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Formula One: 2019 Season News and Discussion Thread

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Formula One: 2019 Season News and Discussion Thread

 
Old 12-18-2018, 01:03 PM
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Everyone keeps using the word 'retired' but similar to Button, he [Alonso] never used the word. So, plenty of opportunity to return.
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:26 AM
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Apparently they still need Nando to help develop the MCL34 ...


There had been speculation that Alonso could test McLaren's 2019 car, and both Carlos Sainz Jr and Lando Norris have said they would welcome the two-time F1 champion's input.

But McLaren is keen to avoid compromising track time of its all-new line-up for 2019.

McLaren’s CEO Zak Brown has now confirmed that conversations with Alonso have now taken place.
https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/m...-test/4315345/
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:10 AM
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Lack of car knowledge "shocked" Tost in first Honda meeting

https://sports.yahoo.com/lack-car-kn...090952321.html

Honda started supplying engines to Toro Rosso at the start of 2018 and scored its best finish of the year, a fourth place for Pierre Gasly in Bahrain, just two races in.

The team finished ninth in the constructors' championship with 33 points and Honda signed a deal to supply the Red Bull parent team from next season, replacing long-time engine partner Renault.

"We had very good cooperation and we have a very good business relationship," Tost told Motorsport.com.

"If there is something which we detect on our side, we sit together, we discuss it, and then we try to find a solution.

"When we had the first meeting together with Honda, I was shocked, because they didn't know things which are related to the chassis or power unit.

"If you are coming together with a new partner, first you have to sit together to discuss to find out where we need to be concentrating.

"But it went very fast and very well because they were totally open and so were we from our side."

Honda has declared that the communication it enjoyed with Toro Rosso was the biggest off-track change it noticed from its time with McLaren.

While McLaren grew increasingly frustrated with Honda, having set out clear requirements for it to meet, Tost said Toro Rosso was only interested in improving the collaboration.

"The Toro Rosso philosophy is generally that we are transparent because our only target is to be successful," said Tost.

"There are absolutely no politics within the team. We have a really good relationship."

Toro Rosso has previously declared that the quality of Honda's product was better than had been made to believe during its struggles with McLaren.

Tost admitted that the team was prepared for 2018 to be a difficult transitionary season, but its expectations were surpassed by the Honda engine.

"I said last year quite clearly that it will not be an easy season, because of technical topics, which we have to sort out, but in the end, I must say that the power unit from

Honda showed a much better performance than the chassis of Toro Rosso," said Tost.

"That means our deficiencies were not on the power unit side so much, we had our own deficiencies on the car.

"This was limiting us more, let me say it this way. Not the power unit. The power unit was OK."
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:45 PM
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Formula 1: Kimi Raikkonen's world is a very different place

There's only one Kimi
Can't believe he wanted to X-ray himself at the Singapore airport

https://www.bbc.com/sport/formula1/45239949

The private area of Singapore's main airport often caters for celebrities and the wealthy, preparing for security checks - just one more easy step before boarding their private jets.

It is usually light work for the security staff. But not during one particular evening in 2008.

A man places his bags on the conveyor belt. As everyone else expects him to walk through the scanner, he sees his belongings just about to disappear and has a brilliant idea. He jumps onto the moving conveyor belt himself. Panicked and raging security staff are brought to life by the unusual turn of events, expecting to apprehend a maniac.

Instead they turn him over and are faced with Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen, curious that the scanning equipment would give him "an image of the precise details of his body, and his bone structure in particular".


The Singapore staff "suggest leg irons and a tough interrogation instead".

During a lengthy career spanning the eras of Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, he may not stand out for the greatest race results. But there is far more to the Iceman beyond his cold persona.

He has been called the 'least bothered man in sport', but his move to Sauber for 2019 confirms his enthusiasm for racing is very much alive.

So why is a man of so few words such an icon in F1?

"More wine, Ron?" Just your average family dinner round Raikkonen's house
Loved for being bored. And impatient
There are many reasons why Kimi Raikkonen is both loved, and often loathed. His detractors point to an indifference to anything outside his own world, and below-par results in the Ferrari. However, he does possess something many modern sportspeople lack: character.

