Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Paul Ricard, 2018

Mercedes hint Hamilton announcement is close

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes’ executive director Toto Wolff hints an announcement about Lewis Hamilton’s contract could be made soon:

What they say

Q (The Times): Lewis said on Thursday that negotiations are all done so what’s the delay, is it coming from your side?

TW: Maybe it’s about choosing the right moment to say…

Q: So is it done?

TW: I can’t confirm.

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Comment of the day

Paul Ricard has a bigger problem than the Mistral chicane, says @Mickharrold:

The chicane doesn’t really worry me too much. Nice to see it gone, but not the primary concern for me.

The real issue for me was the run-off areas. They make a farce of running off track. In fact, they actually encourage it. If someone pushes you wide, you just cut even wider and gain a few spots in the process.

Turn one was a farce. Turn three was ridiculous. Take a look at the F1 highlights package. Go to 1:48 in the video and watch Magnussen and Hulkenberg. The crash happened behind them and was of no consequence to them. They just plain missed their braking points and just plain cut the corner. Watch Ericsson behind them. He tries to do the right thing and loses a heap of places as a result.

People might argue that Magnussen was just in front of Raikonnen and came out just in front as well, so all is fair. But it isn’t. Magnussen missed his braking point and if there had been grass or gravel there, he might have come out at the back of the field instead. And sorry Magnussen, but that would have been fair. If you stuff up, there must be a penalty for that.

At turn one, Verstappen cut the corner so far that he almost overtook Hamilton. You can see he slowed down so that didn’t happen. The crash wasn’t his fault, but running up the outside into turn one of any circuit is risky if there is a crash. But a Paul Ricard, you get rewarded for that. I liken that corner to turn one-two at Canada. But in Canada, there is grass on the inside, so there is a penalty for going wide like he did. I am not arguing that Verstappen should be penalised, but I am arguing that this track rewards bad behaviour.

The biggest problem will come next year after everyone has studied the video of this race. Brake late, run wide and just cut the corner. Even if you are forced to give a place back (unlikely it seems), at least you know you will be guaranteed not to lose a place if you brake too late. All drivers race to the maximum and manage risk versus reward. There is no risk at Paul Ricard so that only leaves reward.

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57 comments on “Mercedes hint Hamilton announcement is close”

  1. The comments from TW are a perfect example of why I’d rather read about the catering for now and wait till it actually happens. I applaud the COTD as a comment relevant to all tracks in varying degrees.

  2. I disagree with COTD. To me I think the wide run offs actually encouraged aggressive racing as the drivers knew they could take to the asphalt.
    If there had been barriers and gravel traps all around, the drivers would have been way more cautious, braked earlier and we would have had a precession for a race. It would have been the boring race predicted.
    Yes sure taking advantage of running wide should be penalised, but many tracks have addressed this with run off cones they have to drive around before returning to the track.
    I also think perhaps the chicane on the Mistral straight should stay but reduce the DRS length to put the put cars side by side into the braking zone since most passes here were done before the braking zone. I fear if the chicane goes it will be simple DRS passes based on engine power and narrow wings.

    1. @theoddkiwi I agree with you concerning the run-off areas, but concerning DRS: ”I fear if the chicane goes it will be simple DRS passes based on engine power and narrow wings.”
      – I doubt it. Without the chicane, the rear wings would be skinnier than with it, which is something that automatically makes DRS less effective, as the skinnier the rear wing is, the less drag there is to reduce by activating the DRS, and that’s precisely why it’s (and has always been) relatively ineffective in Monza. Less drag = less effective DRS.

      1. Yeah but then again, the DRS slot is going to be bigger in 2019 (i.e. more effective).

        I think the chicane should stay because it invited overtaking (maybe make the DRS zone a bit shorter though) and they should add DRS to the second half of the mistral straight as well. Let’s see which drivers will keep it open through that fast right hander! (especially when side-by-side)

        1. @jeffreyj ”the DRS slot is going to be bigger in 2019”
          – And that means that the rear wings (without the chicane) would be even skinnier next year than they would’ve been this year had the chicane not been used, so, therefore, my point still stands valid.

