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  1. #1
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    Talking F1 2017 - thoughts

    So… first summary. First thoughts on F1 2017. Overall I like what I have seen. Faster attractive cars, somewhat harder to overtake and pretty decent racing. However, there is a suspicion that on classic circuits it would be damn hard to overtake, as Tilkedromes were specifically designed by Mr Tilke to enable overtaking. So racing in these places has been good.

    Competition has seen the much-awaited challenge to arrive. Mercedes 3-year-dominance is gone and Ferrari is right up there. Maybe not quite in qualifying, but in the race - sure! This is bloody impressive by the Maranello squad, as with the departure of TD James Allison last year there were questionmarks, what they could deliver. But here they are. If they keep it up, we could have a season-long thrilling fight for the titles.

    Sebastian Vettel vs Lewis Hamilton. It will be down to these two, clearly. Seven championships between the two of them, and it would be the eight one handed out. Their Finnish team-mates are merely the #2’s. Apart from the rise of Ferrari it has to be said not much has changed in competition. Despite big regulation changes and expectations that it would cause an upset. So let’s take a look.

    Red Bull. Big expectations that Adrian Newey could deliver something awesome for the regs hasn’t materialized. They are still trailing behind. Well, I think the chassis is still great, but Renault PU not quite there. Perhaps lack of works team status is starting to hurt them a bit? Who knows. I really want to see both Verstappen and Ricciardo win a WDC one day, IMO both are easily good enough to ‘deserve’ that, but they have to wait longer…

    Force India. New season, again a solid job. Pérez has been consistently impressive for years. Ocon is slightly lagging behind. Not spectacular so far, but better than some other rookies. Qualifying is the weak point of this car though.

    Williams. They have produced a really excellent car for the new regs. By the looks of it fourth quickest of all. So that the already-retired Massa is getting good finishes out of it. However, for years Massa has not been known for being a top driver, so Stroll losing so clearly to him must be concerning. But he has all the money in the world…

    STR. New year, another solid job in minor points. Sainz with a slight edge on Kvyat.

    Haas. Looks like an improvement over already promising debut season last year. Consistently in the points. Grosjean a bit more consistent than Magnussen.

    Renault. Well, in qualifying they look pretty fast, but lag behind in races. They have got a similar problem as Williams - second driver is nowhere. We know Hulk is solid enough, but Palmer shouldn’t really be driving for a works team… Personally I would have expected a bit more from Renault too, if they aim high. Second year as a works team, they should at least cover Toro Rosso with the same engines.

    McLaren. Erm, yeah… They have managed to go backwards compared to 2016, which I find a truly amazing feat. Back to their 2015 form. I remember being very critical of them in 2015, but no-one would have expected their 3rd season to be as bad as the 1st one! Quite frankly they are done. And I think we are reaching the stage, where we can start counting days before Honda HQ in Japan decides to pull the plug to end this embarrassment. Worst effort I can remember in F1 for ages. As for drivers. Vandoorne hasn’t shown much yet, but he can endure a bad year and still build up his career. Alonso is desperate though. Career is down the toilet and he looks over to Renault already...

    Sauber. Considering they are using year-old PU’s, I think they have been doing pretty fine actually. Always reached Q2 so far. I don’t think many expect more from them than that. In addition to giving a chance to drive to promising drivers like Giovinazzi and Wehrlein. Could score points in a messy race.

  2. Likes: Duncan (19th April 2017)
  3. #2
    Senior Member N. Jones's Avatar
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    So you think that once we hit the Euro season we will see all processions?