Those who dislike him can't deny his on-track shenanigans are amusing: he moans to his race engineers like a teenager when they remind of his tasks: "Yes yes yes yes, I'm doing the tyres, you don't have to remind me every second."

He often gets confused about who is in front of him on track. When the championship is at stake, he's not sure who has won it. There have been times when, following a heavy crash, he has stepped out of a wreck of a car with so little emotion, it is as if he's just parked up at Tesco.

And when there is animation, things get even more unbelievable, as evidenced during a hectic restart during this year's Azerbaijan Grand Prix: "Gloves and steering wheel, someone tell him to give them to me. Gloves and steering wheel! COME ON!"

Then there is the serious drama: He broke a Ferrari mechanic's leg during a pit-stop in Bahrain this year. In an extraordinary race, it was a moment that left us with our hands on our heads, and jaws on the floor.

It could only be Kimi.

Ice creams and military service
In Malaysia in 2009, the cars were on the grid during a mid-race postponement following a torrential downpour. Raikkonen had waited long enough for the restart, deciding to leave his car, and the waiting grid, to get an ice cream and a drink before disappearing into the Ferrari motorhome - to the astonishment of the other drivers, his strict paymasters and the millions watching.

His antics were even more outlandish away from the circuit; mischief has always followed Raikkonen around. During his time in the army in his youth, he broke the record for the longest time in confinement - about 20 days.

He was allowed special dispensation to leave on race weekends, but following one particular win, it got boozy, and he and his friend were late returning to the barracks.

Moments before attempting to climb over the fence in the darkness, they were spotted by military policemen. While his friend was thrown in the van and taken for questioning, Raikkonen jumped into a ditch. He then outran the security dogs, across fields and eventually flopped into his bed - drunk and covered in grass - and pretended to be asleep.

When later questioned about his evasive action he replied: "That's exactly what you teach us here; we're scouts after all."

A man of few words. Very few
British driver Jenson Button once said of Raikkonen: "He's a man of a few words, but he's all about the racing."

Quite literally: he didn't speak until he was three. His concerned parents took him to a specialist to see what the problem was... the diagnosis? His intellectual test results were higher than was average for his age. He just didn't want to talk.

Thirty-six years later, nothing has changed - he still doesn't want to talk, but it could be argued he lets the racing speak for him with his consistent podium appearances over the years.

As somebody who only removes his sunglasses to shower, it's no surprise he's the only driver in history to cause yet more controversy by wearing them on the podium while standing for the national anthems.

Born with a spanner, not a silver spoon
The Raikkonens weren't blessed with wealth, despite being immersed in the motorsport world. 'The Unknown Kimi Raikkonen' - a book detailing his personal life - describes his family as "petrol heads, who inhaled the same stinking air… their hands were covered in oil, and they lived from hand to mouth, or to be more precise, from hand to petrol tank".

Matti, Raikkonen's father, was a rallying mechanic who drove stock cars, while his brother Rami is also an engineer. Raikkonen didn't finish the mechanics course.

The family were well known in motorsport, yet finding funding was not easy. As Raikkonen's mother Paula said: "We needed more and more money all the time, but it still wasn't enough," the family often relying on leases from friends.

Away from driving, Raikkonen's enthusiasm for life usually involves something with an engine, but not necessarily four wheels. He's been known to drive in motorcross, rallying, and he founded IceOne Racing - a team who compete in the World Rally Championship - as well as Raikkonen Robertson Racing in Formula 3.

Slow speaker, quick starter
The Finn's entry into F1 was quick, but not smooth. He had driven only 23 car races when he was granted a superlicence, having spent his youth in karting.

Raikkonen took a step up from karting when landing a contract in England in Formula Renault in 1999. There were problems, though: He could not speak English and he had never driven a formula car before.

Knowing he should, he borrowed one from a Finnish racing team at Alastaro circuit. Shortly after, there was a new track record.

His reputation spread, and in 2001 came his first F1 test with Sauber. Team boss Peter Sauber knew he wanted to sign this young talent. Raikkonen needed that F1 superlicence, though, in order to be able to drive in the sport. He did not have one, nor enough points to get one.

With help from his friends, Raikkonen wrote to the FIA in English, arguing why he should be granted one. Max Mosley, then the FIA president, was the only member of the judging committee to vote against it. The Finn was in.

