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  1. #11
    Senior Member steveaki13's Avatar
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    Complete guesses of course but

    1. Mercedes - Cannot see anyone beating them again. Ferrari I fear may wobble this season and drop back again.

    2. Red Bull - I think they will develop a decent car before they go into the unknown in 19. That could spell the end of their front running

    3. Ferrari - I think the car will be OK but more often than not maybe Red Bull will better them with their good lineup. Could be overturned by the reliability of Red Bull

    4. Mclaren - Bit of a punt here but hope that Mclaren can get back towards the front. At times they looked good last year despite the engine in Fred's hands. A decent engine hopefully means they can race the top teams on occasion. Maybe slightly wishful thinking

    5. Renault - Good line up and decent car moving on from last year and I can see them pipping Force India.

    6. Force India- Big call from me to see them drop 4th to 6th. I think it will be close with Renault but Mclaren will jump them both

    7. Williams - Sadly I see their decline continuing. Remember despite Maldonado in Spain, Williams generally had sunk right towards the bottom. 2014 and the rule changes allowed them to be second fastest car sometimes in 2014 but ever since they seem to fall backwards. I see that continuing

    8. Haas. - Tough down here but I see Haas doing another solid job and beating Sauber again and the Toro Rosso guys with an expected dodgy engine. That will be key.

    9. Toro Rosso - Honda are the key here. Get their best engine so far and Toro Rosso could be 8th and get it wrong and it could be 10th.

    10. Sauber just do not have budget and know how right now and seem stuck in 10th too me. Only hope for the team is Honda have another mare and drop Toro Rosso 10th and Haas cannot handle the development race being so new.

    I think the closest races this season will be for 8th, 9th and 10th. All these 3 could finish in any position
    Its not crashing it's drifting with style

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveaki13 View Post
    Complete guesses of course but

    1. Mercedes - Cannot see anyone beating them again. Ferrari I fear may wobble this season and drop back again.

    2. Red Bull - I think they will develop a decent car before they go into the unknown in 19. That could spell the end of their front running

    3. Ferrari - I think the car will be OK but more often than not maybe Red Bull will better them with their good lineup. Could be overturned by the reliability of Red Bull

    4. Mclaren - Bit of a punt here but hope that Mclaren can get back towards the front. At times they looked good last year despite the engine in Fred's hands. A decent engine hopefully means they can race the top teams on occasion. Maybe slightly wishful thinking

    5. Renault - Good line up and decent car moving on from last year and I can see them pipping Force India.

    6. Force India- Big call from me to see them drop 4th to 6th. I think it will be close with Renault but Mclaren will jump them both

    7. Williams - Sadly I see their decline continuing. Remember despite Maldonado in Spain, Williams generally had sunk right towards the bottom. 2014 and the rule changes allowed them to be second fastest car sometimes in 2014 but ever since they seem to fall backwards. I see that continuing

    8. Haas. - Tough down here but I see Haas doing another solid job and beating Sauber again and the Toro Rosso guys with an expected dodgy engine. That will be key.

    9. Toro Rosso - Honda are the key here. Get their best engine so far and Toro Rosso could be 8th and get it wrong and it could be 10th.

    10. Sauber just do not have budget and know how right now and seem stuck in 10th too me. Only hope for the team is Honda have another mare and drop Toro Rosso 10th and Haas cannot handle the development race being so new.

    I think the closest races this season will be for 8th, 9th and 10th. All these 3 could finish in any position
    After seeing the new Williams, l would be tempted to move them up the order a few places. It looks like a great car but they would be fighting with three other teams with at least one very experienced driver in them.

    Mclaren has the double Would champion Alonso in it. With a good Renault engine in the Mclaren and with good reliability, l fail to see how Renault, Force India or Williams would beat the Mclaren this year. Renault has the Le Mans winner, Nico Hulkenburg [The Hulk] who is quick as anyone out there, hence l fail to see Williams beating Renault with two green drivers. Force India with a Mercedes engine and with the very experienced Sergio Perez and a highly talented Ocon who proved to be quite a revelation last year would not be easy for Williams either. That said, Force India is definitely beatable by Williams, if Williams are exemplary with their race strategies and pit stops. Mostly because Force India has a weakness due to the infighting between their drivers which would give Williams lots of opportunity.

    There is no reason why the Williams pair cannot take the fight to the less experienced drivers in those teams, especially if this Williams car turns out to be quick and competitive relative to the cars in the midfield. This would be an interesting group of Stoffel Vandoorne, Estaban Ocon, Carlos Sainz and the Williams pair. Sort of makes for a possible entertaining prospect. The pecking order among this lot would express the true order of talent among these future big guns. At least by the end of the season, those that are likely to be world champions would stand out. At the moment, Sainz and Ocon stand out, l would like to add Stoffel to this list but he has not regularly got close enough to Alonso last years, so the jury is kind of out on this one.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 20th February 2018 at 10:02.
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  3. #13
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    I am not fully sure of the order of the top three spots at the mo. But l am feeling that the fight for fourth place is between Williams, Renault and Torro Rosso with Sauber looking like a strong outsider of this group. Force India or Force One is struggling for pace it seems. With all the distraction of name change and ownership change etc, the team seem distracted and not on their game.

    Mclaren looks good to be in the mix with the group looking to fight for fourth. Unfortunately, they are also looking like a team that would be dogged by reliability through the season at the moment. But when they are on it, l fully expect them to be top of the pile of this group and possibly occasionally breaking into the top three group.