    Pascal Wherlien has impressed me the most. 11th in Bahrain.
    Renault continue to baffle me. Starting 7th(?) and 10th only Nico finishes in the points.
    Williams are in a holding pattern it seems. Who they are going to sign when Massa retires is beyond me. Stroll is young and I think he will come good.
    Haas will get there as well. A good car just needs reliability.
    Force India has also impressed me with their consistency. The problem is the team is hanging by a thread due to Vijay's legal problems.
    STR I thought they would run much better due to finally running a current spec engine. Instead they have been hanging outside the points, although I think they were unlucky (Kvyat) and just plain dumb (Sainz) in Bahrain.
    Red Bull - Podium contenders every race and a winner if Merc and Ferrari have multiple issues.
    Ferrari - True contenders. Kimi is old or maybe he knows he's number 2 so he drives like it.
    Mercedes - still the team to beat.
    McLaren - one of my favorite teams looks completely lost. You would think the Honda partnership, so successful throughout the years, would bear fruit. Honda couldn't possibly be this bad at producing engines.
    Last edited by N. Jones; 18th April 2017 at 15:41.
    " Lady - I'm in an awful dilemma.
    Moe - Yeah, I never cared much for these foreign cars either."

  4. #3
    Senior Member A FONDO's Avatar
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    So far it seems that Ocon is doing a pretty good job as qualy and race results. Stroll is a complete muppet though.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Jones View Post
    So you think that once we hit the Euro season we will see all processions?
    At Melbourne drivers reported it was 'impossible to overtake'.

    Depends on the circuit, but I am not optimistic about places like Barcelona or Hungaroring to offer much racing.

  6. Likes: N. Jones (18th April 2017)
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    Stroll has not always been the architect of his own misfortune. Time will tell if he's one of those guys who always manages to put himself in a position for someone else to crash into him.

  8. Likes: N. Jones (18th April 2017)
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    Senior Member Hawkmoon's Avatar
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    Obviously I'm delighted to see a competitive car from Maranello. A lot has to go right but maybe this won't be the first decade in the team's history that they fail to win at least one championship. It's was looking like it would happen after 2016. It's time for Raikkonen to go. Ferrari need a number 2 who can occasionally take points off Hamilton when he has a bad day. At the moment Raikkonen can't beat Bottas so he has no chance of getting anywhere near Hamilton.

    Mercedes are under external pressure for the first time and it's been very interesting to see how they react. They're a championship team so they won't fold fold like a pack a cards. If Ferrari are to wrest the championship away from Mercedes this year it will take a Herculean effort.

    Red Bull will probably play the role of spoiler behind the top two. I can't see them challenging for the title given the their deficit to the front but I can see them taking points away from the top two on occasion which will no doubt have an effect on the title race.

    The rest are making up the numbers. Williams have settled into a position in the back half of the top ten and seem unable to do anything to get closer to the front. You can throw a blanket over Haas, Renault, Force India and Torro Rosso they're that close together on pace. Sauber are a tenacious bunch but are going nowhere fast. And then there's McLaren. WTF has happened there? The Ferrari fan in me can't help but take, admittedly petty, delight in McLaren's struggles but I genuinely miss the Ferrari vs McLaren battles of the past. It added a certain spiciness to the action that isn't there today.
    Forza Ferrari!!

  10. Likes: jens (20th April 2017),N. Jones (19th April 2017)
  11. #7
    Junior Member Owain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkmoon View Post
    Obviously I'm delighted to see a competitive car from Maranello. A lot has to go right but maybe this won't be the first decade in the team's history that they fail to win at least one championship. It's was looking like it would happen after 2016. It's time for Raikkonen to go. Ferrari need a number 2 who can occasionally take points off Hamilton when he has a bad day. At the moment Raikkonen can't beat Bottas so he has no chance of getting anywhere near Hamilton.
    When they took him back, hiring Raikkonen to push Alonso looked like a fantastic decision. Then they lost Alonso, and Raikkonen has faded away. Being content with a mediocre No.2 seems to have become a Ferrari fault; they held onto Massa for far too long. The strategy works when you have the best car and the best driver (i.e. Schumacher years), but when you are struggling to compete it is better to have drivers who really push each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkmoon View Post
    The Ferrari fan in me can't help but take, admittedly petty, delight in McLaren's struggles but I genuinely miss the Ferrari vs McLaren battles of the past. It added a certain spiciness to the action that isn't there today.
    The Ferrari fan in me hates to see McLaren in such a mess.

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