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  1. #1
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    2021 - A season of Champions

    This season starts with a combined total of 14 F1 drivers world championship titles won present on the grid. And there has never been a moment like this in F1 history. A rare and wonderful proposition, full of unknown potential. While Hamilton contributes half of that tally, the majority of the other half rests with Vettel and Alonso, both of which are starting renewed careers in new teams. Incidentally, both of their careers have taken a course via Ferrari with a similar outcome of not winning a championship in the scarlet car.

    I read a Sky Sports article today which was very apologetic for the outcome of both of these champions careers, post-Ferrari and sympathetically made all manner of excuses for why they turned out as they did. One underlying argument in the article in question was that both of these champions needed a protective setup such as was available to Schumacher to get the best out of these champions.
    We could say that was the very kind of environment provided to Vettel at Redbull which produced four world championship title for him. And once that environment was challenged by Ricciardo, the invincible quality of Vettel sort of disappeared. Likewise, one could also argue that under the protective arms of Flavio Briatore, Alonso produced two championship titles. But when he tried to establish a similar setup at Mclaren where this was robustly challenged by rookie Hamilton, he fell short as well.

    One recurring suggestion in the article was that any of these two drivers may have been as successful as Hamilton in the Mercedes. I would say very probable but also arguably not. One would have to cast our minds to two interesting scenarios, namely; Rosberg versus Vettel and Rosberg versus Alonso. Would Rosberg have been a multiple world champion alongside either of these two champions?
    In a Mercedes team where both drivers are given equal machinery and support, with no favouritism, would Vettel and/or Alonso fair any different than they did at Ferrari? That protective support not being present would suggest that Rosberg may have faired better than he did with Hamilton, against these two other champions.


    Courtesy Sky Sports

    Hamilton, on the other hand, has won all of his title under an unprotected environment, fighting his teammates on equal footing. His spell at Mclaren was very restrictive and critical of his approach to racing we have read. At Mercedes, he goes up against a driver that has established himself comfortably in the team before his arrival, yet forged his way forward to be on top. Hence, when l look at these three champions objectively, l fail to see Vettel matching Hamilton's record in a Mercedes. But l struggle to say the same thing about Alonso.


    Courtesy PlanetF1

    What l do see is that the relationship between Rosberg and Alonso [and maybe Vettel] may have been just as fraught with bitter rivalry as it did with Hamilton. How bad relatively is the unknown quantity. Would it have been bad enough for Ferrari to steal one or two constructor or driver's championship titles from Mercedes? Is the real question here. Especially since a similar sort of rivalry between Hamilton and Alonso deprived Mclaren of the 2007 constructors and driver titles which they were expected to win with ease.
    We all have different views on this matter, depending on our love and prejudices for each of the drivers involved, one thing is clear, the jury is out on this matter. Particularly as we would never really know how it may have turned out.


    Courtesy PlanetF1
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 24th March 2021 at 13:07.
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  2. #2
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    Rosberg would most likely have beaten Vettel every year Imo.

    Alonso vs Rosberg... I suspect Alonso would probably have a similar record to Hamilton vs Rosberg, at a push maybe one WDC less than Hamilton vs Rosberg but already having 2 titles under his belt he would probably currently be on 7 titles also.

    Or you could simply rank them.. and for me it's Hamilton with Alonso very close behind, followed by Rosberg then Vettel.
    The emergence of the new 'Rainmaster' - Mad Max at Interlagos 2016!

  3. #3
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    But will we get a #15 Champion on the grid?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nKS View Post
    But will we get a #15 Champion on the grid?

    Probably not. Does anyone really believe this is going to be Red Bulls year? I'm not buying into the Red Bull being quickest in testing hype... Mercs long runs actually topped the Long Run times but no one talks about that.

    Sure a Red Bull resurgence would be great for F1 but I don't want to get my hopes up for them to be dashed. Realistically Merc are probably just too good. Even if they start off on the back foot, if their rear stability problem is rectifiable without a major redesign, I expect them to fix it fairly quickly and get back to business as usual.
    The emergence of the new 'Rainmaster' - Mad Max at Interlagos 2016!

  5. Likes: gm99 (25th March 2021)
  6. #5
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    An interesting note I heard while watching qually. Half the current field has won a GP. That says a lot about the cars and changes over time. Are there really that many very capable drivers, or did they just happen to be in the capable cars? In a couple cases at least, some sheet luck factored in as well.



    As for the "what if" scenario's.... it's not always quite that easy to compare really. Alonso is IMHO every bit the driver Hamilton is, but much like Vettel not being treated as #1 gets in his head quickly. Since Rosberg did finally beat Hamilton, he may well have beaten Alonso also. But overall I think Fernando is the better driver of the three.

    As for Vettel, personally I think he is great in a great car, with #1 status, and full support. Failing that, he is often his own worst enemy.


    Most of them have cracks somewhere. I often think that if more drivers were like KImi the field would be different. He just drives, loves driving, and doesn't worry much about the other drama. And when you think about it, Alonso and Vettel put a lot of drama into NOT winning a title in a Ferrari. Maybe if Ferrari could have focused on the car more, offered a level playing field, etc... then Kimi might not be the last guy to get them a title.

    If the RB stays strong vs the Merc this year, I suspect it might impact Hamilton. It seems he often questions strategy even when they have it right. And considering they have had little pressure in recent years, that might not be a good thing if the pressure is on.

  7. Likes: Tazio (28th March 2021)
  8. #6
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    2 times champion alonso couldn't beat rookie hamilton. That's all you need to know to rate them

    For vettel, it's more difficult to rate him. He was extremely good during his redbull years, but has failed to replicate that with ferrari.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by airshifter View Post
    An interesting note I heard while watching qually. Half the current field has won a GP. That says a lot about the cars and changes over time. Are there really that many very capable drivers, or did they just happen to be in the capable cars? In a couple cases at least, some sheet luck factored in as well.



    As for the "what if" scenario's.... it's not always quite that easy to compare really. Alonso is IMHO every bit the driver Hamilton is, but much like Vettel not being treated as #1 gets in his head quickly. Since Rosberg did finally beat Hamilton, he may well have beaten Alonso also. But overall I think Fernando is the better driver of the three.

    As for Vettel, personally I think he is great in a great car, with #1 status, and full support. Failing that, he is often his own worst enemy.


    Most of them have cracks somewhere. I often think that if more drivers were like KImi the field would be different. He just drives, loves driving, and doesn't worry much about the other drama. And when you think about it, Alonso and Vettel put a lot of drama into NOT winning a title in a Ferrari. Maybe if Ferrari could have focused on the car more, offered a level playing field, etc... then Kimi might not be the last guy to get them a title.

    If the RB stays strong vs the Merc this year, I suspect it might impact Hamilton. It seems he often questions strategy even when they have it right. And considering they have had little pressure in recent years, that might not be a good thing if the pressure is on.
    I doubt many would agree with you that Alonso is the better driver than Hamilton and Rosberg. We have never seen Alonso up against Rosberg in the same car, so we have no reference there. Hence, to say he is better is a stretch at best. We have however seen Alonso against Hamilton, with Hamilton having the upper hand. I have heard the tiresome reverence of tv commentators talking up Alonso as their all-round driver. But Hamilton has done stuff in F1 cars that Alonso can only ghasp about. Most people overlook that.

    Rosberg versus Alonso would have been something to behold. The more, l think about it, the more, l wonder if Alonso would be able to subdue Rosberg. It may have easily ended up 50:50. That is not to undermine the incredible talent of Alonso. But to acknowledge what an difficult adversary Rosberg would have been.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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