          1. @jerejj Ok, but what do you think of the idea to keep the chicane (thus the overtaking there) and then adding another DRS zone to the second half of the Mistral straight, allowing cars side-by-side into the flat-out right-hander with DRS open and then fighting into the tightening snake section?

        2. @jeffreyj I don’t know. I’m not really sure how I’d feel about that either way. I’m not too sure whether it’d be wise to drive trough Signes (the flat-out right-hander following the Mistral straight) with DRS activated even with the current downforce-levels, or not, or Suzuka’s 130R, for example, or Spa’s Blanchimont for that matter either as well.

  3. Disagree completely with the Cotd. Judging by the onboard cameras, Magnussen wouldn’t have been able to see Vettel and Bottas crash, he would only have seen that someone crashed in front of the car in front of him (Raikkonen) and that Raikkonen slowed down to avoid it. If Raikkonen had piled into the crash (which might as well have happened from Magnussen’s point of view) and Magnussen had stayed on track, he likely would have gotten involved in the carnage as well.
    And Hulkenberg saw that Vettel had crashed, but Vettel then accelerated past him despite the damage and promptly bumped into Grosjean and then keeps drifting left. Of course Hulkenberg would rather take evasive action in that situation. There was no guarantee from his point of view that Vettel would make the corner. You can see that Hulkenberg had already applied some steering angle until Vettel hits Grosjean, and then he straightens it out, then he sees Vettel might make the corner after all and turns in again, then he sees Vettel understeer, and so Hulkenberg commits to cutting the corner.

    The Cotd has two advantages the driver don’t have: a bird’s eye view and 20/20 hindsight.

    That being said, Magnussen did blatantly overstep his marks on the grid, both front tyres were fully across the white line.

    1. @aesto Vettel didn’t hit Grosjean, and concerning the last part of your comment: Did Magnussen really have his front tyres over the white line off his grid spot? I never noticed that.

      1. ‘of.’

      2. @jerejj Vettel hit Grosjean at T3 & that caused Grosjean to oversteer onto the runoff.

        Hulkenberg then got on the outside of Vettel who with a damaged front wing understeered wide & forced Hulkenberg onto the runoff.

      3. Magnussen on the grid: http://i67.tinypic.com/29c89y8.jpg

        Regarding Vettel, stefmeister already described it. I assume Vettel underestimated the amount of damage he had (although he says ‘damaged nose’ on the radio) and therefore overestimated how much downforce he had, going into T3. Before the Grosjean hit, most of his front wing is still there, whereas after, it’s hitting the ground and sparking away.

  4. Q: Lewis said on Thursday that negotiations are all done so what’s the delay, is it coming from your side?

    TW: Maybe it’s about choosing the right moment to say…

    Q: So is it done?

    TW: I can’t confirm.

    If he has singed contract why not just say so? I’m sure Merc would defiantly want to. Is it possible he has decided to leave and that’s why he wants to wait for the “right moment”?
    He loves his games does Mr Hamilton.

    1. @johnrkh – messing with Ricciardo, perhaps?

      1. S’what I was thinking…

    2. TW: I can neither confirm nor deny details of any contract without the Secretary’s approval.

      1. Sounds like Mission Impossible. :))

    3. Paul T Ortenburg
      26th June 2018, 8:16

      Probably waiting for Silverstone … possibly to retire?

    4. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
      26th June 2018, 8:32

      @johnrkh Hamilton is playing with words and he’s good at it. He can take advantage over Vettel this way; can’t blame him, it’s one more weapon in the race for the WC. Anyway, with Silverstone around the corner it’s easy they’re waiting for Lewis’ home GP.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        26th June 2018, 8:51

        Hamilton is playing with words and he’s good at it.

        He should become a rapper.

