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  1. #1
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    Let's talk Redbull

    We go into the 2021 season with a heightened excitement about Redbull's stance relative to Mercedes and Ferrari. With a very strong lineup of Max Verstapenn and Sergio Perez, we see a promise of a tougher competitiveness for Mercedes to ponder. This lineup is geared towards reducing the slack that Mercedes has enjoyed in the last two seasons at least. With this lineup, Redbull shall be better positioned to consolidate any opportunities that present themselves to them in this new season. But more importantly, they would demand a higher level of excellence from the second car at Mercedes. If Bottas has an off day, he would have both Redbulls to contend with. If the Mercedes car is having its typical heating problems, both cars shall find both Redbulls present to give them headache.

    It all comes down to how much step forward Honda has managed to produce coming into this 2021 season. If they have gained some more performance relative to the Mercedes engine, all signs would suggests that Redbull may steal one of the championship titles from Mercedes this season.



    But having a change like introducing a new driver can be initially disruptive. Redbull noticeably underperformed in the opportunistic 2020 COVID season. A short season that seemed the sort of occassion that any team running closer to the Mercedes may be able to hassle them hard enough to steal one of the championships. We saw Redbull at its worst preparation to fight and with a lot of poor operational efficiencies at various points through the season. And uncharacteristically, Verstappen was not on his best form at those moments that mattered.

    It certainly did not help starting the season with a DNF. Redbull must come into this 2021 season with a better preparation and a stubborn determination to succeed. They must ensure that they configure both cars to the best expectation of both of their drivers to have a remote chance of giving the most successfull team in F1's history the slightest notion of bother.

    If Hamilton were to depart Mercedes, this would present Redbull with the highest opportunity ever, to snatch a championship or two from Mercedes. The reality is both teams would be dealing with bedding in a new driver to the team. But with more combined experience in the Redbull cars compared to Mercedes in the absence of Hamilton. And also both teams would be fielding driver pairing with no F1 championship winning experience.

    However, the story would be slightly different if the incumbent seven times world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton remains in the car. The task would be slight harder for Redbull but not insurmountable with the right preparation, operational efficiency and car quality. The car has to be pin sharp and race weekends must be operationally at its very best for this to happen.

    I remain excited to see if they can pull it off.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 27th January 2021 at 09:43.
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  2. #2
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    It would be nice to have another team challenge Merc to make things more interesting but I'm not expecting it at all. I've a feeling history is just going to repeat itself, especially if Lewis signs again.
    If its Russell he may take a while to bed in properly and they may lose out on some wins/points that Lewis would win with his vast experience but its probably quite likely that Merc are still going to be strong enough again.

    Redbull typically take 1/2 to 3/4 of the season to become competitive and by that time its already won.... or the reason they catch up could simply be that Merc have already moved on to next years car so it merely creates a bit of an illusion about where they really are and false hope.

    Will Perez gel with the Redbull which would give them more race strategy options? After seeing so many other decent drivers careers badly damaged by that cursed seat, I'm intrigued with whats going to happen but I have absolutely no idea.
    Ideally Sergio settles in instantly, can challenge Max (if they let him)... and we get to see some fireworks there.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zico View Post
    It would be nice to have another team challenge Merc to make things more interesting but I'm not expecting it at all. I've a feeling history is just going to repeat itself, especially if Lewis signs again.
    If its Russell he may take a while to bed in properly and they may lose out on some wins/points that Lewis would win with his vast experience but its probably quite likely that Merc are still going to be strong enough again.

    Redbull typically take 1/2 to 3/4 of the season to become competitive and by that time its already won.... or the reason they catch up could simply be that Merc have already moved on to next years car so it merely creates a bit of an illusion about where they really are and false hope.

    Will Perez gel with the Redbull which would give them more race strategy options? After seeing so many other decent drivers careers badly damaged by that cursed seat, I'm intrigued with whats going to happen but I have absolutely no idea.
    Ideally Sergio settles in instantly, can challenge Max (if they let him)... and we get to see some fireworks there.
    This is why I think Mercedes should sign Russell. With or without Hamilton I think Mercedes will win both championships next year and, now going into his 3rd year of F1, I think Russell is ready for a top drive. Yes, there will be mistakes but he’s making far leas mistakes than Hamilton has made at McLaren. I’ve a good feeling about Russell that he’ll become one of the GOATs and he has already proven he is ready to drive a Mercedes this year.

    On Perez, I hope he beats Verstappen or at least puts up a stiff challenge. Either way, this is Sergio’s second shot at a top drive. If he doesn’t grasp it with both hand he won’t be getting a third.

  4. Likes: Fortitude (17th February 2021)
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Black Knight View Post
    On Perez, I hope he beats Verstappen or at least puts up a stiff challenge. Either way, this is Sergio’s second shot at a top drive. If he doesn’t grasp it with both hand he won’t be getting a third.
    Perez is one of those underated drivers that is as quick as any on the grid. Just ask Jenson Button for instance. He would give Verstapenn some very stiff competition. It would be a huge mistake for Verstapenn to underestimate Checco. His considerable experience relative to Verstapenn is what would surprise Verstapenn. Mercedes would do well not to underestimate Checco in a Redbull also. Because he is a driver who knows only too well, that this may be his last opportunity to driver a car capable of winning a championship under the certain conditions.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 28th January 2021 at 12:03.
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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zico View Post
    It would be nice to have another team challenge Merc to make things more interesting but I'm not expecting it at all. I've a feeling history is just going to repeat itself, especially if Lewis signs again.
    If its Russell he may take a while to bed in properly and they may lose out on some wins/points that Lewis would win with his vast experience but its probably quite likely that Merc are still going to be strong enough again.

