Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Albert Park, 2020

Ricciardo was in talks with Ferrari before joining McLaren

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In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo has revealed he held discussions with Ferrari over joining the team before agreeing a deal to join McLaren.

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Comment of the day

Will the budget cap really help close the gap between the biggest and smallest teams?

I don’t see why the common thinking seems to be that the success of the big teams is simply down to their having more money than the others.

Adrian Newey doesn’t get dumber if you pay him less. And even if the cost cap levelled salaries across the teams, I’m sure the majority of top engineers etc…. would choose to work for Mercedes/Ferrari/Red Bull than for Haas or Racing Point. The quality of the staff is what separates the haves from the have-nots and that quality is not going away with a cost cap.

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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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78 comments on “Ricciardo was in talks with Ferrari before joining McLaren”

  1. The flat spot race. I recall telling my father kimi’s suspension was going to go, it just kept getting worse. All of the sudden it goes, tv switches to kimi, race almost finished, last lap, it reminded me of catalunya 2001, what a shock. bottas almost had one of these.
    Ferrari is a fool for not signing Daniel. Mclaren might already be ahead of ferrari though.

    1. @peartree Still can’t make sense why they would pass on Ricciardo. Only thing that makes sense is that they have a long term development plan and don’t want frustrated championship hopefuls like Alonso and Vettel, but it smacks of lost confidence. With new regs you want as much experience as possible to get development going.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        29th May 2020, 7:57

        The answer might be as simple as asking yourself ‘who would be the best number 2 behind Leclerc?’

        1. And so they decided that that was not a question a serious team would ask themselves and they went for the quick driver that can fight against Leclerc to be Number 1.

        2. @coldfly Yes I guess that must be it

      2. Probaly Ferrari thought 2 fast drivers who wanted to be worldchampion was a bit too much after Vettel and Charles.
        So they took the more safe driver who can’t match Charles to keep the sfeer calm and easy.

        1. Man o man, how can Ferrari think that about a driver thas has not done absolutely anything special since mid-2018? If they would’ve thought that they wouldn’t have hired Sainz, who is the one that has been shining amazingly in 2019, not Ricciardo.

        2. @macleod
          The problem is that Sainz seems to believe in his own hype. He made it clear and said that he is aiming to challenge for WDC with Ferrari. If Ferrari found themselves in a championship winning position over the next years, I genuinely believe that they will have to deal with the most intense rivalry in F1 since 2007.

          1. Leclerc will be so far ahead of Sainz, it won’t be a problem

      3. There is a common misconception on this topic and Ricciardo is trying to fuel it. Ferrari is not a fool and they did not pass on Ricciardo, because they did not even consider him. Mattia Binotto himself confirmed that they talked to Sainz before they did to Vettel at the end of 2019. Sainz was their only option before Vettel. Ricciardo was never even close.

        1. Your insight into the goings on at Maranello are uncanny, almost unfathomable.

          1. I have zero insight, but I know how to read published stories. Google it instead of moan.

        2. ColdFly (@)
          29th May 2020, 8:19

          Mattia Binotto himself confirmed that they talked to Sainz before they did to Vettel at the end of 2019.

          A certain farmer in Perth claims that Ricciardo was in contact with Ferrari even before that.

          1. Sure, it is the same the opinion of a farmer in Perth and the Ferrari team principal.

        3. @heming49 you mean, you read a published story and form an opinion, then base your comments on that opinion.
          So your ramblings are probably no more accurate than anybody else’s.

          1. I gave no opinion. You have to know very little about F1 to know that if Ricciardo would have had the chance to go to Ferrari, he wouldn’t have let it slip. The thing is that he simply did not because Ferrari wants Sainz. So what? End of story, moving on.

          2. He has a lot of opinions for someone with no opinions.

        4. @heming49 What Binotto and Ricciardo said can both be true. It’s not one or the other. Ferrari may have talked to Sainz before the start of 2020, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t also contacting Ricciardo. It would be idiotic for any team not to assess all their options before choosing. Sainz may have had a contract with McLaren for 2021, or McLaren had an option on him, or Ferrari and Sainz couldn’t agree on a salary etc.