        1. Merely a formality as it has been all along. LH is not retiring, nor is he playing games. It is not LH’s game to play anyway. It is the team that makes these announcements and it is their choosing as to when and where they do that as well.

          1. @robbie Unless, as part of the contract negotiations, Lewis asked to be in control of the announcement.

  5. COTD is spot on. Great to see Paul Ricard and the French GP back on the calendar… but unfortunately this circuit, with these cars, represents so much of what I dislike about modern F1. The vast expanse of run-off took away all sense of risk and sense of speed.

    The biggest disappointment for me however, was the ease with which Vettel drove back through the field. The Haas and Sauber drivers jumped straight out of his way and the performance differential to everyone else was so great I never felt at any point he was actually ‘racing’ anyone. Didn’t interest me one bit which is sad because it’s a scenario which should have…

    1. The biggest disappointment for me however, was the ease with which Vettel drove back through the field. The Haas and Sauber drivers jumped straight out of his way

      This…. I don’t understand why customer/sister teams move out of the way of the big teams so blatantly nowadays. As recently as 2015 we saw Verstappen fight the RedBulls in a Toro Rosso (Malaysia for example). What has changed?

      Also, because of the enormous performance gap, top teams should just take engine penalties because they are going to finish 6th at worst anyway. I really hope the budget cap happens to alleviate this problem.

  6. COTD is spot on. Especially the last paragraph. Next year, there are definitely going to be some drivers positioning themselves on the outside of turn 1 or outside of turn 3 looking to miss their braking points and gain an advantage.

    But let’s not police that also. It is good that F1 has some tracks like Suzuka and Canada where this would be punished and some like Abu Dhabi and Paul Ricard where it won’t. It is upto the drivers to modify their style and aggression and make sure they score maximum points in every race.

    1. @Sumedh The drivers who left the track did so for a valid reason, and made so that they don’t gain an advantage from it, so, therefore, I didn’t have any problem with the off-track excursions on the opening lap.

  7. Don’t know if anyone saw the F2 race but Latifi showed just how much you can get away with. He completely ruined his tyres (to the canvas) with a lap and a half left and from that point every time you saw him he was busy ignoring the track and taking the shortest route to the finish. Managed to hold onto 8th by completely ignoring the last 2 corners (straight-lined them and then hard right onto the finish straight). No penalty applied. I would’ve plain disqualified him based on just the bits I saw!

  8. 100% agree with COTD and I would go some further and say that the track needs to be ‘cleaned up’. I understand it isn’t a primary F1 track and has many other uses but I was unable to catch most of the coverage and caught Q2/Q3 and the race and it was confusing to follow which part of the track they are meant to go on. Eventually I worked it out it if a more casual viewer were to switch on the TV and to watch F1 at Paul Ricard they would get confused as to what the track is. Perhaps extending kerbs, the awful blue/red liens, or something to make it the parameters more distinctive would help massively. I don’t think the track is bad and I applaud that many drivers have different lines through corners etc I think it just needs revisiting and cleaning up. Also, on a personal preference it needs some greenery. Whilst I understand the red/blue lines and the need for run offs because of the other track layouts but it does look as if somebody has created a hi-tech track in the middle of a car park. Even Bahrain has ‘sand’ coloured stuff so it looks as if it isn’t part of the trace track. Put some green paint, astroturf, or even some actual grass or something so it looks like a race track.

  9. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
    26th June 2018, 10:42

    COTD is so spot on. I like Verstappen but he clearly booted it and gained a clear advantage from the first corner shinanigans. Ricciardo could have done the same and stayed ahead of Sainz but he played fair.

    1. @ftruth I couldn’t disagree more with you. Verstappen did nothing wrong. First of all, he had no option, but to leave the track at T1 for an obvious and valid reason, but he made sure that he doesn’t gain an advantage from it by making sure that he remains behind Hamilton, so he indeed did play it fair as well as Ricciardo.

