Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi, 2018

Bottas and Leclerc won’t be allowed to fight for 2019 title – Alonso

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso predicts the 2019 F1 season will see another championship fight between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

What they say

Alonso doesn’t believe Hamilton and Vettel’s team mates will get a look-in next year:

It’s only Lewis or Sebastian that will win next year’s championship.

I don’t think that other teams will be quick enough to win the championship and I don’t think their second drivers will be allowed to fight.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Is F1 doing the right thing by addressing the weight advantage shorter drivers inevitably benefit from?

Your physical characteristics are generally important in sport and give you advantages and disadvantages. For instance in athletics I was at an advantage if I was selected in lane one for indoor meets in the 400m as I was shorter and therefore not affected by the tight corner. I would also then have the advantage of seeing the field in front of me. Tall basketball players have an advantage…

Are we saying that tall basketball players should have to run around on their knees in an effort to make it more fair for 5ft players wanting to do well in the sport? Should we put weights and stilts on jockeys to make it fair?

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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55 comments on “Bottas and Leclerc won’t be allowed to fight for 2019 title – Alonso”

  1. Oh come on, does no-one remember 2007?

    1. Yes. What about it?

      1. I think what he’s getting at is that if Leclerc or Bottas start better than Vettel and Hamilton they’ll be allowed to fight for the title.

  2. Michael Andretti’s comments about his time in F1 have gone from embarrassing to downright delusional.

    1. I think many would agree that the reason why Michael did not succeed was because of his own failures.

      Whilst Mika moved to Woking so he could spend more time pounding round test circuits and working with the mechanics at the team to develop the car and helping perfect set ups, Michael stayed in the US and made little effort at all to engage with the team – he thought that it was enough to fly in to the race weekend on Friday, do the race and then fly back on Sunday.

      Considering that was a period with particularly technologically complex cars, his attitude of “let the test drivers sort it out” really did not help him – he never adapted to the cars, whilst the mechanics came to resent a driver whom they saw as arrogant, lazy and unhelpful compared to Mika, whom they rapidly bonded with.

      Now, it is true that he did have some misfortunes along the way with reliability issues, and it is true that Ron was never hugely keen on Michael to begin with, but ultimately Michael’s problems were predominantly self inflicted. It was as if he thought that he could turn up and succeed simply by virtue of being an Andretti, rather than through his own efforts.

      1. Spot on.
        Michael just didn’t see how far, far more professional the sport (and especially at McLaren)had become since the days when Mario was on the circuit.

  3. There is a common theme when it comes to failed/flopped drivers at Mclaren, and thats Ron Dennis.

    I think the man thrived on conflict, perhaps thats what made him tick. Why put 2 top drivers in your team if your intention is to only support one? You’ve got to have some sort of fetish for tense environments. From Prost to DC to Montoya to Alonso, and even Andretti, everyone tells a similar story. Sure, one can blame the driver for their failures, but the commonality is undeniable.

    1. I don’t think Ron thought he was putting 2 top drivers in his cars in 2007, he thought he was putting a world champion and a rookie in them. Little did he know how good that rookie would turn out to be.

    2. @jaymenon10, in the case of Prost and Senna, it was actually Prost who persuaded Ron to hire Senna – Ron’s original preference was to hire Nelson Piquet Sr.

      As for Montoya, it has to be said that he didn’t exactly help himself with his quadbiking accident in 2005 – the one that was covered up as a “tennis injury”, though I think in later years Whitmarsh did confirm that it was because Montoyta crashed whilst riding a quadbike.

      1. The original comment is correct about Ron though, yes those drivers made mistakes along the way Ron’s management was poor or purposely one sided.

        Yes Prost persuaded him to hire Senna over Nelson but are we to believe Nelson and Alain would of been a bed of roses?

        1. I think we can infer that prost would have annihilated piquet, given he was one of the fastest and most consistent drivers of all time. piquet was good – 3 titles is no fluke – but he was outpaced by mansell who in turn was made to look pretty ordinary by prost at ferrari. In this alternate universe scenario, senna would probably have gone to ferrari or williams in 1988 and who knows how that would have turned out.

  4. Re: COTD – The basketball player comparison in reference to F1 is a stretch, to say the least.

    Muggsy Bogues is 5′ 3″, played in the NBA for 14 seasons, can dunk a basketball and I’d wager he can fit in an F1 car. On the other hand you have Shaquille O’Neal.

    Wonder why jockeys in horse racing are not used as a more common comparison.

    1. He couldn’t dunk – maybe you are thinking of Spud Webb.

      1. He couldn’t dunk – maybe you are thinking of Spud Webb.

        Muggsy could dunk. He said so himself many times. His team mates also attested to him dunking in practice, though he never did in a game. Also, Muggsy has a confirmed 44inch vertical leap – more than enough to get above the rim.