      4. I think they went with sainz simply because ricciardo drove worse car last year. If you compare sainz and ricciardo directly and ignore the car then sainz comes on top. More points, more finishes ahead. Of course it is flawed way of comparison because the mclaren was just much better car. But that is how it goes in f1. Even if everybody knows how big effect the car has the car is largely ignored. It is all about race finishes.

        I’ve said it multiple times that ricciardo is fighting against time in the mid field. Every season people forget his wins little by little and all people eventually see are his current results. Being 10th or 12th is not good enough for ferrari even if he could be producing race winning performances behind the wheel of that slow renault. The drivers he is compared to are driving ferraris, red bulls, mercs and mclarens. And those drivers will always finish ahead of him. If ricciardo was moving from red bull to ferrari he would have got that seat. But sainz had more points and that is all that mattered.

      5. @coldfly Ferrari usually signs the best drivers available, with that in mind lec was an unusual bet for ferrari @balue I was suggesting that maybe, Ricciardo turned Ferrari down. @heming49 perhaps Daniel believes McLaren Mercedes is a better option.

        1. How in the world would someone turn down Ferrari to go to McLaren? Williams has a Mercedes engine as well, so?

  2. about the COTD, Adrian Newey may not get dumber if you pay him less, but thinking that money doesn’t do anything in performance is, to say the least, naive. it’s not the same to have 30 engineers developing a little winglet, than having 30 engineers developing the whole car!

    1. That’s not quite correct. It’s actually a combination at best.

      You only have to look at some of the bigger budget teams to realise that money doesn’t necessarily equate to performance, nor does headcount.

      There needs to be a good leadership group and there needs to be engineer/designers like Newey that won’t get dumber if they earn less. Otherwise your 30 engineers will produce 30 pieces of rubbish while the 1 under good guidance can produce a magical piece.

      The budget cap will most certainly have an impact on head count in the short term but it may not necessarily make any difference to the quality of the output from those working. If the larger teams start to experience quality issues, I expect that what may happen is that overall salaries might take a hit across the industry and they’ll increase their headcount (but not their spend) accordingly.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        29th May 2020, 8:24


        You only have to look at some of the bigger budget teams to realise that money doesn’t necessarily equate to performance, nor does headcount.

        Ehm … you actually see quite clearly that the teams with the biggest head counts are untouchable by the ones with significantly less employees.

    2. What do Ferrari get for their extra $100 million each year, and their veto on the rules, and goodness knows what other special advantages they alone enjoy? They ought to win every race by miles. (But without their special treatment Ferrari would probably come last every time).

      Gobs of cash don’t always translate into wins.

      1. Ferrari would come last without their veto power or whatever? Don’t make me laugh, the advantage on the other teams was so massive they’d have been no worse than 3rd in the last few years they competed.

    3. Who is smarter? Newey with 50 engineers and 20 million budget or newey with 500 engineers and 100 million budget?

  3. Sorry but I couldn’t disagree more with the premise of the COTD.

    Plot the budget of the teams each season for the last 5 years or even 10 years. Then plot the teams finishing position. The correlation in the two will tell you all you need to know.

    Money buys hundredths, lots of money buys tenths, and obscene amounts of money buys seconds. The 900 person head-count of the big teams combined with the massive factories, cutting edge technology and equipment is what generates performance, not the brains of a few key personnel. Just ask Paddy Lowe…

    1. He’s not entirely wrong. It takes way more than just money and headcount.

      Otherwise Ferrari would win every season
      Why did Toyota and Honda fail so spectacularly when they spent absolutely obscene amounts when they were in F1?
      Then there was that team called Force India – blew away most of the competition with a shoe string budget

      Yes big budgets certainly help but being smart, having the right leadership and the right working environments actually make the biggest difference.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        29th May 2020, 8:26

        @dbradock “Otherwise Ferrari would win every season”
        Are you being obtuse on purpose? It’s not that 1 employee more will make you wdc, but that having double the number of employees and or double the budget will clearly increase the chances of being more successful.

        Why do people bring up such obviously flawed arguments in these discussions?

        Just like the COTD. Worse still, a remark that dumb gets to be COTD!?!?!?!?

