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    Formula One - The future

    On a year such as this one, where unforeseen circumstances has given pause to the F1 roadshow. We are given an unexpected moment to reflect on what has happened in F1 in the last ten seasons and what lies ahead, post the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The close of the first decade of this new millenia saw the close of a truely meterioric, stellar career of Micheal Schumacher and the rise of a truely gifted talent in Fernando Alonso. Alonso in a Beneton-Renault which coincidentally gave Schumacher his first driver world championship title a decade before, won two world titles against the incumbent seven times world champion in a scarlet Ferrari.



    Schumacher hung up his helmet and went into retirement. Alonso, seeking better machinery moved to Mclaren just as the newly crowned 2006 F2 champion was called to duty as a rookie partner to the well established and adored Alonso. I remember at the start of that season, much was not expected of Hamilton. Many saw him as potentially a good number two driver to the star of the moment Alonso. In a Mclaren, Fernando was expected to pick up Schumacher's mantle and dominate the next ten years of racing. Most people quietly expected Alonso to be the driver to match Schumacher's meterioric acheivements.



    Much like Vettel has found with Leclerc, 2007 was a rude awakening for the double world champion as his rookie teammate was giving him a hard time. Each time he raised the bar, the rookie took it further or match him. To everyone's surprise, The young man from Stevenage was leading the 2007 championship by ten points at one stage. Ferrari-Gate and a DNF at Sao Paulo, deprived Hamilton of a world championship title that would have gone down as the most sensational rookie season of all time. Losing by just one point to give Kimi Raikonen his only driver's world championship title.



    Hamilton won the championship the following year [2008] in a nail biter race at Sao Paulo, in a rain swept race that he needed to finish in the top five to be world champion. Massa the main challenger, won the race while Hamilton was struggling in sixth outside championship positions. Massa was effectively world champion at this point with a few minutes to the end of the race. At the very last lap, Hamilton overtook Timo Glock to move into the fifth position that he needed to be world champion. Amidst premature jubilations, the title was cruelly snatched away from Massa at the dying seconds of the race.



    Thereafter followed five barren years for Hamilton. In those years, Brawn GP arose from the ashes of the Honda teams and won what has become the last championship won by a privateer racing team. And in 2009, Jenson Button joined the ranks of driver world champions with a brilliant season of close and tough racing with Ruben Barrichello. Then came the emergence of Sebastien Vettel in the Redbull who then won the following four consecutive seasons [2010 - 2013] that led up to the start of the hybrid era. Vettel is the only driver since Schumacher to have won four titles consecutively. Schumacher had a sreak of five title wins spanning 2000 to 2004.

    Within that period, Mercedes had acquired the Brawn GP team and rebranded it Mercedes. They assembled the best designers and engineers that they could find, they enticed and acquired the services of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. As the era approached the hybrid regulations, Mercedes approached Hamilton to replace Schumacher. After a truly disappointing season for Mclaren in 2012, Hamilton made a sensational decision to part ways with Mclaren to join the fifth placed Mercedes team.



    While there were constellations and many suggestions that it was the worst decision that he could make, the first season of the Hybrid era in 2014, presented the racing world with Hamilton in a truely superior car to the then dominant Redbull cars. Two seasons at a trot, Hamilton won back to back world championships titles [2014 - 2015], much to Rosberg's dismay. Rosberg then finally got his own back in 2016 and promptly retired. An engine failure at Malaysia in a season that saw Hamilton bear the brunt of a vast majority of Mercede's component failures that season, gave Rosberg a 23 points lead that essentaily set him up for a comfortable win of the 2016 drivers title. The percentage of problems that was happening on Hamilton's car was enough to give the suspicion that there was something dodgy going on in the Mercedes garage. Since then, Hamilton has won the championship of every season to date [2017 - 2019]. Today, Hamilton stands as the incumbent six time F1 Drivers World Champion and the most successful driver since the retired Michael Schumacher.



    Over the last two seasons, Farrari has given Mercedes a good fight but has not been able to subdue the briliiant Mercedes Team. Redbull out of frustration with its Renault engine switched to Honda, just as the frustrated Mclaren team ditched the failure prone Honda engine for Renault engines. Within all these activities, we witnessed the emergency of the next generation of stars in Verstapenn and Leclerc that has on occassions been able to beat the six times world champion to race wins.

    At Austria's Redbull track [Spielberg ring], Max Verstapenn gave Honda its first win in F1, ending a 13 year winning drought.The Redbull-Honda parnership was vindicated. Just as Mclaren was discovering that their Renault partnership was not going to work for them. Mclaren now makes another engine switch to Mercedes for the 2020 season.



    At this point in time we sit at the precipice of what seems like the start of a new era of racing and the emergence of the next driver to dominate the grid for the next ten seasons. Whoever that may be, they must earn a right of passage by the challenging task of defeating the current incumbent world champion Lewis Hamilton to a world title. They must do so while Hamilton is seeking to match the records of Michael Schumacher by winning seven worlds titles, just to really spice things up.




