Hamilton ‘can guess where Red Bull will be next year’ after 17-second win

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton was downbeat after ending his season with “two really bad races.”

In brief

Hamilton expects Red Bull to stay ahead in 2024

Hamilton noted the ease with which Max Verstappen scored Red Bull’s 21st win of the season and predicted there will be more to come next year.

“Red Bull won by 17 seconds and they’ve not touched the car since August or July, so I can pretty much guess where they’re going to be next year,” he said.

However he was pleased to help Mercedes secure second place in the constructors’ championship, one position higher than they finished last year. “I’m really happy for the team,” he said. “We’ve had great reliability and they’ve done a great job.”

Ocon hoping to be fully fit for test

Esteban Ocon says it is important he is back at full fitness for tomorrow’s test at Yas Marina, having been unwell during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.

“I’m probably in 98 [percent] now,” he said on Sunday night. “I was probably 85 yesterday, so it’s going in the right curve.

“The biggest challenge is always a test, the whole day in the car when you don’t feel great. And that’s going to happen on Tuesday. So I’m glad that I’m starting to feel better because it would be quite a tough one. I’ll do that on Tuesday.

“Looking at how we struggled this weekend, it’s going to be a very important test for us. So looking forward to see what we can extract out of that.”

Buscombe moving on

Following Sunday’s race Alfa Romeo’s head of race strategy Ruth Buscombe confirmed she will leave the Sauber-run team at the end of the year.

“I can finally say that right now I’m sitting on my pit wall at Alfa for the last time, racing until the last chequered flag for the place I have called home for the last eight seasons,” she wrote on social media.

“I joined Sauber as a 26-year-old in my first ever season racing. What feels like life time later I’m so thankful to everyone at Hinwil, past and present for everything; for the rollercoaster journey since 2016; for the opportunity to grow as a strategist and into a life where F1 and the paddock is truly a home.

“Thank you, danke and grazie, for all the beautiful memories (especially P6) that will last a lifetime. Time for the next chapter.”

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Comment of the day

Are F1 drivers right to complain about the Yas Marina circuit’s off-camber corners?

Off-camber corners can be a bit obnoxious, but they’re also part of the challenge.

After all, its not just the chasing driver who can get it wrong.

As always, a mix of styles makes the circuit interesting and plays to the different strengths of each car.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Goldenboy, Lucas, L_A_Munro and Simon Stiel!

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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35 comments on “Hamilton ‘can guess where Red Bull will be next year’ after 17-second win”

  1. Good COTD

    I should make an observation about this :
    “As always, a mix of styles makes the circuit interesting and plays to the different strengths of each car.”

    1 -This means the better overall car can win on all circuits since the circuit will have everything, i don’t think that should be a desirable objective.
    One of advantages of past eras was that circuits had less of everything so some cars would be better in one and not good in others. Due to current simulation tools and competency this would warrant even more extreme circuit variation from Monaco to a full oval Indianapolis for example. A team like Williams could bet all their coins in Indianapolis, other team in Monaco. It would be a truly amazing car to be able to won both.

    2- Also a circuit can suffer from the dish with all ingredients syndrome.: no flavour.

    1. Billy Rae Flop
      27th November 2023, 5:03

      It’s all good and well enjoying the presence of off camber corners by the point is that they aren’t great for racing

    2. That’s a great addition. Ideally you wouldn’t want all ingredient on every track, but a mix. Like complementary colours. And yes, teams will setup their cars for the dominant characteristics. But one of the only good things about the chicane in Barcelona was that it was so different from the rest of the track that nobody really prioritised it, but cars with inherently great traction still got a meaningful benefit from that there.

      Off camber corners can help racing if the tracks are such that the drivers who lose time there have to carry that deficit for a while. It’s what makes Silverstone a great track. Once a driver is out of sorts, its quite a while before the next slow corner.

    3. Off camber corner are fine if you explicitly don’t want overtaking at that corner.
      Or, want to split the cars up between two straights, rather than allowing them to line up for an overtake on the next straight. One makes for a good qualifying challenge, the other makes for good racing opportunities. We need both, but arguably we should be prioritising the latter.