His career eventually gave him 21 race wins and a world title in 2007 - making it a laudable decision for the FIA board of decision makers.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Raikkonen seems disinterested in winning another championship. When asked this year if the champagne tasted sweeter 113 races and five years since his last victory, he replied typically: "It's the same champagne in second and third..."

It takes less effort to get a mere podium after all, meaning less of a spotlight at the FIA end of season awards, or at least it does if one doesn't turn up on stage drunk.

Legendary status
Lewis Hamilton says when he was younger, he played F1 on the PlayStation and he would always be Raikkonen in his car.

"I always dreamed of racing against him," Hamilton said. "It's crazy how you get to work with some of these legends. I don't know whether they realise the respect the younger generation in F1 have for them."

For every Raikkonen fan, there are those who dislike him. But Formula 1 fans cannot deny there's something different about him, especially as he's now the oldest on the grid after 18 years in the sport.

He rose to F1 with his passion for speed and talent in a car. It wasn't for fame, money, or the lavish lifestyle.

Those in his close circle say that what you see, is what you get, that Raikkonen has no hidden agenda. They add that he's loyal to those who are important to him, and family means everything.

"Kimi has got a big heart. He watches and listens; he doesn't speak immediately… Then when he comes out with a statement, it's often something considered."

Over to the man himself, then… "I'm not interested in what people think about me. I'm not Michael Schumacher."

Quite, but what he lacks in words, the Iceman more than makes up for in intrigue and cold, hard racing.

Which is just as well, because if you ask him about his grand plans for the rest of his life beyond Formula 1...

"I'll get a dog."
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:19 AM
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71 days (if my calculation is correct) to FP1 in Australia!
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:45 PM
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Whoa!
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:45 AM
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Binotto to replace Arrivabene as Ferrari F1 team boss


[...]

The move to replace Arrivabene has come after a season when management errors were viewed as one of the key factors in it failing to secure the world championship title.

Although having delivered the quickest car for stages of the season, the team failed to capitalise on its opportunities as Mercedes again came out on top.

The failure to deal with the issue of team orders in a clear manner like Mercedes did triggered unnecessary flash points between Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel at the German and Italian Grands Prix.

There were also a number of strategic blunders, one of which in Japan, when the team opted for the wrong tyres in qualifying, prompted a remarkable outburst from Arrivabene about the approach his staff were taking.

Arrivabene later switched his attention to blaming lack of progress with car development.

There have long been rumours that Binotto and Arrivabene had disagreements about the direction and approach of the team as it bid to end its F1 title drought.

Before the Christmas break, Arrivabene hit out at what he called 'fake news' over reports that Binotto was so frustrated with the situation that he could leave the outfit.

[...]
https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/b...-boss/4320196/
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:44 AM
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Being the team principal at Ferrari must feel like this:


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Old 01-07-2019, 03:41 PM
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https://autoweek.com/article/formula...intensive-care

Niki Lauda is back in intensive care.

The Formula 1 legend and Mercedes team chairman had been vacationing in Ibiza following his long recovery from a life-saving lung transplant operation. But according to Kronen Zeitung newspaper, the 69-year-old had to fly back to Vienna after contracting a serious flu illness.

The newspaper cited sources who said Lauda caught the flu because his immune system was weakened following his medical ordeal.

"There was an influenza case in his family, and he is treated in an intensive care unit with us," a spokeswoman for the AKH hospital confirmed.

Osterreich newspaper said Lauda should be able to leave hospital in three to four days.

"He had to go back to Vienna because there were no specialists in Ibiza familiar with lung transplants," the report added. "The situation was serious in the first days of the new year, but Lauda is already doing much better again."
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:37 PM
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Arrivabene is history, confirmed, or in other words, gets the Fiat Vader choke hold.

https://www.planetf1.com/news/ferrar...tto-appointed/
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Chief F1 Fan View Post
Arrivabene is history, confirmed, or in other words, gets the Fiat Vader choke hold.

https://www.planetf1.com/news/ferrar...tto-appointed/
Fiat has nothing to do with Ferrari anymore, right? It shares stockholders but they're completely separate now
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:29 AM
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yes I think you're correct
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:27 AM
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Arrivabene's a passionate team principal but Ferrari have made way too many strategic mistake in the past few years.
Wonder how Binotto will do. Seems so long ago the calm unruffled approach of Jean Todt and Ross Brawn running Ferrari
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:56 PM
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https://www.gpblog.com/en/news/29078...-for-2020.html

Valtteri Bottas must match the performance of his teammateLewis Hamilton in the 2019 Formula 1 season to keep his Mercedes race seat for 2020, says Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.



