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  1. #1
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    Your thoughts about the 2017 Season

    The year started with a very strong Ferrari. Most of us were thinking Vettel would win the 2017 driver championship seeing that Ferrari seemed to have the giant Mercedes on the ropes at the early stages. But quickly Mercedes showed why they are a worthy constructors world champion by making a troublesome car into a championship winning car as they out paced the Ferrari on the development front. But this was aided also by Mercedes having a better reliability than the Ferrari.

    This aspect shows an appeal of F1 that is recently being under emphasized in the quest to modernized the sport. While there is an entertainment aspect to F1, a huge majority of F1 fans are also very interested in the inter-team technology rivalry. A definite concern that F1 may be heading for a formula with a common engine across teams. I hope this is not the case because that would not be F1 but a glorified American series.

    Back on point, Ferrari faltered with reliability issues and both team and driver made a number of championship costly mistakes. Even so, l strongly think Ferrari can leave this year with their heads up as they finally took the fight to the Mercs and really made Mercedes squirm a number of times. I think the battle between Ferrari and Mercedes will resume with a much closer and fiercer competition in 2018.

    What about Vettel? He was strong from the outset but seemed, a number times to be rattled by a very determined Lewis Hamilton. Especially as he began to notice the swing of strength moving away from Ferrari to the Mercedes. He also had a few bad boy moments too. Most people asked, why Kimi never won a race this year. I think he clearly had a few races that he could have won without team interference. His relegation to a number two driver in the battle with a very strong Mercedes meant, he was never going to win a race if Vettel was ahead or behind him.

    Mercedes, in the end secured their fourth Constructors and driver championship much easier than we thought they would and Lewis Hamilton finally joins Alain Prost and Sebastien Vettel as four times formula one driver world champions.

    Lewis Hamilton's achievement this year was monumental. Along the way to being a four times world champion, he breaks and extends a number of records. Most notable are being the most successful British driver of all time and breaking the qualifying record held by Michael Schumacher for a long time. Not bad for a british driver that was not short of critics of him all through his career. He simply delivered when it mattered. A trully worthy multi-world champion.

    Bottas started the season very impressively. Securing a win so early in Sochi ensured that he got extended to drive in 2018. He sort of fizzled out abit after the summer break. I think the development of the car probably focused on Hamilton, as Hamilton was clearly the better option to secure the drivers title. I am sure the analysis of the impact of Hamilton handing back track position to Bottas while in the same race Ferrari would not allow a faster Kimi to overtake Vettel in a slower car with problems, probably had something to do with it. Can Bottas keep that seat in 2019? I very much doubt it, but it would depend to some extent on what Ricciado does contractwise. And if Mercedes decides they are ready to take a risk with one of their brilliant proteges.

    Redbull punched above their weight when the opportunities presented themselves. But were mostly the third best team. But they were the best of the rest by a huge margin. Both Riccado and Verstapenn were brilliant when the car had the pace to cause an upset. They did exceptionally well under the circumstances.

    Force India ceasing fourth place from a declining Williams were outstanding. They could have been alot closer to the Redbulls if they managed their drivers rivary better. Failing to appreciate that Perez who reliably provided points to the team should be respected more, caused the team to lose assured points. Which made the Redbulls more comfortable in third.

    The fallout between Maclaren and Honda was an inevitable occurrence. A decision that left most Mclaren fans wondering what the long term plan was. Dumping the Honda project for a chance to win races again did not leave many with confidence that they have a long term plan. It kind of says; "so what" to Ron Denis' argument that Mclaren cannot win world championships with customer engines. Seeing the dispute between Toro Rosso and the Renault over engine power, as the constructor attempts to surpass the customer team for position in the constructors table, makes one ask the question, why do Mclaren think Renault would allow Mclaren to beat them in the future when Renault finally gets their act together. At most, they would possibly win races but they have to beat the migthy Redbull with the same engine first before they can take advantage of any opportunities in 2018. One could venture a guess that Redbull would have the edge in 2018 because of their long experience with the Renault engine. We await Mclaren to say what their real long term plan is. As it stands, they have settled for being another Williams, for lack of patience.

    The move of Sainz from Torro Rosso to Renault was another talking point of the year. Interestingly, he hit the floor running with some very impressive performances. Indicating is intention to take the Renault to the sharp end of the grid, if Renault can produce a championship competing car. I would love to see Verstapenn and Sainz do battle with an equally competitive car again.

    One question that has bothered me abit was , did Renault sabotage the Toro Rosso season by giving them underpowered or dodgy engines? The Media did not see any story in it. The conflict of interest of Toro Rosso out scoring the Works Renault team with Renault engines does make one at least wonder for a moment if this is the case.

