing should show, then at some point the gloves were inevitably going to have to come off between the two. LH and NR a perfect example of that too.

              So for sure VB is going to have to find some big elbows if he’s going to play with LH and SV again next year. I wish him the best and it will be fun to watch, but I just don’t see it happening. Of course some of what happens will depend on the duel between LH and SV. If they start the season sharing wins VB will be having to take a back seat and won’t be given elbow room. He pretty much has to start the season beating those two if he wants any chance, just as what happened to Kimi this year…not on it quickly enough at the start of the season to stake his claim. VB appeared to be, but when SV was taking points away from LH, the team orders were marched out. The only defence for that if you’re VB and KR is to come out dominating your teammate. Just can’t see it.

            2. There is one positive towards Bottas that is also a negative. Not being overly aggressive may result in less mistakes, but gets you less great, outstanding results. But the fact is that Bottas has helped out Hamilton a few times, and hasn’t got in his way at all. I don’t know how many occasions Rosberg and Hamilton clashed or had moments of tension between each other that just made things worse. There were at leased 2 of these examples that deducted points from the constructors championship last year. In Spain, they both were equally to blame for loosign a lot of points for the team IMO. Then at the end of Austria, Rosberg did a silly move on Hamilton, but I feel like the only reason it happened was because they were team mates competing against each other. I am certain Bottas won’t have done anything like that. Then there have been loads of other clashes between them in previous years too.
              In this area, I think Bottas is already a better team player than Rosberg was towards Hamilton. While his pace wasn’t as good, Bottas does have some strengths over Rosberg and is likely to get better than he currently is.

            3. @thegianthogweed Fair comment, but are you for team players, or are you for strong rivalries? Just curious for the sake of conversation. I can’t tell from your post, for example when you say ‘just made things worse.’ Worse to me was better for us…for the show.

              Personally I would prefer two strong rivals on a team than what we had this season with ‘after you…no no kind sir after you’ lol.

              But of course it will depend on how things shake out. If LH and SV start off by sharing wins, then VB and KR will simply not be given elbow room. If one team is utterly dominant, then the gloves will have to come off between those two drivers. I hope for some of the tension of the LH/NR pairing, no matter who it comes from next year. This year didn’t nearly have that same tension. KR and VB weren’t really serious threats, and until Baku LH and SV were pretty buddy buddy, and even after that it was nowhere near LH/NR between them.

              All the more reason that in a perfect world the top teams should have two roosters on them, rather than a natural one and two. At least imho anyway. The only ones who benefit from one rooster on the team is the team manager, and the one rooster. The rest of the world loses out on a proper rivalry and it’s supposed to be the pinnacle of racing. Drivers shouldn’t have to finally achieve their lifelong goal of reaching the pinnacle, nowhere higher to go, only to have to give it up for their teammate. Unless of course in the circumstance where they are rookies, and/or had their fair shot, it just didn’t work out, and then when the math dictates it everyone can understand supporting the driver with the WDC shot on the team.

            4. Difficult to say really @robbied90.
              I don’t know who will agree here, but I feel like a Verstappen/Hamilton or Vettel/Hamilton line up could end up being so competitive, they clash into each other often and loose the team many valuable points. As much as people hate me saying this, Verstappen has lost Red Bull quite a few points this season due to very optimistic overtakes/moves. I think I’ll be in the minority with Spain, but Karun Chandhok had a similar view to me. Going on the outside of a car that is already trying to overtake another on their inside is quite likely to go wrong. I think Kimi could have avoided Bottas if Verstappen hadn’t been alongside. Bottas went as tight on the kerb as he could. But in a way, he did trigger it by braking early, but both Kimi and Verstappen took the risk to get past.

              Then there was Hungary. Verstappen certainly was overly optimistic there and he cost the team quite a few points. I even thought that attempted overtake on Massa in Italy was a bit unnecessary to do so early and take such a risk. If he had waited until just a bit later, he could have got it done properly. My main point is that if someone like Verstappen was with Hamilton, Hamilton would feel more under pressure, which sometimes causes him to take more risks that occasionally go wrong. And I can only imagine several races not ending well. As a line up, they will be really strong, but I feel there will be several disadvantages compared to how relaxed it is with Bottas and Hamilton. It does seem that because Hamilton is relaxed, he’s managed to do better than usual IMO, and that is making Bottas look worse than he is.

              If Hamilton was with Vettel, well, the few times they have clashed this year indicates it probably won’t be that great. I like Vettel, but he has anger issues at times and them to together if they are fighting IMO will even more likely go wrong at some races than Hamilton and Rosberg.

              So I am actually a bit unsure weather Mercedes should stick with a line up like they have now, or risk something like 2 top drivers. The fact that Bottas has managed to get 45% of the teams championship points even though people seem to be rating him as quite poor this year still shows he’s good at doing what a team wants them to do. Points is what they need and are certainly getting from Bottas.

            5. @robbie
              Really not sure why a 90 got added to your name.. It seemed that I pressed enter to go to the next line and they got added on. You will see this now I got it correct hopefully!

            6. @thegianthogweed Fair comment and what it tells me is you think in terms of what is more manageable for the teams, citing LH vs other drivers and how that would go.

              I think without a doubt LH had a relatively relaxed time this year vs. with Nico or if Max or Seb were his teammate. Max has really been stamping his authority on F1 with his aggressiveness and sometimes over-aggressiveness. I’m really excited about him and see him as both learning while also sending a message to the grid…’I’m coming through and I’m not afraid to run over your front wing on the way past either.’ Drivers have already hinted at needing to be aware when Max is around, and I think that was totally Max’s intention, but also just the innate way he is on a track. It’s marvellous imho.