Bottas had a poor 2018 campaign where, despite a strong start, he ended up failing to win a race while his teammate, Hamilton, captured the world title.

The pressure is on for Bottas as Mercedes have an obvious replacement in reserve Esteban Ocon who will be looking to get a racing seat.

Wolff believes that one of the key reasons Bottas failed to perform in 2018 was bad luck, which included him losing a victory in Baku when he ran over debris on the track.

However, Wolff has made it clear to Bottas that he needs to up his game if he is going to continue to drive for Mercedes.

"Valtteri knows exactly where he needs to be next year," Wolff said to Autosport.

"He needs to have all the bad luck gone and perform on a level with Lewis. That is what is needed for the 2020 year. He knows very well that, and he has that in him."

Wolff recognises that Hamilton is in the form of his life but would still like the Finn to perform to the same level.

"Lewis improving means Valtteri needs to improve,

He needs a start where it's right up there with Lewis and all the other drivers for the championship. That is what he needs."

It is clear that Bottas knows what he needs to do but will he be able to do it in 2019 and keep his seat at Mercedes?
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:56 PM
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Is Bottas on borrowed time, or will an improved performance in the 2019 season be enough to secure a 2020 drive?
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:49 PM
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^ There was a article (have to find it) that talked about Ricciardo having talks in 2018 with MB and Ferrari for 2019.
Neither of the those talks amounted to a contract he says, but it shows there was interest.
I think Bottas is in the Mika Salo Finn F1 category and not the Rosberg/Rosberg/Räikkönen/Häkkinen Finn F1 group
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Legend2TL View Post
I think Bottas is in the Mika Salo Finn F1 category and not the Rosberg / Rosberg / Räikkönen / Häkkinen Finn F1 group
Amen
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:50 AM
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I didn't see enough from Bottas last year for him to be a WC even in that Merc. He just doesn't have it to beat Hamilton, Vettel, Recardio, or Max on a regular basis. I see him losing his seat to Ocon after this year unless he is able to somehow match Hamilton in wins which I doubt. That said he is a good #2 driver that can score points and follow team orders. However, the fact Kimi lost his seat doing the exact same thing means for the top teams anymore that isn't enough.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:04 AM
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Sadly, as a Bottas fan, I agree. Short of a phenom '19 season, he may be in search of another seat.
At the dawn of this era, he put in some great drives in the Williams, before the top teams pulled out the huge performance gap.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:04 AM
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Long-time Bottas sponsor leaves its driver and F1 behind

Finnish conglomerate Wihuri Group has ceased its sponsorship of Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes, the company claiming its involvement in F1 was no longer cost-effective.

Wihuri, which enjoys a diversified presence in a multitude of industries such as packaging, food distribution, construction equipment and jet charter services, had been supporting Bottas since the driver's junior years in motorsport.

Headed by Antti Aarnio-Wihuri, a former racing driver and team owner, Wihuri was instrumental in helping Bottas move from Williams to his plum Mercedes seat in 2017.

Aarnio-Wihuri confessed to being disappointed with his driver's 2018 campaign and Bottas' inability to win or challenge team mate Lewis Hamilton.

"That's right, we won't go on," Wihuri's chairman told Ilta-Sanomet. "With regard to the benefit of investing, we decided that it was too expensive.

"It was disappointing. Partly it was not his [Bottas] fault, some of it was due to the team and to technical problems, but I think he was quite weak at the end of the year."

However, Antti Aarnio-Wihuri conceded that racing alongside the outstanding Mr. Hamilton was a demanding task.

"It's difficult to be Lewis Hamilton's team mate, but Valtteri was also left behind by many others and was only fifth overall. It was a pretty weak result."