        In an interview with Coach Mag, he said “I never dunked in an NBA game… but I can dunk a basketball no problem”. When asked why he never dunked during a NBA game, he said it would be “difficult, unnecessarily energy-consuming”.

    2. If weight limits are unfair then let’s get rid of weight limits in boxing and mma as well…

      1. @socksolid – Or maybe F1 divisions by weight class? :-)

    3. Mugsy couldn’t dunk. As John mentioned, it was Spud Webb who was 5.6″ and could dunk. I think he won a dunk contest at the all star game as well.

      Regarding the COTD. I don’t think it’s a good comparison. In basketball, if you don’t have a 7 foot frame, you would probably excel in playing a position that requires agility, speed and more skill. Probably a point guard.

      If F1, if you’re tall and heavy, it’s a disadvantage you cannot overcome just due to the laws of physics.

      Poor comparison I’d say.

      1. Another point is that it would be very difficult technically to level the field for basketball players while it is quite easy in F1. Why should F1 not propose a fair contest if they can because other sports can’t? Especially that they are not compensating for drivers inability to drive (such as handicap in golf).

        The other benefit of this is that drivers will have a better life and that’s probably the best part of this new rule. Most were on a diet to get a bit of lap time advantage and that’s wrong if there is a possibility for them to be healthy and competitive.

        1. I don’t look at F1 drivers thinking they are demigods because of how light they are. Our aw is about their driving.

        2. @jeanrien – “Why should F1 not propose a fair contest if they can because other sports can’t? Especially that they are not compensating for drivers inability to drive (such as handicap in golf).”

          Well said.

    4. @bullmello, I might be out of touch here but I definitely remember race-horses being given a weight to carry and jockeys with saddles weighing in after the race.

      1. @hohum – Interesting concept… ;-)

  5. Only took reading the Williams tweet by @keithcollantine 3 times before comprehension set in. Doh, LOL

    1. Duncan Idaho (@)
      19th October 2018, 3:26

      I noticed the six wheeler next in the feed – imagine the pitstop.

    2. @keithcollantine, but Claire is only DEPUTY Team Principle, Frank still runs the show!

      1. Clearly high times they change that now, modern times and all ;)

    3. I am not a political conservative in any way, but that was IMO a dumb tweet. English is a non-gendered language, and the possessive “his” has been historically used to refer to an arbitrary item. No reasonable court in the land or regulatory body will interpret it as referring solely to a biological male.

      I guess we should change the word “history” to “his/herstory” or “theirstory” too, right?

      1. @thepostalserviceisbroke ridiculous comment in every way.

        1. Because…?

  6. Seriously though. As a McLaren fan I spent most of that season praying for andretti to give up the seat to mika. Mika out qualified senna in his first race in the same car. Mika pulled of the greatest overtake of all time. He was respected by Schumacher as one of the quickest guys he ever raced against. Andretti dude get a grip. You were to slow and got replaced. Deal with it.

  7. Honestly, as a long-time American F1 fan, the races being normally between 5-7am doesn’t really bother me as I never worry about missing work lol

    Also, in regards to the COTD, i agree completely… Genetics and gender play a huge role in sports whether we want to admit it or not. That’s not to say if you’re like me (5’4″) that you can’t make an NBA roster, just that you’ll be an exception; not the norm. That’s ok. Everybody can’t do everything.

    1. agree, set the DVR and start it when i wake up. That’s my one complaint left with F1TV, you can watch it live or watch the replay, but can’t start from the beginning when the race is half over which is what normally happens with me.

      1. @lancer033, You need a better DVR, all the DVR’s I rented from comcast (Motorola I think) allowed me to start watching from the beginning whilst recording was happening but I was surprised to find the DVR I bought here from Aldi would not allow me to do that so replaced with another brand that would, it died and my current one also allows late start viewing.

        1. @HoHum Sorry if i wasn’t clear, that’s what I do with my DVR (Tivo Bolt, highly recomend it). It’s F1TV that doesn’t let you start the race from the start during the middle of a race. Don’t get me wrong, i know what they’ve done is a huge technical accomplishment, it’s just the one thing left they need to do.

          1. @lancer033, No sorry, my mistake, F1 TV didn’t register with me as a brand name, it’s not available here but I should still have been aware.

    2. Though 5am is a bit early, I do like the early morning races in Asia (living in Berlin, DE); gives me the rest of the Sunday to do other things; Evening races are a bit more difficult, and current US GP quali times are a tad late for my liking; then again, I’m up until shortly before midnight anyway. But I do see how that would be hard for a lot of casual fans to get into :)

  8. Try watching F1 in Australia. Then come and complain

    1. Or don’t. If you don’t like it, nobody’s forcing anyone to watch.

      I love watching here in the US… it’s 2018, entertainment events that I don’t attend in person start and stop when i say, not the other way around. I give it like a day or two, and if I don’t get a chance to catch up, I’ll let myself be spoiled. If not, avoid certain websites til I catch up.