              But anyway this isn’t about Max, but it is about two roosters on a team vs one and a safe second. For me, and as I said before in a perfect world, I think the top teams should be honouring the viewing audience, who after all are the reason racing exists at all, by placing the very best drivers in their cars and to heck with if that makes their lives more difficult…managing two roosters. It is what we the paying audience deserve…the full show.

              I said in another comment that the only ones the one-rooster concept is good for is the team and the one driver, but of course I can add the fans of that one rooster too. Why wouldn’t they love seeing their guy have one less challenger, in the same car no less? The same car that in some seasons is the only other car that could compete such is their dominance. Yet they aren’t ‘allowed’ when it’s all about the one driver, and the audience is robbed of the show.

          3. I can’t think of one move he’s made in his career

    10. COTD is totally naïve. For 1 its called FORMULA 1, that has always meant cars being created under a set of rules, Its not Carte-blanche 1. And the field has never been so close, even in the 80s qualifying was only measured down to a tenth of a second and many cars didn’t qualify all year as they were outside 107%. Even an HRT driven by Ericsson would get into that. Its all so computer controlled now, everything is measure to the thou’ and then blown up to be a huge difference. The racing is poor for two simple reasons, 1: the computers decide how the cars are driven and 2: aero.

      1. Agreed and I would add the behaviour of the tires doesn’t help the racing either. I was surprised and disappointed this season after thinking (I thought we had been told) that they were going to go away from temp sensitive tires in favour of tread wear tires, and it seems that did not happen at all. The tires are still way too finicky in terms of their optimum operating windows…way too easily taken out of that range…drivers forced to hang back out of dirty air. I know they had to go conservative somewhat due to their lack of availability of anything other than dummy cars pretending to be 2017 cars, but that to me has nothing to do with the tire philosophy of tread wear deg vs thermal deg.

        I like what Brundle said, and agree completely, that all the basic ingredients are in place for F1 to get it right over the coming years. There is plenty of money in F1. There is plenty of audience. Things like aero issues, tire issues, can quite easily be tweaked. Everything just needs tweaking, not massive overhauls again. His main concern is the egos and greed of the top teams getting in the way of Liberty doing their thing with a well thought out, non-knee jerk method that brings more balance to F1.

        1. They have so much data now and alas so do we. A tyre gets near the edge, the driver has to ease off. What would fighters like Mansell & Senna have done, eased off, let the guy through, stop trying to catch him? Humans have a 6th sense sometimes and confound what is possible. That is the nature of top level sport surely? And yeh sometimes they get it wrong and kill the tyre.

          One of the most telling moments that sums up F1s reliance on data rather than intellect was when Lewis’ engineer was telling him he would catch Vettel (was it Vettel, I forget?) in the last 2 or 3 laps and be able to attack him, after he’d stopped reasonably late for tyre’s, based on their projections. Well you’ll never guess what Vettel did when Lewis closed in……? Yeh, he upped his pace and won the race at a kanter.

    11. “The Sao Paulo mayor, Joao Doria, said: ‘I’ve seen worse cases at other race tracks’, although it is hard to imagine quite where he means.”

      Well, some races have seen fighter jets doing fly-overs…

    12. I was wondering, and i am sure that it has been mentioned before. This road relevance, what do they mean with that.
      Because Ferraris are Sought after because of their speed, sound and rumble. Not their Fuel efficiency. Renault…. well yes of course is’t about compact cars with great fuel efficiency.
      Mercedes Benz is a mixture of performance and luxury. Honda is simmilar to Renault. The road relevance is not the same for every one (at least for me).
      On another note, to me Having an owner like liberty and a governing body like FIA will never work. How can one want to create competitive and innovative racing when the other just keeps you confined to a very narrow area.

    13. The São Paulo mayor, João Doria, said: “I’ve seen worse cases at other race tracks”. The gangs in Monaco and A1 Ring were a serious issue this year. Those favelas in Monaco are a problem.

    14. The Brazilian press (Globo) is saying that Williams has signed Kubica.
      Waiting on more sources

      1. hmmm… signed by Reginaldo Leme. He’s well informed at some level

    15. Ricciardo won his first race lauching a dive bomb against Perez.
      The set after Rosberg who had power deployment issues and was an easy target.

      The guy is legit. But he needs to find another seat. Red Bull is already all eyes for Verstappen.

      1. Dan and Seb at Ferrari in 2018 would be epic.

        1. typo- 2019, of course.

        2. Yes. Dan is also the closest thing we have to an Italian driver.

    16. Man, COTD is spot on how I feel…

      Let engine makers bring whatever engine tech they want. Then limit it to 105 l of fuel for the race. Perscribe minimum engine weight and perhaps limit maximum power.

      Then bring in different engines. Probem with modern F1 is… Engines all the same and wide performance gap..

      1. @jureo But different engines means teams needing completely different chassis etc which would mean huge expense as teams would have to completely redesign their cars depending on who’s engine they would have that given year or set of years. You’d have vastly different cars on the grid, each made for the style of engine they have. Ok fine, that’s not the end of the world, but would be hugely costly I would think. Further to that, if they’re limited to let’s say 105 Litres, they’re certainly not going to be able to use an ICE on it’s own for the fuel economy simply wouldn’t be there. Given the parameters that would have to be in place for some equivalency amongst the teams as opposed to handing one team a huge advantage, they’d all end up using the same solution anyway. In this case, just with the one parameter alone of 105 litres, they’d all end up with pu’s like they are using now and wouldn’t be able to run a good ol’ V8, 10, or 12.

        1. Diversity would make the show better. Costs are not an issue, F1 teams spend all they get…

          1. Hard to believe someone who follows the ins and outs of F1 would say costs are not the issue. Liberty is addressing costs because it is a huge issue. Your engine proposal would hugely escalate costs and Liberty is going the other direction, to diminish them. Your idea is moot.

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