While Bottas' is contracted to Mercedes for the 2019 season, the Finn's future is likely to be conditioned by this year's results rather than by commercial or sponsorship considerations.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:05 AM
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https://racer.com/2019/01/09/kubicas...t-at-williams/

While there’s no way to know the level of performance Robert Kubica will reach in his full racing return with Williams, Paddy Lowe says the ‘proper driver’ is already having a positive impact on the team.

“It’s really been terrific to have him working with us already, and he’s a great team member,” Lowe told RACER. “Everybody loves Robert — in the office, in the garage… I remember when he first turned up the mechanics saying ‘Yeah, that’s a proper driver!’

“He’s just one of the old-school guys who kind of knows how it works, and that brings a certain element to what we do. I think this will be a fantastic combination with the rookie George [Russell] on the other side.”

This year’s Australian Grand Prix will be Kubica’s first grand prix start since the final race of 2010, with the Pole having suffered severe injuries in a rally accident in February 2011. Kubica returned to an F1 car in 2017 and was Williams’ reserve last year before being promoted to a race seat.

Lowe saw Kubica’s potential many years earlier and efforted to get him to McLaren.

“I’ve been a huge fan of Robert for many years,” Lowe said. “There was a time at McLaren when I was pushing to try and get him in there. I’m a bit confused in my mind which year it was, so it was probably to get him in there either in 2008 or 2009.

“At McLaren we lost [Fernando] Alonso in 2007, so that would have been a vacancy. So it was either that or whether we were reconsidering whether to keep Heikki [Kovalainen] or not the following year.

“I can’t remember but there was a time I was pushing really hard to get him in the car because he was clearly an outstanding prospect. Unfortunately we didn’t do it.”

Lowe says there is no way to tell how much Kubica will improve with regular races.

“Where it will go with performance, I think even Robert would say we don’t know. He’s very determined and a remarkable character to make this return. I think we all know why, it’s admirable for that. We’re all looking forward to seeing how it turns out, but we don’t really know and that’s part of the interest and the excitement, particularly from the Polish!

“He hasn’t even been driving and they’ve been some of the most committed fans across in the grandstand with flags in the rain and everything, and he’s not even driving! Every race there are groups of Polish, I meet them all and they want autographs and everything.”

However, Lowe says there is no trepidation surrounding the return as Williams is already convinced by the performance level Kubica has shown in the car to date.

“I think we might have had that before, but now that’s our commitment and we go 1000% around that. I don’t think anybody’s thinking with any nervousness. Robert’s our race driver, he’s 100% and we’re going to work with him without any other thoughts.”
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:28 AM
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Slashing downforce could leave F1 "no better off" - Symonds

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/slashin...151435638.html

As F1 evaluates ways to create a better spectacle following criticism that cars are too downforce-dependent and overtaking is too difficult, Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost suggested downforce levels should be cut by “at least 40-50%”.

He argued that only the drivers benefit from the current generation of cars that have immensely high cornering speeds.

Countering Tost’s suggestion at the Autosport International Show, title-winning technical boss-turned-F1 employee Symonds said removing downforce is “certainly doable” but a misguided solution.

“Often when you’re trying to get your head around an argument you should take it to an extreme and see what answer you get,” he acknowledged.

“If you go to the extreme of having no downforce, you’d say well that’s got to be better because you can’t lose something that isn’t there.

“So there’s some logic in the argument.

“However, it’s much more complex than that. You could produce a car with half the downforce of a current Formula 1 car but with much, much worse weight characteristics.

“It would be all too easy to do. Then you’d be no better off than you are now.”

Tost’s point was that reducing downforce levels would make it easier for cars to follow, harder to drive through the corners and increase braking distances to promote overtaking.

Symonds agrees that high levels of downforce were negative, and also lamented the lack of entertainment inspired by the emergence of the teams’ tactic of running much slower than is possible during races to complete a one-stop strategy.

“I want the cars to be quick, but I want them to be spectacular,” said Symonds, who is overseeing several projects with F1, one of which is to fundamentally improve overtaking for 2021.

“If they are really nailed to the ground I don’t think they are particularly spectacular.