    As we go into the new Regulations commencing in 2022, l ask who is likely to emerge as the next incumbent driver? The obvious choices are Verstapenn or Leclerc. But l think it is not as simple as that. If teams like Mclaren and Williams can get their 2022 programme right, we could be seeing Norris and Russell emerging as strong candidates as well. Don't forget Sainz, he is championship winning material as well. If Ricardo can find a competitive seat, l expect him to be at the front also.

    The suggestion therefore is that it may be a baptism of fire for the next pilot to dominate the future of the sport, as there are so many really good drivers on the grid at the moment. And the cars are likely to have very close performances. It is going to be a cracking next era of racing l am sure.

    The whole thing is thrown into some confusion as we now have the drivers market out of sync with the new regulation era due to the postponement of the new era from 2021 to 2022. Lots of drivers have their contract coming to an end in 2020, but the COVID-19 hit 2020 season, means contract negotiations for the new era may now happen in 2021. It is not clear how the teams are going to deal with this situation.

    Also the financial consequences of the COVID-19 cancellations could also mean that some teams may well go under. We could have as many as four teams drop out of F1 in 2021. Williams is at serious risk, so is Sauber, Renault, Haas, Racing Point and even Maclaren.

    There is also a chance that Honda and Renault might pull out of F1 engine supply as a consequence of the financial crisis that is about to hit F1.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 5th May 2020 at 23:15.
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  2. Likes: airshifter (2nd April 2020),Jag_Warrior (25th March 2020)
  3. #2
    Senior Member Jag_Warrior's Avatar
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    A lot of time and thought went into preparing that, and I enjoyed reading it. Much appreciated.

    "Every generation's memory is exactly as long as its own experience." --John Kenneth Galbraith

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    With the season in free fall as the COVID-19 pandemic takes its toll on the 2020 F1 season, what are the chances of Liberty Media selling their stake in F1?
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 3rd April 2020 at 08:06.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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    Well written piece Nitrodaze.

    What the future holds we don't know, and now we have the COVID-19 and another big wrench in the picture.


    And thanks for that photo of Massa on the podium. Though in the end he was denied, he still dominated that race and did everything in his power to take a shot at a WDC. Living in the shadow of a giant is hard, but Felipe still did his best.

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    With Sainz now in Ferrari, the complexion of the grid has changed somewhat. Leclerc vs Sainz is going to be interesting. That is if Ferrari do niot interfere. With this paiiring, it is not clear cut at this point to say Leclerc is going to be the next Top dog driver of F1. Sainz is now very much in the running and a good bet too. Leclerc would have to beat Sainz to be in the running for Top Dog driver of the next generation. I think Sainz is going to be a real bother for Leclerc.

    The Ricciado vs Norris pairing is going to produce some interesting racing too. Ricciado would effectively find himself in the same situation that he was with a young Verstapenn as teammate in Redbull. Norris in his third season in F1 would be alot more experienced and confident and a different proposition to the youngster that raced Sainz in 2019. Ricciado is going to have his hands full with this pesky hungry young racer who would be out to beat the more experienced Ricciado. I am really looking forward to seeing the Mclaren pair race each other in 2021. I hope Mclaren do not interfere in this duel of the generations.


    What do you think? Which of these guys are going to be on top by the end of 2021?
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 19th May 2020 at 13:08.
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    After the dumpster fire that 2020 season will be, we're going to see draconian budget caps, spec or customer car chassis, and simplified fucking loud engines again, with their development frozen like it was pre-2014.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zako85 View Post
    After the dumpster fire that 2020 season will be, we're going to see draconian budget caps, spec or customer car chassis, and simplified fucking loud engines again, with their development frozen like it was pre-2014.
    There are alot of well meant reasons for the changes to the F1 regulations and modus operandi. The shift of power into the hands of the F1 Management is abit disconcerting. They would have to weald that power judiciously or it would fracture what seems like the very delicate compromises the big teams have made to make the 2022 regulation feasible.

    The thing about power is that it corrupts absolutely.

    Hey, but the racing promises to be close, with great rivalries and may be mercilessly competitive.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 20th May 2020 at 12:01.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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    The future's gonna be different alright .

    Team Willy might end up being a Canadian team eventually , as Claire has just accepted a loan from Nicky's dad for $56million which , if defaulted , could put him in charge .

    Us Canucks are taking over the series , one team at a time .

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    Senior Member Jag_Warrior's Avatar
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    Has anyone picked up any talk or rumors about bringing back the old "world engine" concept again? I guess now it would be a "world power unit"... but still, any chatter about a base architecture that could be used across a variety of series?
    "Every generation's memory is exactly as long as its own experience." --John Kenneth Galbraith

  12. #10
    Senior Member Jag_Warrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagwan View Post
    The future's gonna be different alright .

    Team Willy might end up being a Canadian team eventually , as Claire has just accepted a loan from Nicky's dad for $56million which , if defaulted , could put him in charge .

    Us Canucks are taking over the series , one team at a time .
    Any idea what percentage of Williams Grand Prix Holdings the family still owns? I never followed how much they gave up with the public float, so I don't know. And I believe they recently sold off a majority stake in Williams Advanced Engineering.

    Seems to be a case of selling off the family silver in order to buy food now. Sad situation. But clueless management plus nepotism tends to be a fatal combination.
    "Every generation's memory is exactly as long as its own experience." --John Kenneth Galbraith

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