Carlos Sainz Jnr, Pierre Gasly, Silverstone, 2019

Beating Gasly “will be tricky” for Sainz despite five-point gap

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In the round-up: McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says the team is realistic about the prospects of Carlos Sainz Jnr beating Pierre Gasly in the drivers’ championship, despite the Red Bull driver being only five points ahead.

What they say

Seidl was asked if he thought Sainz, who is seventh in the championship, could finish any higher:

I think the only guy you could really get is Gasly because I think he’s only five points away from him. Of course we will try to do that, Carlos will try to do that. But at the same time we know that the Red Bull car is significantly quicker than our car. And Gasly also had some good races in the first half of the season so it will be tricky but we will try.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

What would Toto Wolff’s promise of a “soft landing” for post-Mercedes Valtteri Bottas mean in reality?

Where’s he going to give Bottas a ‘soft landing’ when he can’t even ‘land’ Ocon?

If Bottas leaves, where’s he going? Back to Williams, going from the fastest car to the slowest? To Ferrari only if Vettel leaves? To Red Bull if Red Bull choose to hire outside their programme?

His options are more limited than Ocon’s.
Adam (@Rocketpanda)

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35 comments on “Beating Gasly “will be tricky” for Sainz despite five-point gap”

  1. If Bottas leaves he could go to Renault.

    That’s what Renault is waiting for, the Merc decision.

    1. Alternatively Bottas could be the lead driver for Mercedes FE team.

      1. @hohum – I didn’t think of that previously, very interesting destination. If it comes to pass, it will also sadly underscore the belief that FE is F1’s reject pile.

      2. if he doesn’t find an F1 seat he will go to rally

        1. Yeah, I’m sure rallying is a lot more exciting and fun than driving electric dinky toys around improvised mini-tracks, collecting fan-boost, mushrooms, gold coins and driving through special lanes for cute benefits.

    2. Everyone is waiting for Mercedes decision. Maybe Racing Point and Ferrari aren’t very interested, but I think the other teams might be prepared to wait a while to see if Bottas comes knocking on their door.

  2. Those dreaded words I hoped never to hear again “tyres dropped off a cliff”, okay so the novelty of 1 car on new tyres chasing down a pitstop-time deficit to pass a leading car crippled by worn out tyres seemed to amuse fans in Hungary, but would you want to see it every race ? It reminds me of the early refuelling era, watching Damon Hill in a Williams building up a great lead but knowing that it was inevitable that he would lose the race whilst in the pits due to poor tactics.

    1. You might regret it @hohum, but you make the perfect point why degrading tyres are preferred over refuelling.
      Degrading tyres will see a driver fall back when pitting and then having to fight hard to overtake on track.
      Refuelling however is more likely to see the lead change when pitted.

      I agree though that ‘off the cliff’ should not be part of the tyre design. I prefer smaller degradation offset by shorter pit stops (cut final corner, reduce stretch with reduced pitlane speed, etc.)

    2. Jose Lopes da Silva
      8th August 2019, 11:56

      That’s how we got the amazing show of the Spanish GP of 1986.

  3. Meh who cares what dullard Sainz does. Norris is already owning his butt, so it’s only going to get worse next year. McLaren really needs to get a talent in to pair with Alando…

    1. Sainz – 58 points
      Norris – 24 points

      Yeah, no.

  4. I am glad the Guardian article… (whoa, four words I never thought I’d type!).

    Back to the comment – I am glad the Guardian article brought up the Al-Yamamah arms deal – The UK selling arms in exchange for oil. The Serious Fraud Office investigation into an associated slush fund? Discontinued on the grounds of public interest.

    So while people criticize F1 for looking at venues in the Middle East, they should not ignore the fact that powerful countries like the UK and US are themselves in bed with many of these regimes and are enabling their behaviour, not to mention any other country that imports oil from there. And all that has been done to fulfil the domestic oil demand.