    4. Those are very good points Alex. It wasn’t that long ago that we used to have Ferrari’s doing better at high speed tracks due to superior engine power, but poor performance at low speed tracks due to less drivablilty of the engine, less downforce overall on the car, etc. We also had tracks which favoured Michelins, and others which favoured Gridstone. Nowadays engines are virtually identical, tyres have artificial rules to try to create some variability, and even the tracks themselves have to be harmonised, e.g. they must have a long straight ending in a hairpin corner. When you add in a dominant team, it feels like all the races this season have been the same.

    5. Chuckwalla raceway is a relatively new track out in the Southern California desert.
      Mostly flat (~+1°) sweepy corners.
      There is a +10° banked ‘NASCAR’ turn and one nasty -2° off camber around the outside of a hill.
      It’s a fun course though it doesn’t suit my car at all.


      We had a chance to run it a couple times while it was being built.
      One afternoon I was standing next to Micky Grana, the guy who was building the track.
      Watching cars go ’round, I asked Micky “which crazy engineer designed that nasty off camber turn?”
      Micky said “I did. I wanted to teach drivers to slow down.”
      He’s not wrong.

  2. No point in even tuning in any more after the last two seasons, it would be OK if the cars were good to look at, but they look and move like trucks these days. They’re not crowd pleasers anymore nor is the promoter, more bothered about likes and social media reaction and all that rubbish than true motorsport. WHERE ARE THE PROPER TRACKS!? BRING KYALAMI AND MALAYSIA BACK!!!! I don’t like Liberty Media at all and much preferred it when Bernie was at the helm.

    1. Billy Rae Flop
      27th November 2023, 5:08

      This is what I’m saying. The spectacular sounds looks and nimble attributes are gone, so watching a boring race isn’t interesting anymore. I’d rather watch porche cup. Not to mention the cameras show speed even worse than they already did a few years ago. Just compare an onboard of 2012 and 2023 the fov makes a big difference. I don’t really watch old races but flicking through the 2012 race had me on awe.

      Someone needs to start a new racing series to challenge F1, a series that can do what it wants with at least v10s, high reving lighter cars and all round better a spectacle. Get dallara involved keep it close a few seconds off F1 pace would do and some good tracks close racing

      1. Maybe V8 Supercars and Mt Panorama is something for you.

        And these are some good examples for a porche cup.

  3. That Wolff and Horner photo is as cringey as it gets.

    1. The look of two guys who – by all accounts – genuinely dislike each other, and know they don’t have to see one another for three months.

      1. That seems a solid take @red-andy

    2. Like the late George Carlin used to say; it’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.

    3. The Mercedes guy looks like someone kicked his b*ls, and he doesn’t want to show it hurt.
      The other guy looks like the guy who enjoyed doing it and get away with it

  4. Billy Rae Flop
    27th November 2023, 4:59

    17 seconds a couple months after they stopped development is actually insane. Enjoy a repeat next year everyone

    1. They almost pulled off 100% wins by a Red Bull car… I think that’s the target for next season. Max will be aiming for taking all those wins as well.

      There might not be a lot of F1 viewers left after next season.

    2. Did they actually stop development though, or is that an exaggeration? Even without bringing major upgrades you can still get performance improvements out of things like setup work.

      1. @red-andy They have their aero/CFD development penalty from their ’21 cost cap breach. This, stacked up with the balance of development regs, mean they only have ~60% of the development hours of the 4th place team (or however it’s calculated). I mean, they were pretty lucky that they had a car that was already significantly more dominant than any car in history, meaning they didn’t have to do any actual work on it short of refining set up.

        Ultimately, as per usualy, Red Bull have played their cards perfectly and have shown the FIA’s entire management of the series and the core aim for the current regulations as a busted flush – toothless penalties and a farcical balance of performance plan that has ultimately entrenched them in the lead for the entirety of the current formula.

      2. Robert Henning
        27th November 2023, 9:57

        They haven’t changed their car around much if we are being careful.

        — Couple of sidepod inlet changes.
        — Floor edge wing copied from other teams (3 to 4 times)
        — Diffuser and Rear Wing reprofiling, copied from other teams.
        — Two new specs of front wing.
        This is more or less their upgrade for 2023.

  5. What a great team RBR is. Their high level of technology, knowledge and the will to win is a great example for humanity.