“A rally car is spectacular. That’s something where you see the thing is absolutely on the edge of stability, it looks difficult to drive, it is difficult to drive.

“A Formula 1 car doesn’t always look too difficult to drive. Particularly at the moment where we’ve got the teams are strategically running at below the maximum performance to reduce the number of pitstops they do.

“Then the cars looking anything but spectacular.”
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:34 AM
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https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/m...9-car/4323699/

The British team is the second most successful in F1's history but has not won since the 2012 season finale or stood on the podium since the 2014 season opener.

It expected to challenge for podiums following its switch to Renault engines last year, after three years of pain with Honda, but the performance of its MCL33 was disappointing.

Since racing chief Eric Boullier left at the start of last summer, McLaren has made a number of major changes – culminating last week in ex-Porsche LMP1 boss Andreas Seidl joining as managing director.

Speaking at last weekend's Autosport International Show, McLaren CEO Zak Brown said 2019 would be "a very big year for us".

"We're anticipating a good car," said Brown. "The off-season development has gone according to plan but you ultimately don't know what the competition's been up to and the competition's tough, and getting tougher.

"We need good feedback from [new drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris]. This will be a much different car to 2018.

"We want them to race the field hard. Naturally team-mates race each other hard but they get along well, they are good guys and to move forward as a team we need them to bring both cars back in the points.

"They know that. That's the team goal."

McLaren says it understands the errors that led to its MCL33's fundamental aerodynamic shortcoming in 2018.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who has stepped away from F1 for 2019, scored a best finish of fifth in the season opener but McLaren finished in the points just twice in the nine races after the summer break.

Brown added: "All the men and women back at McLaren having been working extremely hard to make sure we build a better car than 2018, because I know these guys won't want to drive last year's car!"

Former Red Bull protege Sainz, who joins McLaren from Renault, has already said he hopes the Woking team "remembers" how to win.

Speaking at the Autosport International Show, he reiterated that patience was needed given how far McLaren had fallen back.

"McLaren has a very clear plan, which is hopefully in the near future to go back to what McLaren has always been: a winning team," he said.

"But it's a long-term plan. We cannot get overexcited. We need to work hard. The team last year was really far away from that.

"We've seen what we need to do to become bigger and stronger."
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:36 AM
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https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/a...8KI4MmIWQ.html

The possibility of a three-way title battle this season has got Lewis Hamilton licking his lips. The Mercedes star got the better of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in 2018, clinching his fifth world title in emphatic fashion, and although he is tipping his German rival to mount another challenge in 2019, he believes Honda-powered Red Bull could be up there too…

Red Bull are preparing for a new era, having ended their 12-year relationship with Renault in favour of using Honda power for the next two seasons, their decision seemingly helped by the fact that the Japanese manufacturer showed signs of improvements with junior team Toro Rosso last term.

Red Bull's last campaign was hindered by reliability issues, the team winning just four Grands Prix and failing to consistently challenge Mercedes and Ferrari - but Hamilton believes a potentially ‘epic’ battle is on the horizon if the Milton Keynes squad can produce a competitive package this year.

“I would imagine it’s going to be Sebastian (as my main rival), and Valtteri (Bottas) alongside me, but will Red Bull… they’ve got a great car, and they were very strong at the end of the year,” said Hamilton.

“They’ve got a new engine next year. Will it be able to compete with ours? I hope so, because that would be epic if Red Bull could really start to mingle with us a bit more, weekend in, weekend out.

“They’ve got to obviously improve on their reliability which has been a big downfall for them this year. So there’s lots of areas, but I really wish them all the best - and we are down for the competition that’s for sure.”

While 2018 proved to be another missed opportunity for Red Bull and Ferrari, Mercedes got the best out of their challenger to claim a fifth successive double world championship, with Hamilton winning the drivers’ title for the fourth time in five years.

And the British star doesn’t put his recent success down to any one individual factor, instead insisting that his confidence has blossomed as he gets older.

“I don’t think it’s been a year of particularly one thing being learnt,” he added. “As I’ve grown, I’ve understood myself more and more, I’m able to centre myself and censor things and balance things better, which you get with experience, as you make mistakes you learn from them.