    But this is still very much speculation. But l would not be surprised if this is the way it turns to be at Oz.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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  4. #14
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    At the end of testing , this is how Ted Kravitz of Sky F1 called the pecking order based on the observations of the teams during Test Two:

    1. Mercedes
    2. Redbull [Appear 2nd at the close of test]
    3. Ferrari [But may be 2nd if the oil issue is a red herring]
    4. Renault
    5. Mclaren
    6. Haas
    7. Force India
    8. Torro Rosso
    9. Williams
    10. Sauber

    I was optimisitic for Williams, but it seems their driver pairing is set to hurt them further this season. But it is a long season that is sure to be full of surprises and a Williams surprise would be most welcomed.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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  5. #15
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    At the end of testing , this is how Ted Kravitz of Sky F1 called the pecking order based on the observations of the teams during Test Two:

    1. Mercedes
    2. Redbull [Appear 2nd at the close of test]
    3. Ferrari [But may be 2nd if the oil issue is a red herring]
    4. Renault
    5. Mclaren
    6. Haas
    7. Force India
    8. Torro Rosso
    9. Williams
    10. Sauber

    I was optimisitic for Williams, but it seems their driver pairing is set to hurt them further this season. But it is a long season that is sure to be full of surprises and a Williams surprise would be most welcomed.

    I have a feeling that Torro Rosso might be ahead of the Force India in the first half of the season. The Haas looked very strong during testing, hence, 5th place seem very likely, especially with Mclaren looking not so bulletproof going into the season.

    Hulkenburg and Sainz are a very strong driver pairing. And the Renault seemed to be the best of the rest during testing. It is hard not to see them in any place other than 4th upwards.

    To conclude, l expect Haas and Torro Rosso to upset the very tough midfield this season. The 2018 midfield is going to be the toughest part of the grid for a very long time. The teams that make it to the top of the midfield are the teams that did a great preparation for the season and also manage to have an exemplary race strategy and execution throughout the season. The pecking order of the midfield is more unpredictable than is apparent at this stage.

    At the front, the signs suggest that Mercedes could run away with the title again as Ferrari seem likely to start the season on their back foot resolving issues. The Redbull unfortunately would not be fast enough to take a title challenge fight to Mercedes; (if Mercedes is on their game) with a Renault engine. But mercedes need to be at their best this year to have unchallenged path to their fifth double title. Because Ferrari and Redbull are close enough to punish them for any slip ups.

    The end of the first half and all of the second half of the season is where Mercedes is likely to feel the pinch the most. The development war would be raging all through this period. Hence, we expect Ferrari to be on level terms with the Mercedes in this period. Redbull should be even closer during this period to hurt both Mercedes and Ferrari when either of these teams make any mistakes.

    I think Mercedes would want Redbull to be closer, so as to take points away from Ferrari. This means Ferrari is in a very difficult position. They would be chasing Mercedes while watching their backs from the Redbull seeking to ursurp them from 2nd position.
    In the fight at the front, Mercedes and Redbull are the teams least perturbed in the battle of this sharp end of the grid. Mercedes just need to focus on being as fast as possible to keep the Ferrari behind. Redbull do not have anyone close enough to bother them, hence all they need to do is focus on getting in the hair of the Ferrari.

    Ferrari on the other hand is between a rock and a hard place.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 16th March 2018 at 09:39.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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  6. #16
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    I am going to choose to pay little attention to the test results here and instead try to analyze what I think would be more logical

    1. Mercedes. No contest.
    2. Ferrari. Their chassis might not be that great, but they've still got more power than their chasers.
    3. Red Bull.
    4. McLaren. I suspect they have a very nice chassis, and may be closer to Red Bull than we expect. I would be surprised if they still kept having reliability issues come May.
    5. Renault
    6. Force India. I'm doing a bit of a guess here for these three next teams since I haven't been following the bottom half very closely. Still, considering how strong the FI car was in 2017, I don't think they will be far off the top half of the grid, if not completely in it by their own rights.
    7. Haas
    8. Williams. They don't seem to have a fast car or great drivers.
    9. Toro Rosso. I don't think that Honda engine is going to be much better than last year. By the end of 2017 McLaren were finishing almost all of the races, but the engine was still terribly slow. After three disastrous years, I would be extremely surprised if Honda eventually got it right.
    10. Sauber

  7. #17
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    Regardless of what we venture to predict the pecking order of 2018 to be, one thing is clear, this season is set to unfold one or more major historic outcome(s). Either a new five times driver and/or constructor world champion or a new driver world champion and a new arrangement for the F1 road show. The new arrangement would mostly define what we call F1 from 2021 onwards. We expect a fair distribution of prize money to the lower teams and possibly a total new car architecture.

    But there is also the small potential that F1 may lose one or two big teams. Similarly, we may end up with a larger grid with a few more teams joining for the 2021 season onwards. Imagine a thirty cars grid lineup for the lights to go off on race day. Wow
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitrodaze View Post
    ..............Either a new five times driver and/or constructor world champion or a new driver world champion
    Writing off Alonso already? 30 car grid would be nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firstgear View Post
    Writing off Alonso already? 30 car grid would be nice.
    Writing off Kimi so early?

    Though I suspect Nitrodaze is correct, Alonso would have a shot if the right car was there. Sadly I don't think Kimi would be given the chance unless he completely dominated Seb, and then only maybe.

  10. Likes: Firstgear (23rd March 2018)
  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by airshifter View Post
    Writing off Kimi so early?

    Though I suspect Nitrodaze is correct, Alonso would have a shot if the right car was there. Sadly I don't think Kimi would be given the chance unless he completely dominated Seb, and then only maybe.
    Alonso or Kimi winning another WDC would not be a major occurrence such as Verstapenn or Ricciado winning their first WDC or Hamiliton or Vettel winning their fifth WDC. Hence, l have not written them off as such. I just focussed on what could be a major event for the history books.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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