    1. Do you seriously and in all honesty believe that Red Bull and humanity have any more in common than the letter “u”?

    2. Thanks for the laugh 007, your comic timing is deplorable

  6. Much respect for this team. True racers. As to Lewis comments: let’s look at the bright side. Should they be dominant next year it will only be their 3rd year vs the 8 year streak we had before that one. So hardly any reason to feel sad already now. I understand his personal disappointment but some perspective would be nice here.

    1. We didn’t have 8 years of anywhere near this level of dominance.

      Don’t forget Ferrari were leading the championship in 2017 and RedBull put up some great fights in that time too. We also had extremely close competition between Hamilton and Rosberg and a much closer battle with Hamilton and Bottas.

      You simply can’t compare the two.

      1. Yes, 2017 and 2018 were interesting seasons, you at least had intra team competition in 2014 and 2016, 2021 was an extremely tight fight and in 2019 you at least had 2 other teams that could win races on merit, it’s actually because of mistakes\issues that ferrari only ended up winning races halfway through that season, they had the best car in bahrain already.

        You’re left with an extremely dominant 2015 and 2020, but the others were certainly not THIS dominant.

      2. The Mercedes team was the dominant factor. It was only they had two about the same talented drivers that shared the wins. But as team Mercedes, especially the engine was the dominant factor.

        1. nowhere as dominant as RBR is in the last 2 years

          1. Tell that to a certain mr Perez

  7. Here we are then, next up The Roar Before and consequently the Rolex24 January 19:th -28:th

    Tune out, hibernate, celebrate the holidays if you are so inclined and remember to support your local tracks and clubs. And Racefans, a coin a month.

  8. Looking ahead to 2024 I cannot see Red Bull being quite this dominant again. I suspect one of the other teams will manage to develop their cars to a degree that they can make a more sustained challenge.

    Don’t get me wrong though. I don’t expect Red Bull not to win most of the races and if I had to bet on the WDC, it wouldn’t be against Max. Red Bull might only win 16/17 out of 24 instead of 21.

    1. So that would be a 2022 style season, that season had an interesting start with a nice battle between ferrari and red bull, then ferrari gave in, to the point they almost lost 2nd to mercedes in the end.

      1. Yes possibly or maybe a 2017 repeat?

  9. The chicane in-between the 2 straights in AD could be reprofiled so it isnt off camber. It adds nothing to the racing as it usually just adds separation between 2 cars going through it so by the time they get to the new left hand sweeper there is no overtaking opportunity, especially if there is no DRS, and lets face it the sport needs to work itself away from DRS.

    Off camber corners are ok if implemented in the right place, but I am a believer that positive camber corners are the way to go, as it can lead to multiple lines through the same corner, whereas off camber does not lead to multiple lines. A bit like the first big banked corner at Zandvoort

    1. The chicane in-between the 2 straights in AD could be reprofiled so it isnt off camber.

      Being off-camber (although, it is only very slight) is actually a good thing here, as it makes it more difficult to get the power down.
      The chicane adds a lot more to the racing at this circuit than many people realise. An extra hard braking zone (overtaking opportunity), some technical complexity for driving challenge, and then another acceleration zone into the following corner.
      The ‘new’ sweeper took away a major braking zone and common overtaking opportunity – it’s now a very minor braking zone into a medium speed corner – and while it doesn’t make the track any worse, it doesn’t make it any better either. It’s just different.

      I don’t think we should be looking at positively-cambered corners as the solution to F1’s rubbish racing, because it isn’t solving any problem. It isn’t even addressing the actual problem.

  10. Note regarding the 2024 sprint format. Of the various alterations that have been discussed the one that at present has the most support is this. This could change with further discussions planned during a meeting around the time of pre-season testing.

    Friday – FP (60 minutes) + sprint qualifying
    Saturday – Sprint race (Top 10 reverse grid) + GP Qualifying
    Sunday – GP

    It’s expected that the sprint race will no longer award points for the world championship & will instead award points towards a ‘Sprint cup’ in which points will also be awarded to the top 10 in qualifying to avoid the potential for drivers intentionally qualifying slower to take advantage of a reverse grid.

    There is however some concern that separating the sprint from the championship will result in teams/drivers not taking it all that seriously given how there wouldn’t really be any significant benefit to winning a sprint cup.

    Cars will be put into Parc-Ferme at the start of GP qualifying.

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