        1. No actually I’m pointing out that throwing a shed load of money at a team does NOT guarantee success.

          If it did Ferrari would win every year but it doesn’t

          Yes of late those with the biggest budgets have been way clear but that gap was actually getting far smaller again because huge budgets favour teams in times of change and the 2014 change to the turbo hybrid era was one of the worst examples of that

          However look at McLaren – one of the bigger budget teams – it was dismal up until 2019 and was well thrashed by a bunch of teams with much smaller budgets.

          Look even further back in F1 history and you’ll see independents completely dominating huge budget works teams because they were better at what they did not because of budgets.

          So no – I’m not being deliberately obtuse – I’m stating the obvious – it takes more than a big budget to be at the very top of F1. Sure a big budget helps but without the Newey’s and the management skills of the Wolf’s of this era you don’t necessarily guarantee your place.

          1. F1oSaurus (@)
            29th May 2020, 17:22


            If it did Ferrari would win every year but it doesn’t

            You can say it again, but it’s still nonsense and you know it.

            It’s not about small differences, but it’s incredibly clear that the teams with 3 times the budget have a much higher chance of winning.

            Actually you can even see the divide in comparable budget groups:
            – Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull (around 480 million)
            – Renault, McLaren (around 270 million)
            – Racing Point, Torro Rosso, Alfa Romeo (around 150 million)
            – Haas, Williams (around 130 million)

            The order in which the teams finish is in exact alignment with their budget group.

            Look even further back in F1 history and you’ll see independents completely dominating huge budget works teams

            Ah the old, “Once in a blue moon there was an exception so this exception must apply all the time.”.

            Seriously stop acting like you are too dumb to understand all of this.

        2. @f1osaurus @dbradock While I get the gist of what @velocityboy is saying, I think it is inaccurate for him to say that the common thinking is that it is simply about money. I think rather the common thinking is that F1 is in large part a money game, but that of course there are many ingredients that make up a winning team, and we have seen examples of teams throwing huge money at their effort, to minimal effect. Yes there are some examples, particularly from years ago, of lesser budgeted independent teams having success, but it’s been quite a while. And to say money was no guarantee for Honda or Toyota in the past, while true, ignores that those years that saw their huge expenditure fall short, they were indeed beat by other big budget teams.

          Of course money is no guarantee but as @f1osaurus points out, it sure increases the odds immensely. That is as plain as day when one examines the history of F1. Just wanted to point out too, from my observation the ‘winner’ of cotd is not picked because they made a great point nor necessarily an accurate point, nor a point that Keith or Dieter would necessarily agree with, but rather a point that is debatable and furthers discussion.

      2. @dbradock except mercedes has the biggest budget, more personnel and the best paid driver..oh and had a Grand Prix! I’m not saying you are wrong, but Merc and RB are no force indias, they are the 2 best backed teams in the paddock. For once I have to agree with @f1osaurus .
        Newey had his disastrous seasons too and wolff didn’t save williams did he? It is never one guy, there is merit but the key is generally elsewhere. If only the japanese teams had veered f1 the way merc did with the hybrid master stroke. RB invested big, with 2 teams and now a track and a Grand Prix, insane. The stalemate in the rules is down to the top 3 teams having all the votes.

    2. The comment made a lot of sense in the whole discussion we were having about how both the budget cap and the aero handicapping thing are going to work out.

      Off course Money is hugely important. It gives you the option to throw money at all problems you have and at every idea you pick up from others and from your own engineers @aussierod. And it shows in the chapionship. That is one really important reason why the budget cap will have influence.

      On the other hand, when we compare Mercedes, and Red Bull too a lesser extent (in recent years), to a team like Ferrari, it is clear that here comes into effect what @dbradock brings up. While having money to throw at things is a huge bonus, given that the time to get to a good car and the resources used to do so are still finite, if you make the better, smarter choices and come to a way of operating that consistently improves your car that makes you a winner.

      Just look at how budget restrained Racing-Point has been for the last decade or so and what they did achieve with their budget. They clearly have learned to make smart choices to get a better result compared to teams with equal budgets.

      1. In the Hybrid era, Ferrari have simply underperformed relative to their budget, most would agree with that. And most would also agree that Force India has perhaps over-achieved the most relative to their budget.