      1. No, VER didn’t make sure he didn’t gain an advantage, he failed to lose several position. Positions he would have lost if he had tried to stay within track limits (see: RIC losing a place to SAI for example or Ericsson losing multiple positions). Or, if he would have cut the corner and run into some grass/gravell, he would have likely been relegated to the back.

        Cutting a corner but not overtaking someone is not the same as ‘ not gaining an advantage’

    2. Disagree completely. MV did nothing wrong and merely did what he had to do to avoid being part of a collision. Not only did that seem to be totally fine with the commentators, there was not even a hint of an investigation over it. Had there been, they would have immediately cleared MV for doing what he did from a safety standpoint. He also let off once he got back on track. There is no way he was trying to gain advantage after being forced off to begin with.

      1. Verstappen did nothing wrong (according to the rules). I agree with you on that. He isn’t to blame here. The track is.

        But let’s analyse the Verstappen situation. He brakes late and tries to gain by running long and wide into turn 1 in the hope of gaining at turn 2. Nothing wrong there. So song as you accept that turn 1 crashes happen and if you put yourself on the outside of turn 1 and try to drive around people in front that the risk is higher than if you brake at the right point and turn in. Anyone crashing or running wide on the inside line might take you out. I am not saying he shouldn’t try it. I am saying that there is a risk to doing that and that needs to be penalised. The world is based on risk Vs Reward.

        But that is the point. There is no risk to doing that at Paul Ricard. It’s actually riskier to be on the inside of the corner there.

        Verstappen summed up the track well I think. He had a plan in his mind before the race even began. Run wide and long into turn 1 and be aware of the other cars. If you see something, run well wide and profit. Well done to Verstappen I say. Fix it I say to the FIA and Paul Ricard.

        People will say “penalise” and “Put a bollard there” Personally I think penalties are subjective and often stupid. Putting a bollard that they have to run around would be a better idea as at least it is a clear cut penalty. Ironically though. If they put a bollard there and it takes too long to go around it, the drivers will stick to the track. If it is quicker, they will drive around it. Much like grass or gravel would do.

        They don’t hit the walls at Monaco, Baku, Singapore and so on (often). Surely they can keep their cars within 10m of the track edges with no problem. Verstappen was a clear 50m+ from the track at one point.

        If I was an F1 driver. Next year, I would go for the outside of turn 1 and turn 3. I would try some ridiculous move that wouldn’t work anywhere else. And then I would just run wide and profit from my riskless strategy. The only problem is that everyone else will be doing it too next year, so maybe next year no-one will make turn 1.

        P.S. I actually like the Paul Ricard Circuit. You can pass there and it invites different driving lines. I got used to the silly colours quickly. I was just annoyed at the ease with which you can cut corners. If they can fix that, it will be a good circuit.

        1. @mickharrold So Max isn’t to blame and yet you then go on to claim he braked late etc etc like he did it all on purpose. Why? Because he knew all along the track would let him get away with it? That simply doesn’t add up with what happened and I think you are erroneously trying to use Max to make your point about runoffs.

          To me there was little if any abuse of the runoffs all weekend which is why we heard so little about it and why Max was immediately exonerated from doing anything other than avoiding an accident. And yet you’ve turned it into everyone doing it next year, like that is going to happen, and like F1 is so stupid they wouldn’t be able to pick up on drivers blatantly and intentionally cutting corners to gain advantage….when nobody was even doing that this year.

          Imho, it’s the same debate we’ve had before and no doubt will have again. Runoffs vs no tolerance ‘walls’ be they literally walls or severe punishment for the slightest indiscretion over a line, and hence a penalty ridden mess, or processions.

          I say with so few cars on the grid, cars so hard to pass, we don’t need more processions, more dnfs, nor more penalties, nor less racing.

          1. @robbie No, Max isn’t to blame. In fact he should be applauded for his approach. It was very smart. He knew the rules and played to them. But that is very different from it being right.