    1. Agree. Let’s banned SA, UK & US races for better world.

      1. @ruliemaulana – my point is the other way around… if we use selective morality to only criticize some venues, that same selective approach can be used to encompass pretty much any venue on the grid, and we’d be left with no F1. :)

        Well, maybe Iceland and Antarctica might still be palatable. Although Pirelli will throw a fit at having to provide tyres for those environments.

        1. @phylyp

          You’re right. Years ago, when the Bahrain race was coming, there was a lot of hoo-haa about it the media. I made a similar comment about “selective morality”. Pretty much every country on the F1 calendar is guilty of crimes, some more so than others.

        2. @phylyp, Never mind Pirelli, you’ll never hear the end of it from the penguins.

          1. @hohum – here’s my cunning plan to win them over – bring in grid penguins ;)

    2. Just how bad does a regime have to be in your book before you say no? What level of brutality and horror must it descend to for it to be beyond the pale? If SA doesn’t make the cut then surely no one would.

  5. Not a good metric to judge drivers by (e.g. Perez/Albon/Norris come off looking worse than people would rate them), but a reasonable one to see where they stand relative to their teammate:

    For every point Vettel scores, Leclerc scores 0.84
    For every point Ricciardo scores, Hulkenberg scores 0.77
    For every point Hamilton scores, Bottas scores 0.75
    For every point Stroll scores, Perez scores 0.72
    For every point Kvyat scores, Albon scores 0.59
    For every point Magnussen scores, Grosjean scores 0.44
    For every point Sainz scores, Norris scores 0.41
    For every point Verstappen scores, Gasly scores 0.34
    For every point Raikkonen scores, Giovinazzi scores 0.03

    No stat for Williams, given their drivers are 1-0 on points.

    Source: ESPN

    1. I’ve said it once and I say it again: “Stroll would be WDC contender in dominant car like Mercedes.”
      Just like when he won F3 championship. Beating driver that known for as point getter like Perez is not easy task.
      BTW, Kimi is not destroying Gio, he just enjoying himself.

      1. @ruliemaulana Don’t get fooled by the Stroll stat, he’s been shown up pretty badly by Perez. He took a gamble with slicks in the German GP, earning him 12 points. Impressive, but that doesn’t make him a better driver than Perez.

        1. But Perez spun and crashed quite early, Stroll didn’t.

          1. @ho3n3r
            Meh, same for Kubica vs. Russell: Kubica didn’t make a mistake in a phase of the race that happened to be the only one that really mattered, which led to him outscoring Russell ∞ : 1.
            Despite the fact that Russell regularly outqualifies him by half a second or more, and always finishes ahead when he doesn’t make a rare mistake in exceptionally tricky conditions.
            Would anyone in their right mind consider Kubica to have the better of Russell based on that one points haul that, in all likelihood, will remain a singularity in the course of this season?

            Pérez is in a similar situation at Force India: He currently stands at 12 – 0 on Saturday, finished ahead of Stroll 7 – 3 times and scored 13 – 6 points outside of that one race with exceptionally tricky conditions that saw him crash for the first time this season, while Stroll made that one lucky pit stop in a phase of the race that happened to be the only one that really mattered, after spending the rest of the race at the back of the pack.
            This kind of thing works in a car that cannot score points regularly. In that case, single fluke results can define an entire season. Not so in a car in which every single race counts. In a top three car, a performance curve like Stroll’s would make him a second, slightly more useless Gasly, while Pérez with his consistency would be sitting on a comfortable points lead for which a single DNF would hardly be a noticeable setback.

          2. Yes, Perez spun and crashed. Stroll (who also spun btw, but didn’t hit anything) did well enough to stay out of trouble and he then found himself in a position to be the beneficiary of the final safety car timing.

            That was Germany and it gave Lance a big haul of points. But, it is just 1 race. Over the whole first half of the season, he has been badly outdriven by his teammate. I think he’s borderline F1 material and I can think of three handfull of drivers who are currently not or not yet in F1 that are better than him, but in the end of the day his dad bought him the team so Lance is in F1 for as long as HE wants to be.