        And yet over these seven years, that’s approximately 140 races, how many times has a Force India out performed a Ferrari on merit..?

        Money = performance. It’s clear as day.

        1. Ofc money matters but it’s not the only thing that does, that’s the gist of what some of us are saying.

          If you have 1\3 of the budget of another team in the pre covid era you will not be able to compete with them, if you have the same budget you may or may not do so (sometimes ferrari and red bull can beat mercedes, most of the times not).

          1. F1oSaurus (@)
            29th May 2020, 17:24


            it’s not the only thing that does

            No one claimed that it’s the only thing.

        2. Let me quote from my OWN post there @aussierod:

          Off course Money is hugely important.

      2. F1oSaurus (@)
        29th May 2020, 17:15

        @bascb How does racing point do any better than their budget would suggest? They are in a group of midfield teams with all a budget of around $150 million. They finish exactly where you would expect them to be on their budget. Well they should have been ahead of Torro Rosso, but still.

        Only Renault and Mclaren stick out with a somewhat larger budget. While Haas and Williams are further behind.

  4. Of course he was. I’m sure he talked to Ferrari and Mercedes and Renault and McLaren. The only team didn’t talk to was probably Redbull.

    1. There were talks with his manament and Red Bull but just talks nothing concreet. I am sure he didn’t talk to Alfa Romeo or Racing Point and Alpha Tauri.

    2. Maybe he did not even talked to Renault either! The thing is that Ferrari never shortlisted Ricciardo in their options for 2021 nor have never ever spoken about a conversation with him. It does not make sense. Ricciardo talked to Ferrari but decided that McLaren was better? Fake news by a Ricciardo that is trying to confuse fans.

      1. @heming49 talking to a team does not mean they offered you a contract, it means that you talked to them…

        To quote Danny Ric directly:
        “So yeah, I won’t deny that. But obviously it’s never really come to fruition.”

        So someone obviously asked him if he had been speaking to Ferrari. He replied that he had initial talks but they didnt offer him a drive. Not really sure what possesses you to call this fake news…

        1. It is not the same to say “I won’t deny” than to rather say it directly that the talks “happened”. It is F1 PR 101. He did not talk more with Ferrari than what Stroll did for 2021.

  5. Wow, the F1-insider.com story is huge if true. The Google translation made it a bit confusing, but seems Daimler is indeed wanting to step back from the F1 team, with a merger between Aston Martin and the current Mercedes team a possible outcome. Aston Martin Mercedes.

    Maybe the Bottas – Renault talks are not because of Russell is set to take his seat, but Stroll.

    1. There are a couple of articles on Essentially sports about this topic. I personally believe that this could be fake. Do you guys believe that this is fake?

      1. @balue
        @krichelle I don’t necessarily believe it’s fake, although I tend to not buy into things as long as they’re only rumors rather than officially confirmed. Neither I rule them out without knowing better, though.

      2. ColdFly (@)
        29th May 2020, 8:39

        The article doesn’t talk about a merger but more about having an A and B team.
        With the budget cap and expected changes in the commercial payment split it might be profitable to run any F1 team. Therefore, no need to merge teams or closing the doors. Investors can sell a team on as a going concern.

        PS Racing Point’s entry next year will be called Aston Martin Mercedes, with our without a closer cooperation.

        1. @coldfly “What would happen to Stroll’s Formula 1 team Racing Point (from 2021 as Aston Martin) remains unclear. It is quite possible that it will be used as a B team. A merger with the ex-Mercedes factory team or a sale are also conceivable” (through Google translate).

          For Stroll, the object of his involvement has from the beginning obviously been to get his son the best seat possible, and likely is what’s behind his plans now. It’s not like he’s doing it for money.

          Coupled with Wolff’s recent negative comments about how he has been disillusioned and very disappointed (paraphrasing) by some unspecified individuals that could well be Kallenius, and his investment in Aston Martin, it could all point to that Daimler is ending their F1 team, especially with the covid effect as well.

          1. ColdFly (@)
            29th May 2020, 9:40

            Google Translate is clearly better at reading comprehension than I am ;)
            As a glass half full person I clinging on the part where it states that teams might now very be financially viable.