“And I’ve just been able to be a better me all year long and that’s never going to stop, I’m going to continue trying to work on that and try to work on the output, on the energy that I’m projecting to people, my commitment to all the different things that I have.”

So, with Hamilton and Vettel set to lock horns again, an eager Charles Leclerc desperate to impress with Ferrari, and both Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly armed with a Honda-powered Red Bull, 2019 should certainly be entertaining…
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:37 AM
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Thoughts??

https://www.planetf1.com/news/next-s...ll-be-ferrari/

Lewis Hamilton’s next Formula 1 contract will be with the “Manchester United” of Formula 1, Ferrari, that’s according to pundit Tony Jardine.

Hamilton has been linked to Ferrari on and off throughout his illustrious Formula 1 career.

However, rather than make the move many have been predicting for years, the Brit re-signed with Mercedes last season.

He put pen to paper on a two year deal that will expire at the end of 2020.

And then, Jardine reckons, he’ll be off to Ferrari.

“Yes, after those two years [at Mercedes], he might finish his career [at Ferrari] and do a two-year deal with them, which would be fantastic,” Jardine told Express Sport.

“Any driver always thinks about going to drive for Ferrari because it’s the dream.

“It’s like the Manchester United of the sport. It’s the red colours, it’s the heritage, this incredible history.

“British drivers have done very well there.

“You look at [Mike] Hawthorn, you look at [Peter] Collins, you look at Nigel Mansell and the Italians absolutely loved him.

“They would love to see the Lewis Hamilton helmet in the red Ferrari, it would be absolutely stupendous. I’m sure that’s in the back of his mind and I’m sure there have been discussions in the past.”

But, Jardine concedes, it could all depend on how Ferrari do over the course of the next two seasons.

“But, if Ferrari were doing badly, I don’t think he’d go there,” he continued.

“Ferrari would have to be looking good and be a good prospect. But it’d be a great way for him to finish his career.”
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:40 AM
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The article reads like a press release. I suppose it isn't wrong, but I would expect more analysis.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:07 AM
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It's really hard for any team to stay successful indefinitely, so perhaps some truth or mostly rumor?
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:27 PM
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We are in the middle of the dead season. Nothing is happening at all. The papers have to publish something, so they just make things up.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:54 PM
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Plus, he is SO in bed w/Merc man.... I just don't know.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Legend2TL View Post
It's really hard for any team to stay successful indefinitely...
We can only hope!

I'm ready for a change up front...
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:44 AM
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https://autoweek.com/article/formula...f1-engine-2019

Mercedes could once again be about to pull away from its rivals in the horsepower department.

Last year, Ferrari closed the gap on the German team while Renault and Honda also made progress. But La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that a brand-new "deeply redesigned" power unit has been produced at Mercedes' Brixworth engine headquarters, "keeping little" of the 2018 unit.

The Italian newspaper said Mercedes has made progress, particularly in the area of energy recovery, accounting for 12 extra hp but no more fuel consumption. That is notwithstanding the fact that fuel consumption can actually increase in 2018, with the FIA giving the teams an extra 1.3 gallons of fuel to use per race.

Earlier, boss Toto Wolff revealed that a mistake had been made by Mercedes in the design of its 2019 engine.

"Unfortunately, we ran into a minor mishap with the engine," he said. "We thought the new concept would give us something else, but the guys in the factory are still ambitious. So I am feeling optimistic.

"We will know more when the season starts in Melbourne."
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:08 AM
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by F-C View Post
We are in the middle of the dead season. Nothing is happening at all. The papers have to publish something, so they just make things up.
Winter doldrums.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:33 AM
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https://www.gpblog.com/en/news/29451...-for-2019.html

Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team have announced a new official partnership with Sparco. The company are no strangers to motorsport as they produce interior parts to many cars in Italy. The deal sets the team up for the upcoming 2019 season.

"Sparco has been setting standards in the design and production of equipment and accessories in motorsport for decades. By supplying our drivers and pit crew with their products, together we will ensure that our team is provided with items that will meet the highest demands in terms of safety and comfort as we fight for ambitious results in the championship. We look forward to the collaboration," Frederic Vasseur said in the official announcement.

The Sparco logo will feature on the sidepods of the cars for the 2019 season. The team members will receive more clothing and material from the company as part of the two-way deal.