            The truth is that I shouldn’t have talked about Max. He pushed the rules, but he was the least of the offenders. Have a look at the helicopter shot of turn 1 and watch Magnussen. He was 3 cars behind the collision and in no danger of running into anything, but he was in danger of getting slowed up and losing a spot. So he just ran wide instead.

            Then at Turn 3, Grosjean and Hulkenburg missed the braking point and just drove straight on. The collision happened behind them and they were off track almost before it happened. Some say Vettel hit Grosjean, but I haven’t seen that reported anywhere so I doubt it’s true. But even if it is, what is Hulkenburg’s excuse? On top of that, watch Erricsson try on do the right thing and lose out to almost everyone as a result. Stroll, Vandorne and Sirotken just drove straight through as well.

            You say it hardly happens. Well, it may have only been 2 corners this year, but over 1/3 of the field did it! And the people who stayed on track lost out. That just isn’t fair. And, as I said before, it encourages people to do it next time.

            I am not arguing for penalties. I hate penalties. But I would prefer them to blatant rule breaking that can’t be policed accurately. I am also not asking for walls either. However, I would prefer them to Paul Ricard style freedom. I am just asking for some common sense here.

            If Vettel beats Hamilton to the title because he cut the corner to save being overtaken, people will be talking about the injustice of that for years. And we all lose as a result while we focus on the bad part of the sport. The FIA need to fix it before it become a massive talking point that brings the sport into disrepute.

        2. so maybe next year no-one will make turn 1.

          It would be extremely funny (and sad really) to see everybody go wide at T1, regardless of what’s happening, next year.

          1. @mickharrold And again, I think you take it too far with Max. He didn’t play to the rules. That implies you still think he did something suspect, and he did not. He merely avoided getting into a crash. He was not ‘the least of the offenders’ as he didn’t commit an offence. Nobody is being encouraged to do anything the next time. They’re all trying to stay on the track as that is the fastest way around it, yet accidents happen, and all drivers will always try to avoid getting caught up in those whenever possible. Common sense prevailed.

            You’re last paragraph is just unnecessary fear mongering and speculation. If SV cuts a corner to save being overtaken, and I’m guessing you’re implying it would be an intentional cut of the corner, then he will be penalized. It was more of a talking point last year when Max took Kimi by going too far inside the apex, and he got penalized. This year there has been no such talking point and until something similarly controversial happens, it’s a non-issue. Not that Max’s incident was that controversial. He pretty blatantly cut way too far inside. They will have learned from that for this season and I’m sure there will be clarity in the drivers meetings.

        3. Mick Harrold (@mickharrold) “They don’t hit the walls at Monaco, Baku, Singapore and so on (often). Surely they can keep their cars within 10m of the track edges with no problem. Verstappen was a clear 50m+ from the track at one point.”

          That’s precisely why the actually racing can be better. Because there are no barriers they drivers can take more risks. When barriers and gravel traps are so close, they take less risks and don’t bother trying to pass.

  10. Anyone noticed that Renault brings his Long-delayed new MGU-K but the customer team don’t going to use in Austria. I would think Red Bull could use the extra power…. but maybe safe then sorrow i think.

    1. @macleod They would have to take a penalty as they have already used their two allowed MGU-Ks I believe.

      1. Yep, both RIC and VER would have to take penalties. SAI however, conveniently needs a new one…. and he can take it free of penalties. Renault is two years (!!) late with this MGU-K upgrade and I would not put it past them to have delayed it a few races longer than necessary on purpose, just to mess with RedBull.

      2. Probably will have to wait till more overtakeable track like Monza.

  11. I disagree with the COTD: I didn’t have any problems with the off-track excursions on the opening lap as there was a valid reason for that, and the drivers who did so made sure that they don’t gain an advantage from it especially Verstappen. Furthermore, the Stewards tend to be a bit more lenient towards these type of things on the opening lap of a race for obvious reasons than on the later laps when the cars aren’t bunched up close together anymore.