            I don’t believe Sr Stroll’s involvement is to get his son the best seat. He seems to be a cunning business man experienced with luxury brands, who loves cars. Both investments can stand on its own financial legs if the companies are restructured smartly.

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            29th May 2020, 17:31

            @balue @coldfly Why would a merger negate the scenario ColdFly described? Wouldn’t the combination of Torro Rosso Red Bull under one mother company be similar?

            Besides the article also suggests this scenario:
            “Gut möglich, dass es als B-Team eingesetzt wird.”

      3. Well, we dont know but is likely that parts are true. Mercedes has no business in F1 if you anounce that your company is focussing on electric from now on. Toto, Stroll, Aston Martin all connected (also financially). So likely Mercedes would like to deliver some engines but will be less keen of running an entire team. What I find interesting is to see what Liberty is going to do with F1 and Formula E. I feel they will need to merge to reflect society. But from money perspective Liberty might want to exploit both as long as possbile. That may turn out to be a mistake, or not. Let’s see

    2. @krichelle @jerejj The story is also by Auto Bild Motorsport and Sport1, so there’s some weight here, but still rumours of course.

      1. Are those sites simply repeating what is said on another site though? And how reliable is the original source, along with the sites repeating the story (doesn’t Bild have a bit of a poor reputation)?

    3. To be honest, it doesn’t really tell us more than the article we had on here in Januari @balue, @krichelle, @jerejj, @coldfly. This only gives a tad more info about Wolff stepping into a role more like what Nikki Lauda did before, where Wolff more or less reported to Niki.

  6. pastaman (@)
    29th May 2020, 2:04

    Daniel “admits” to talking with Ferrari.

    Breaking news! The sun rises in the east.

    1. Good one! The thing is that why does Ricciardo is saying this now? Did he really choose McLaren over Ferrari? It makes no sense because McLaren confirmed that they went for Ric once Sainz left. Ricciardo did not talk seriously with Ferrari, no more of what Magnussen or Hulkenberg did. Move on Ric.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        29th May 2020, 8:41

        I appreciate that you have a man crush on Sainz, but who do you think you are to call DaniRic a liar.

        1. @coldfly Lol yes he does doesn’t he.They need to get a room i think.

        2. I do not appreciate, on the other hand, your crazy and unlimited man crush on Ricciardo which leads you to posdt hate in every single Sainz post. Let it be man, find a hobby.

      2. My guess is @heming49 that someone asked Ricciardo about whether he had talks with Ferrari. That is what journalists do. And then the answer is reported in a story. Makes sense, right?

        I think it also makes perfect sense for Ferrari to talk with both Sainz and Riccardo, until they weigh the pros and cons of both and decide on one of them.

        1. You are absolutely right and it makes sense. The thing is that Ricciardo is trying to show off like he was negotiating with Ferrari. What is the purpose of that? You ended up in McLaren. It would make sense as well, as you very well say, if Ferrari wanted to talk to several drivers, but the thing is that Mattia Binotto said that they did not, they just wanted Sainz.

          1. Makes sense. They need a good second driver and Ricciardo will not play wingman.

  7. Vettel doesn’t follow orders anyway unless they fit his needs. Why would he now?

    1. Maldanado stating the obvious.

      1. Regardless he complies or not, it would take a fool to believe he would get preferred strategy anyway. He and Ricciardo are set to taste a really difficult season.

        1. @niefer On this front, the same also applies to Sainz. Concerning the part about getting preferred strategy.

  8. Oh man, Lady Luck is so whimsical sometimes… Nurburgring 2005 and Barcelona 2001 were simply cruel.

    On CotD, I think that’s because it is easier to get charmed by concepts. I wonder if it will be a surprise when Haas and Williams are still fighting for the mid-pack. Then I guess reverse grid will finally get a go.

    On Danny Ric, too bad, now he doesn’t know? Now that there is no Vettel or Verstappen to take the heat he simply plays sort of nonchalant. Great.

    Finally, let’s just process the prospect of Lance at a Mercedes works team…

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      29th May 2020, 8:29

      @niefer So you are saying that if the two teams with the smallest budgets are still last in the future, that that would somehow be proof that budgets don’t matter?