"Being able to contribute to safety in the development of the new single-seater and outfit two great racing drivers like Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi is an honour and a great responsibility for us," Sparco's CEO Claudio Pastoris added.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:34 AM
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Pierre Gasly makes his intentions clear to Max Verstappen

Red Bull Racing's Pierre Gasly has made clear that he won't be racing as a number 2 driver in his first year with the senior bull outfit, although he admits it will take him some time to get up to speed.

The 22-year-old from Rouen was chosen as Daniel Ricciardo's successor at Red Bull Racing after a successful formative year with Toro Rosso.

Many believe the Aussie departed the Milton Keynes-based squad because he was surpassed by team mate Max Verstappen in terms of outright speed.

Gasly isn't expecting to challenge the Dutchman at the outset, but longer term the Frenchman won't be racing to serve Verstappen's interests either.

"Being one of the best drivers right now will be a great challenge for me," Gasly told Motorsport-Total.

"It will take some time for me to be competitive, but I am not here to be the number two driver, that's not what I want or what I'm happy with.

"These things take some time, and Max is one of the fastest guys in the paddock, which is super exciting for me, because it brings you to a higher level.

"For sure, I'll be better over the course of the season."

To fulfill its ambition of returning to championship winning status, Red Bull has opted to drop Renault and partner with Honda for its power unit, a move many see as a risky proposition.

The team can rely however on the outstanding talent of design guru Adrian Newey to produce a competitive chassis that will allow Red Bull's drivers to chase down race wins.

"If I have a car I can win with, I would like to," added Gasly.

"But if I have a car that is only good enough for the top five, that will be the goal."
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:37 AM
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https://jalopnik.com/formula-ones-20...g-c-1831801047

What would you rather have: fast cars or more overtaking? The Powers That Be in Formula One opted to implement some front and rear wing changes in 2019 with the hopes that everyone could have their cake and eat it, too. But as teams hit air tunnels and simulators with their new cars, things start to look pretty grim. Like, horrible balance and gaining secondsa lap grim.

The regulations for 2019 dictate simplified front and rear wings with the hope that it’ll get rid of all that sensitivity that was kicked up in turbulent air. Theoretically, that should make it way easier for cars to get closer to each other, which should then lead to more overtaking. And, I mean, it could. There’s still no definitive answer on the overtaking question. But some folks are really displeased with the data they’ve been gathering before they hit the track.

Racing Point (formerly Force India) is the first team to come forward with their disdain for the new regulations, according to Motorsport.com. While they don’t have, say, Mercedes or Red Bull levels of clout, it’s always a bad sign when any team has problems with the way their car is designed—especially the teams that are more likely to be running in dirty air and not at the front of the pack.

What’s going on? Well, I’ll let the team’s technical director Andy Green sum it up, because he does a pretty damn good job conveying the frustration everyone at Racing Point is feeling:

It’s been a big hit. When we first put it in the tunnel a few months ago, we’re talking a few seconds of laptime, and a poorly balanced car as well.

It was the worst possible outcome. Hopefully, it has some positives with respect to closer racing.
Those are not comforting words. It’s especially not comforting when you realize that Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing’s team boss, slammed the regulations as being based on “immature research” way back when the vote was initially cast.

Basically, it sounds like it’s going to be tougher for the teams with smaller budgets. The entire grid is undergoing an aerodynamic makeover that’s resulting in lower downforce, and it’s going to be an uphill battle at the start of the season as everyone smooths out the bumps. But it’s going to be difficult for the folks who don’t have a spare million to throw at a potential change that may or may not work.

It’s going to be an interesting developmental battle to watch play out. Maybe the on-track action will be so damn good that we’ll forget all about the fact that the cars are lapping slower than they have in years. Maybe the technical battle will find a whole new team leading the championship charge. Or maybe it’ll all be one big disaster—but we’re going to have to wait until March to find out for sure.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:38 AM
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57 days....

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Old 01-17-2019, 11:29 AM
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...for real!
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:29 PM
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How 2009 WDC Jenson Button announced to the world, he and his Playboy Playmate g/f are expecting their first child with the following tweet of the sonogram

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Old 01-18-2019, 01:51 PM
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