    1. I agree with you completely and disagree with cotd.

  12. Can’t say I agree with COTD, I don’t think track issues were an issue at any point over the weekend.

    Anthondy davidson (Who’s driven thousands of laps around Paul Ricard) made the point during practice that running wide on corner exit’s isn’t an advantage because of the way the kerbs are designed as well as the little sausage kerbs that were placed behind them.

    Additionally he made the point that the tarmac runoff isn’t standard tarmac, It’s mixed with tungsten & is very abrasive so even running over the runoff normally will put additional wear on the tyres so it’s something you really don’t want to do.

    On the first lap everyone that went wide was avoiding an accident & nobody gained any advantage by doing so. Had Verstappen not run wide he’d have hit the spinning Bottas, Magnussen ran wide avoding the same thing, Grosjean was pushed wide by Vettel at T3, Hulkenberg was then pushed wide due to been on the outside of an understeering (Due to front wing damage) Vettel & everyone that went off behind were avoiding the Gasly/Ocon crash.

    What would you have preferred, For them all to have stayed on track & driven into the accidents (Especially Ocon/Gasly who were in the middle of the track) rather than avoiding them?

    1. I think F1 and Tilke should take a look at the way the runoffs are designed at Road America, and how they can allow for overtaking without causing incidents with a minimum of paved runoff.

      For instance, the runoff on the exits of Turn 5 and Canada Corner have those little sausage kerbs across the runoff as well, so that anyone who uses it as they run wide loses traction and time, but is not likely to spin or cause an incident. But the runoff itself is quite narrow, and ends shortly after the corner so that drivers need to work to get the car back on track before they hit grass. It’s just enough to give a driver being overtaken room to escape, concede the position, and get back on track.

      The exit of turn 6 has paved runoff out to the wall, but between it and the track, there’s a kerb to upset the car, a half a car’s width of pavement with low-traction rumble strips to let you save it, and then a car’s width of grass to punish you if you don’t. Turn 8 has a strip of paved runoff around the outside of the corner, but it has a slight drop onto it, like a shoulder on a country road. And again, all of these runoffs end relatively close to the corner exit so that you can’t run wide and long and really abuse it like you can on most Tilke tracks.

      Tilke claims that the vast tarmac runoff is necessary for amateurs, but Road America hosts all sorts of amateur club races and open track days, yet have also managed to retain the character of the circuit.

  13. Completely agree with the COTD. When the run off areas are not punishing enough, you’re going to have drivers using the incidents at the start to gain an advantage.

    I’ve never been a fan off non-punishing run off areas as I think it doesn’t penalise a driver for going off circuit. After seeing Paul Ricard and Abu Dhabi it almost feels like a bygone era where drivers used to make a mistake and get on the grass or gravel and lose a chunk of time to the car following behind. Now these circuits are designed as get out of jail cards for driver error.

    1. And this past weekend nobody used the runoffs to gain an advantage. And not all circuits are designed with get out of jail cards for errors. And at all circuits when a driver blatantly cuts a corner without the reason of safety and accident avoidance, and he gains a lasting advantage and even passes someone, he gets punished by at least having to give a spot back.

      You’re not entirely wrong, because of course there have been some debatable incidents, and of course more work can be done. It is not easy to keep the racing up and not squelch what little we have of it, while also policing the drivers from getting away with things, and many agree finding the right punishment for going off is the hard part. Something that slows the drivers enough that it wasn’t worth going off, yet doesn’t end their day and us being left with half the field finishing each race.

      1. @robbie

        You’re not entirely wrong

        You’re too kind.

        Something that slows the drivers enough that it wasn’t worth going off, yet doesn’t end their day and us being left with half the field finishing each race.

        That’s exactly why I’m mentioning grass and gravel traps as compared to concrete walls or barriers. There has to be a penalty for going off circuit. It’s a part of racing. It improves the show and tests driver skill.