  9. whether the independent racing photographers they use to communicate with the world are considered essential

    Let’s not kid ourselfes here. I myself work in the creative arts and we are by no means essential.

    If anything, Motorsport photography is nice to have but not a necessity for reporting on a sport that already has TV cameras pointed at every inch of the track.

  10. F1oSaurus (@)
    29th May 2020, 8:47

    It really is a shame that Ricciardo didn’t get that Ferrari seat. 2017 and 2018 could have been epic with a proper driver at Ferrari.

    Even 2019 would have been so much better. Ferrari drivers wasted so many race win opportunities in 2019: Bahrain, Baku, Canada, Austria, Russia, Japan, Mexico. And then people say Hamilton is only winning because the car is dominant. Ferrari should have won all of those races, but the drivers made the difference.

    And then Vettel blunders on his own in races like Silverstone, Monza and he even rams off Leclerc in an act of vengeance in Brazil. Those were all entertaining I guess, but it’s not great racing or good competition that we are seeing. It’s more like a comedy act.

    The fact that Leclerc isn’t actually much better than Vettel doesn’t bode well for his talents. He’s clearly no Bianchi. Ricciardo on the other hand, completely destroyed Vettel (Vettel finished only 3 races in front of Ricciardo in 2014).

    I can only hope Sainz proves to be the driver to take the lead there and that Ferrari can actually put up a championship fight over a whole season for a change.

    1. @f1osaurus I agree about Ricciardo not getting that seat.It would have been a good fit for him.
      On another Ricciardo note,he looks a bit of a numpty in that cowboy getup ;) ;)

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        29th May 2020, 17:04

        @mobiusclean heh, maybe that is what cost him the seat. They need to think of the USA as a market :)

    2. @f1osaurus Pure speculation of course as to how DR would have done at Ferrari instead of SV, based on 2014, and supported by how DR performed in his last years at RBR when it was better than the Ferrari at half the tracks.

      It would be more accurate to say DR destroyed a Vettel that himself was ‘destroyed’ in terms of his psyche, and his spirit, with having the drastic rules changes done exactly what they were meant to do, which was in no small part to destroy the RBR juggernaut. As other dominant forces have had happen to them in the past.

      SV scored 397 points in his last WDC year of 4 straight. He then scored 167 in 2014. The team scored 596 in 2013, then 405 in 2014. Even a non-fan of car racing would see that and know this Champion didn’t suddenly forget how to win. It is as plain as day that SV was shocked to have a car that no longer in any sense whatsoever represented that which he had been so accustomed. He was dejected and destroyed and having an eager DR beside him in what to him would have been his best ever car and opportunity was just a side distraction for SV who had a mountain to climb to even start thinking about defending his title.

      Call what DR did ‘destroyed’ if you want, but let’s not pretend he beat an SV in his WDC car on full song. Both drivers had many issues aside from the car being bad, and that was only a sign of things to come as DR went from scoring 238 points in 2014 to 92 points in 2015, 3 back of Kvyat who beat him, they with equal dnfs. Did DR suddenly forget how to win? Even a non-fan of racing would know that there must have been other issues to get 148 fewer points, one year to the next. In 2015 SV was back up to scoring 278 points in his first season at Ferrari. DR went on to get destroyed by Max performance wise on track, when Max wasn’t being his own worst enemy and handing DR countless places and points.

      Hey I like DR, and it’s going to be super exciting to see how he does at Mac. That said, I can’t get real stoked about the guy that beat an SV when he was at his lowest point in F1, then got beat by Kvyat, then got beat by Max in all respects that count, but had some wins and some shining moments, and then ran from Max when Max had stopped handing things over and started keeping the points for himself, and then had a completely unspectacular and forgettable year at Renault. For me DR has much to prove, and I hope for more success for him in the future.

      1. Meant to add I’m not sold on Leclerc either.

      2. F1oSaurus (@)
        30th May 2020, 9:19

        @robbie No it’s a 100% proven fact. Geez.

  11. That is a really nice video from Di Grassi explaining what he sees as the merits of real car vs. factory simulator rig vs. home sim.

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