    Redbull typically take 1/2 to 3/4 of the season to become competitive and by that time its already won.... or the reason they catch up could simply be that Merc have already moved on to next years car so it merely creates a bit of an illusion about where they really are and false hope.

    Will Perez gel with the Redbull which would give them more race strategy options? After seeing so many other decent drivers careers badly damaged by that cursed seat, I'm intrigued with whats going to happen but I have absolutely no idea.
    Ideally Sergio settles in instantly, can challenge Max (if they let him)... and we get to see some fireworks there.
    With Mercedes evidently less committed to its F1 programme, it would be interesting to see if the teams can continue to operate at its stratopheric standards. Hence there are hints and subtle signs that suggests that the 2021 season may be harder for Mercedes. They are the favorite on paper and have enjoyed very little real close challenges of late.

    Hence, Redbull with its new lineup and a revamped Honda engine may be problematic for Mercedes. This picture is further complicated by the suggestions that Ferrari are likely to return to form with an all new engine. The Ferrari pairing of Leclerc and Sainz in a back to form Ferrari compounds the threat to Mercedes this season.

    Hence it is not impossible that Redbull or Ferrari are able to steal one of the championships from Mercedes this season.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 27th January 2021 at 09:45.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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  7. Likes: Fortitude (17th February 2021)
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Black Knight View Post
    This is why I think Mercedes should sign Russell. With or without Hamilton I think Mercedes will win both championships next year and, now going into his 3rd year of F1, I think Russell is ready for a top drive. Yes, there will be mistakes but he’s making far leas mistakes than Hamilton has made at McLaren. I’ve a good feeling about Russell that he’ll become one of the GOATs and he has already proven he is ready to drive a Mercedes this year.
    I want to see Russell in the Mercedes also, but alongside Hamilton. I like to see how he measures up to the Seven Times World Champion while still in his prime. I am also curious to see how Hamilton deals with a competitve younger driver like Russell. I think Russell would benefit greatly from the challenge and experience.

    I think Russell needs at least one or two full season(s) in the Mercedes to be properly ready to establish himself as the dominant force in F1. Which is why Mercedes need Hamilton to keep the team on even keel in the meantime. Unfortunately, Bottas has not shown the level of consistency that would suggest that Mercedes would not suffer loses in the championship fight with Redbull and/or Ferrari, in a pairing with Russell. Besides Russell is still green, hence, he too would make mistakes due to inexperience. Crashing from tyre warming while in a points position last season is a good indication of that.

    Therefore, l think Mercedes is very likely to lose one or both of the F1 championship if they enter this 2021 season with the pairing of Bottas and Russell. Because it would be a clear opportunity not to be missed by Redbull and/or Ferrari to snatch one of those championships from Mercedes. But l fully expect it to be a different proposition from 2022 onwards, with Mercedes returning to top dog position.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 28th January 2021 at 12:06.
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  9. #7
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    Well we probably won't know until after testing is over, them maybe.

    Adding Perez should help the team, but unless Honda brings more power they will only challenge Merc on occasion at the tracks that suit their good handling car.

    As for the driver lineup, I expect some clashes, but they might be minimal due to the differing natures of their strong points. Max will go for pace almost every time, where Perez will often play the long game and compete with tire management strategies. Side by side they can both be fast, but the pairing might be the perfect opportunity for RB to split strategies to suit their drivers strongest games, all while tossing the proverbial wrench into Merc's strategy plan. At least I hope so.

    I'd really like to see a season where the front of the grid is tighter. Watching the best drivers in the best cars battle it out is even more fun than the great midfield battles we have been seeing. And often when things tighten up, we learn who can really rise to the top more often. I don't think the Merc drivers have had to do that often this year, and more of the battles have been with the other Merc with only a few real exceptions.

  10. Likes: Nitrodaze (24th January 2021)
  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by airshifter View Post
    Well we probably won't know until after testing is over, them maybe.

    Adding Perez should help the team, but unless Honda brings more power they will only challenge Merc on occasion at the tracks that suit their good handling car.

    As for the driver lineup, I expect some clashes, but they might be minimal due to the differing natures of their strong points. Max will go for pace almost every time, where Perez will often play the long game and compete with tire management strategies. Side by side they can both be fast, but the pairing might be the perfect opportunity for RB to split strategies to suit their drivers strongest games, all while tossing the proverbial wrench into Merc's strategy plan. At least I hope so.

    I'd really like to see a season where the front of the grid is tighter. Watching the best drivers in the best cars battle it out is even more fun than the great midfield battles we have been seeing. And often when things tighten up, we learn who can really rise to the top more often. I don't think the Merc drivers have had to do that often this year, and more of the battles have been with the other Merc with only a few real exceptions.
    Well said buddy :-)
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitrodaze View Post
    The Ferrari pairing of Leclerc and Sainz in a back to form Ferrari compounds the threat to Mercedes this season.
    I don't think it will work out that way. I think a faster Ferrari (they won't make a big enough jump to challenge the Merc's) will take points away from Red Bull, making it easier for Mercedes.

  13. Likes: Fortitude (17th February 2021)
  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firstgear View Post
    I don't think it will work out that way. I think a faster Ferrari (they won't make a big enough jump to challenge the Merc's) will take points away from Red Bull, making it easier for Mercedes.
    Good point, it has always been like that in the past hasn't it. So Redbull have their work cut out, it seems.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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