        I don’t understand how you enjoy drivers missing braking points, or cutting through chicanes, to hold position or minimise lost time when they should have to pay a slightly heavier price for costly mistakes.

        1. @todfod Missing braking points is part of racing. Cutting through chicanes to hold position or minimize lost time happens too. When those things are done blatantly and on purpose they get penalized. Grass and gravel isn’t always appropriate. We know sometimes that is because of other types of racing that goes on at certain venues.

          A concern with your type of guarantee of some sort of punishment every time one goes off, is that sometimes it is another driver that forces someone off the track through sheer hard and legal racing. Yet you want those drivers punished further. Or you want them to simply back off and not race hard, which is the last thing F1 needs. I don’t see how penalizing every off with grass and gravel, even for a bloke that gets pushed off, improves the show and tests drivers skill. Drivers will simply line up in procession for fear of daring to race with someone when going a little wide carries punishment. Overwhelmingly the vast majority of every venue carries the reality that staying on the track is the fastest way around it. There needn’t be the equivalent of punishing walls put around every track to channel drivers into a single racing line for fear of guaranteed penalties by hitting gravel or grass. That’s just too restrictive imho.

          I say let each incident stand on it’s own and be determined as each comes up as to what happened, and let the drivers breath a little. Give the drivers a little room to take a few chances and thrill us and create a little controversy and a little buzz, rather than just sanitizing further what many think has already been sanitized enough.

          1. Well said Robbie, completely agree

  14. I’m not sure of what the MGU-K usage is on the Renault teams, but I’m guessing they’ll only evaluate the new MGU-K around race 9 or 10 after the first one fails or is about to fail. Honestly, I’m not buying Abiteboul’s theory that the new MGU-K is better performance-wise, relbilaitys-wise and packaging-wise, which is why I don’t blame the Renault customers to just sit back and see how the Factory team performs with it first.

    1. I agree. Not to mention that RBR would be facing penalties if it takes the new one.

      Given Renaults absolutely rock solid reliability record (just ask Cyril) I’m sure all the others will be looking to take it as soon as possible (not).

      I pity Sainz & Hulk though. They’ll be made to take the new one.

      1. What have Sainz and Hulk got to lose? It’s not like they’re fighting for wins and the WDC and WCC. Bring on anything new they can get their hands on, for they’re behind.

    2. MGU-K Usage is: RIC 2, VER 3, HUL 1, SAI 1, VAN 1, ALO 2. Ricciardo, Verstappen and Alonso would all have to take penalties to have a new one. Both McLarens will probably end up taking the new spec anyway due to how poor they’ll qualify even without the penalties no doubt.

  15. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    26th June 2018, 16:59

    It would be a shame if Mercedes don’t keep hold of Bottas. These are both “if this didn’t happen, things would be different” things, but Bottas should basically be within 10 points of Hamilton if they had had equal luck this season. Bottas has now missed out on 25 in Baku and missed a very likely 2nd here in France. Lost out on 18 and only got 6 points. So this is around 37. And if Hamilton hadn’t had the good fortune (of which I respect he looked a little guilty of and also praised Bottas) when Bottas had the puncture in Baku, Hamilton will have 7 less points

    So Hamilton would be at 138. And Bottas 129.

    Lets say I’ve been a little generous with Bottas and say he would be between 12 and 18 points behind if everything was fair between these 2 drivers. But even with that amount, Bottas has there or there about on par with Hamilton this year. And that surely has to be considered impressive. We are now over a 3rd into the season and given that Hamilton and Bottas seem to get on, I just can’t see it worth the risk of kicking Bottas out now. He should get another years contract and if he gets even better than this, maybe more than a years contract added on. he looks like he’s a safe, solid option.

  16. Michael Brown (@)
    26th June 2018, 20:36

    COTD makes it sound like people were abusing track limits like in USA 2017. Didn’t see any of that in qualifying and the race. Even a track with runoff like this can be well-designed.

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