          3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            8th August 2019, 22:27

            nase, Perez also crashed in Britain. At the safety car restart, he hit Hulkenberg and that ruined his race. Finished last – 10 seconds behind kubica. Of the bad results this year, I think Perez is possibly having the worst of the pair. But yes, Stroll is having far more poor results and overall in not close to Perez. In qualifying, he is nowhere near, but Race day I would say he is possibly decent now. But qualifying lets him down.

      2. @ruliemaulana
        He have had plenty of time to prove himself in F1, if he truly is as good as you say he would have zero problems getting into a top team given the economic backing he has. If he has to buy collapsing teams to stay in the sport that kinda tells you everything about what the teams think about him.

        If you remove the freakrace that was Hockenheim you will see the real stats in this list. Not taking away the success of the drivers that made it in Germany but these rankings are kinda messed up if they are only based on one race.

  6. Regarding the COTD: I don’t really see his options outside Mercedes being anymore limited than Ocon’s, though.
    Haas if they choose to get rid of one of their current drivers, the same with Williams, and Renault, and Alfa Romeo. The exact same number of alternatives.

    1. I agree @jerejj. Since it seems that one of the limitations for Ocon is that Mercedes want’s to keep the option on him if they need him (that stopped interest from RBR, just like they had to give up on Norris because McLaren didn’t want to let him go).

      Bottas is a proven race winner, he has seen and learnt a lot about how Mercedes operate too. I can imagine that he is capable of leading a mid grid team to more success. He could also be an improvement on Gasly at RBR, boost Renault, lead Haas etc.

      I guess Alfa Romeo is keeping Giovannazi since he is a Ferrari program driver, but to imagine a Kimi + Valtteri team would be pretty amazing there, with the current management, I could see them really being a challenge to McLaren and Renault.

      Even at Williams, I think he could do a lot to help the team build up if they really have turned a corner. And since Toto mentioned he’d be helping out, I figure that would mean a bit of a price cut on the Mercedes engine might be on the cards.
      That might also mean Bottas could replace Perez at Racing. Or even Stroll, if the team would be serious with progress instead of having Lance driving (he could be the third driver for a year and learn a lot).

      1. @bascb The reason I didn’t bring up RacingPoint as an alternative is that based on recent reporting, Perez seems set to (again) stay there although the same is true with Hulkenberg based on his words that his ‘most likely’ to remain where he is at present, but overall, I agree with your reply in principle.

        1. Yeah, I agree that Racing point is unlikely to change @jerejj.

    2. Bottas would be an immensely better fit with Haas than Ocon (whichever of the current drivers stays behind).
      Even at Racing Point he would fit better but misses the family ties (sugar or blood daddy), and also at Williams.
      His chances at RBR next to Max are a million times better than Ocon’s.

      That being said, I think Mercedes should stick to the known factor and observe from afar if Ocon or Russell will be their next star in a couple of years. My money is on the latter.

  7. I really feel sorry for Gasly, he finished 6th last year in Hungary in a significantly less competitive car. I get the sense there is a fundamental characteristic of the Red Bull which clashes with his driving style, as set up changes don’t seem to have cured the issue. I recall Jenson Button being off the pace in the first half of 2012 before getting the car balance right, unfortunately Gasly isn’t as well established in the sport so unless he improves soon I fear Red Bull will lose patience.

    1. Look, Gasly is a GP2 champion, was runner up in European Formula Renault before that and runner up (should have won really if not for that ‘canceled’ race) in the Japanese Super Formula after. The guy can drive, period.

      As for the car not being suited to his liking, that’s tough luck but as a topline talent, he should be able to drive around it. The thing is, if you aren’t feeling confident and you are second-guessing yourself at every turn (pun intended), you are not going to find your way around it…. F1 is different from those other series, especially mentally and especially at a front running team with a strong performing teammate. If he can’t cope with that, he can’t bring out the ability his most definitely has. It’s that simple imho.

    2. I dont buy it. Hes in a racewinning car and hes gatting consistently lapped by his teammate after half a season. It far beyond “the car doesnt suit him”.

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