    This season sees the final retirement of the well loved Massa. Like last year, there were teary moments. But, it also sees the arrival of new blood to the paddock. Pierre Gasly replaces the unceremoniously dismissed Kyvat. A Brendon Hartley replaces the departing Sainz. But most noteworthy is the potential return of Robert Kubica to the paddock after his horrific accident a few years ago. While this appears to be a very popular and welcomed return, there are still some doubts as Renault did not see enough to offer him a drive after his very impressive test for them. And Williams seem to be taking a very cautious step towards awarding the drive to a driver that seem to already have the drive sealed. I think it would be a great story for 2018 but can the present Kubica better Massa's contribution to the points of the team. That would be the acid test l think.

    This brings Werhlein into focus. As Sauber drops their only and highest points scorer in a season for many years for rookie and F2 champion Leclerc and seem to be looking to hanging on to Erickson who is the only driver to complete the full 2017 season with out a point. On face value, it does not add up. Werhlein was a Monisha Kaltenborn addition to the team before she departed. I can see why he would be out of favour with the Sauber management. A very promising driver is going to be without a drive in 2018 even when he is a better option than the competition for the seat.

    I am sure there are other things you have noticed that you might want to add. Or you might disagree with some of my assessment. Whatever you think, l would love to read your comments.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; Yesterday at 20:33.
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  2. Likes: Mia 01 (5th December 2017)
  3. #2
    Senior Member N. Jones's Avatar
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    I thought for sure Seb would hold on but once he started losing and retiring, Singapore was the end, it was over. I love Hamilton fighting back though as we hadn't seen that since the 2006 season. Kimi is reliably number two and while I think the team are happy with that they really need to find someone else who can win the race or take points away from the opposition when needed. This is one thing I think might be overlooked when looking back at Fisi's time with Renault.
    " Lady - I'm in an awful dilemma.
    Moe - Yeah, I never cared much for these foreign cars either."

  4. #3
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    I thought Rosberg's retirement would ruin this season, but it wasn't bad.

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    Also, many thought there would be very little overtaking because of the new wider cars. But there were loads of great overtaking and exciting close battles. The midfield pack were so close to each other this year, such that minor driver errors turn out to be very costly.

    Every year, one driver usually pick up the Bad boy of the year mantle. Magnussen stood out as the driver with the bad boy image this year. But Vettel was not very far behind.

    I also wonder how close it got for Redbull to lose Verstapenn to Ferrari when the dutchman was faced with recurring engine failures.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
    William Shakespeare

  6. #5
    Senior Member Rollo's Avatar
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    I thought that the regs would lock in the advantage for Mercedes powered cars. I was not expecting Ferrari or Red Bull to be able to put up as much of a fight as they did.

    I also want to hurl News Corp into the sea. Following their failed attempt to buy Network Ten in Australia, they instantly withdrew all free-to-air coverage in Australia as Fox Sports held the ultimate rights. The fact that Fox Sports will exclusively show all races except for the Australian GP in 2018 means that I will promise to watch all races illegally.
    The Old Republic was a stupidly run organisation which deserved to be taken over. All Hail Palpatine!

  7. #6
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    * New regulations made overtaking far harder, as suspected, and on some circuits it really hurt. Sochi, Hungary, Abu Dhabi, anyone? But then again some other circuits provided pretty decent racing, obviously often with the help of DRS though.

    * Ferrari's resurgence was one of the best stories of the season after 3-year-long domination by Mercedes. It's worth mentioning there were loads of questionmarks about Ferrari prior to the season, as James Allison had left them in 2016. In the end their challenge fizzled out before the end, but it was fun while it lasted.

    * On the flipside we got the final nail in coffin in the McLaren-Honda Part 2 story, after the highly successful Part 1 decades ago. Interesting to recall but throughout years there were many optimists saying "one day it's gonna work". Well, 9th in 2015 in WCC, 6th in 2016, and another step forward was expected. What happened? A step back. A step back so unbearable for McLaren that they even decided to get rid of the arguable annual 100M $ sponsorship by Honda simply to move up the grid.

    Long-term implications on both McLaren and Honda of that split are still yet to be seen. Has McLaren got the budget? Can they succeed as a privateer? Can Honda do any miracles with STR? Will they marry with RBR? Will they stay in F1 for the long-term at all?

    Other than that, not much to report.

    - Mercedes won again (nothing new under the sun). Bottas is no Rosberg though solid enough to fend off Räikkönen in the constructors championship challenge.
    - Renault improved somewhat, as expected. Speed-wise even spearheading the midfield.
    - Verstappen established a more firm speed edge over Ricciardo. But due to unreliability the rest is hard to compare.
    - Best ever season for Force India. And they really have a knack for hiring good driver line-ups.
    - Palmer and Kvyat couldn't justify their presence in F1.
    Last edited by jens; Yesterday at 21:20.

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