      The global nature of the sport is inherent to f1… get over it.

      1. This is one of the most disappointing responses I have read on any topic. You flame the person above you , while simply telling the other person to “get over it”. We would never improve or do things better if we don’t state what we prefer.

        Bsck on topic.

  9. I live in the Netherlands and I actually love the early GPS like Suzuka. Getting up early, having some friends over and watch F1

  10. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
    19th October 2018, 7:03

    Two things:
    Firstly, on the Drivetribe article, F1 is on at inconvenient times in a lot of the world, I currently live in Australia and races here often finish after midnight. You simply have to make choices and by putting the worst times (1pm-4pm) in the Pacific Ocean (where there is hardly a big fanbase) and the best times where most of the fans are (Europe), it makes sense.
    Secondly, on the subject of the driver weight ballast, F1 is less of a physical sport and more of a skill sport. Most of the time difference caused by a driver is due to skill. Thus, it is annoying to see a very skilled driver not make it into a top team simply because their height costs them 0.1 seconds. Basketball and many other sports are more based on pure physique, and thus it is not a small difference. Secondly, it’s also just a subject of health: driver’s starving themselves on GP weekends to be as light as they can possibly be for the race is just unhealthy, and, if not managed correctly, could even become extremely dangerous; imagine a driver fainting at 300 km/h because they haven’t eaten enough.

  11. Michael Andretti has only ever really made a career out of talking out of his backside.

    Somewhere in Finland Mika Hakkinen has just fallen out his chair, doubled up with laughter.

  12. I feel for Michael Andretti. Every time the US GP comes around he has to answer questions about his experience with McLaren. He answers how he honestly feels and it gets blown up into a big story.

    1. Or he could leave it at something like, ‘it did not work out, many reasons, wrong timing maybe, will never know’ @mattj

  13. CoTD: When basketball players start wearing helmets, layers of fireproof protective clothing, racing boots, gloves and a 734kg lump of metal, carbon fibre and plastic every time they walk onto their 3-mile long court (at 200mph), it might be reasonable to compare the two.

    Until then, they’re totally different sports, in every way. Of course it’d be silly for tall basketball players to be punished for their physical attributes, but it’d be equally absurd to force LeBron James to run around wearing a HANS device.

  14. I fully expect Bottas to play the role of support driver next season but I’m not so sure about Leclerc.
    I suspect that Ferrari may be looking to the future and if Leclerc is pretty much equal to Vettel by say, mid-season, then they may (silently and with much denial of course) start to favour the new guy.

    I like Seb but an eager, highly motivated young driver may be just what Ferrari needs to get it’s Mojo back and start to gel as a team again.

    1. If Bottas gets off to a flyer next year, he’ll be allowed to win and I’ll bet right now Hamilton would be happy for him.

      Mind you to beat Hamilton he’ll need to be pretty special.

      Same applies for Leclerc – in his case I think it’ll be less likely as he’ll need a season to come to grips with the Ferrari way

      1. Bottas no, Leclerc yes. Bottas is not good enough and neither is Vettel.

        1. Undeniably both VB and CL would have to start off right away dominating their teammates. I think the odds of that are pretty slim. VB has the better chance at being at one with his car like LH so often is, but since all evidence points to LH being more at one with his car than VB, I’d say no, expect more of the same at Mercedes.

          And Leclerc will be immediately on his hind foot at Ferrari as they learn about him and he about the team. That said he will have the pressure of being at Ferrari yet will be in a relatively low pressure situation not unlike DR at RBR in 2014. If CL doesn’t fare well vs SV it’s no surprise, but if he fares well, at least half the time, then it’s gravy for him. CL ‘can’t lose’ vs SV next year, in a way.

  15. I think they will be allowed, but the question really is whether they could do so or not, which is an entirely different matter altogether.
    – I see what you did there @KeithCollantine, LOL.
    – BTW, there’s a couple of errors in the DriveTribe-article: The most common start time for the races in the Eastern time zone isn’t 8 am anymore (nor is 5 am for the Pacific zone), but now 9 and 6 am respectively. Furthermore, I don’t find 8 or 9 am too early, in fact, I like the morning start times. The races where I am that fall on the morning hours are the Australian (8 am this and last season due to the race taking place on the last Sunday in March when the clocks go forward in Europe, and 7 next season), Chinese (9 am), and the Japanese (8 am) GPs.

  16. For Leclerc certainly not next year. It is Redbull, Honda and Max. For this trio the sky is the limit. But I think they will do everything to give Leclerc a fair chance to get to the podium whenever possible. Let’s see how this works out.

  17. Bottas isn’t capable, and I think Leclerc will be finding his feet so next year is too early for him.

  18. I can’t believe that Mercedes, or even Ferrari, would ever ask one of their multi-million dollar drivers to play second fiddle.
    What do you expect them to do? Move over for the other driver, obey when asked not to overtake, ruin their own race to just block the competition?
    nah :P

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