Formula 1: General Discussion and 2020 Preview

DourDoerr

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There's a great documentary for those curious on F1 called "Senna." He was an interesting figure in the sport and they have some great footage. I've been watching some F1 in the last year and want to see a race in person at some point. I used to watch NASCAR with my dad during the late Richard Petty/Buddy Baker/etc era, but haven't watched a race in decades save for a few laps here or there of the Infineon track race. I don't get the vanilla appeal of the NASCAR tracks - big or small.
 

Marciano490

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Wow, the tweets are inspired - really funny! I love that the flag is getting equated with losing and giving up. It really punctures the myths.

There's a great documentary for those curious on F1 called "Senna." He was an interesting figure in the sport and they have some great footage. I've been watching some F1 in the last year and want to see a race in person at some point. I used to watch NASCAR with my dad during the late Richard Petty/Buddy Baker/etc era, but haven't watched a race in decades save for a few laps here or there of the Infineon track race. I don't get the vanilla appeal of the NASCAR tracks - big or small.
Worth noting that the current best F1 driver, and possibly the GOAT, is black and has spoken powerfully about race issues throughout his career and in the past few weeks.

 

BrazilianSoxFan

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Wow, the tweets are inspired - really funny! I love that the flag is getting equated with losing and giving up. It really punctures the myths.

There's a great documentary for those curious on F1 called "Senna." He was an interesting figure in the sport and they have some great footage. I've been watching some F1 in the last year and want to see a race in person at some point. I used to watch NASCAR with my dad during the late Richard Petty/Buddy Baker/etc era, but haven't watched a race in decades save for a few laps here or there of the Infineon track race. I don't get the vanilla appeal of the NASCAR tracks - big or small.
Senna was an interesting figure in the same sense that Brady was an alright QB.
 

BrazilianSoxFan

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Worth noting that the current best F1 driver, and possibly the GOAT, is black and has spoken powerfully about race issues throughout his career and in the past few weeks.

Hamilton is a great driver, but calling him the GOAT is a bit too much.

While he has been in a position to be wildly successful, I don't know many that would say he is a better driver than a Schumacher, Senna or Fangio. Heck, some may say that Alonso is a better driver than him.
 

DourDoerr

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Hamilton is a great driver, but calling him the GOAT is a bit too much.

While he has been in a position to be wildly successful, I don't know many that would say he is a better driver than a Schumacher, Senna or Fangio. Heck, some may say that Alonso is a better driver than him.
My understanding is that Senna's claim is bolstered by the era he raced in - lots of great drivers. Much like Ali's claim is tied to the high caliber of fighters he faced (but I'll defer to Marciano on that).
 
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Average Reds

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My understanding is that Senna's claim is bolstered by the era he raced in - lots of great drivers. Much like Ali's claim is tied to the high caliber of fighters he faced (but I'll defer to Marciano on that).
This is partially (maybe largely) correct, but, to me, what makes Senna the most compelling driver of all time is the combination of imagination, daring and pure skill that he brought to F1.

I don't want to derail the thread, so I'll just post this link which touches on Senna's history at Monaco:

 

SocrManiac

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Any chance we can break out the F1 stuff? I never bothered trying to make an F1 thread here because I didn't think there were many fans here. It'd be great to talk about the upcoming season.

I'll also drop an onboard of Monaco here. The classic Senna video doesn't give a sense of the speed or claustrophobia, partially due to VHS distortion. It's an insane street course, and the speed is boggling. It's just over 2 miles in 70 seconds on city roads not unlike downtown Boston.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbrKA6IwgcM
 

lars10

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I'm sure you guys have probably seen it.. but if you haven't.. the two seasons of Formula 1: Drive to Survive on Netflix is great.

As a very casual observer of Formula 1.. it seems like the top teams benefit mainly from having a ton of money.. Mercedes especially has a giant team with an unlimited budget. At one point they're talking to another team who talks about having 20 engineers or something on staff and the guy from Mercedes says they have 120..or something to that effect.

I seem to recall that they were starting to implement some sort of system that would take out those advantages or at least even things up bit more?

Richard Hamilton while being a great driver has also seemed to benefit by always having the best car on the track. The driver everyone seemed to love/hate is Max Verstappen...but he seemed to test the very limits of his car/ spacing/ teammates in every way he could.

In watching the docs one thing that was quite clear was the amount of training, confidence, quick reflexes, money etc required to be a top driver.
 

singaporesoxfan

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Any chance we can break out the F1 stuff? I never bothered trying to make an F1 thread here because I didn't think there were many fans here. It'd be great to talk about the upcoming season.

I'll also drop an onboard of Monaco here. The classic Senna video doesn't give a sense of the speed or claustrophobia, partially due to VHS distortion. It's an insane street course, and the speed is boggling. It's just over 2 miles in 70 seconds on city roads not unlike downtown Boston.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbrKA6IwgcM
The street circuits are my favourite part of Formula One. I love watching Monaco and the night race in Singapore in particular. I've driven on the roads that they use for the circuit in Singapore both before the Singapore F1 race was a thing and after, and it's amazing to feel the difference in the roads - the roads now have an insane amount of grip, and you can feel it even driving at 30 mph in a regular car.

 

cgori

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Richard Hamilton while being a great driver has also seemed to benefit by always having the best car on the track. The driver everyone seemed to love/hate is Max Verstappen...but he seemed to test the very limits of his car/ spacing/ teammates in every way he could.
FYI: When Lewis went to Mercedes it was far from certain they would be the great/dominant team that they became - they definitely had a superb engine but there's a lot more to it than that. He only won one race the first year @ Mercedes, it wasn't until the next year that they really started to put things together (coinciding with the change to turbo-hybrid engines though). For sure Lewis has an incredible amount of talent, he was absolutely fantastic at McLaren in his debut year (though it was a great car that year too, to be fair).

I also remember Hamilton being very polarizing back then, like Verstappen is now, and I think it's just an issue of being really young, really good and really aggressive. When you are "cutting in line"/"not paying your dues" some people react poorly. Realize that Lewis jumped from GP2 to F1, being paired with Alonso (the world champion of the prior year, coming over from Renault to McLaren) and they were butting heads constantly (Alonso tied him in points for the season, which is pretty shocking if you think about it).
 

SocrManiac

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I would absolutely kill for Saturday to be a short race in spec cars for the driver's championship, then Sunday's race being for the constructor's championship. I want to sort out the drivers.

In a lot of ways, Hamilton/Mercedes have struck me as very Tom Brady/Patriots-like over the past few years. They doesn't make preparation mistakes. Hamilton takes all responsibility for failure and heaps praise on teammates for success. He's a little too good with the press, to the point that he feels robotic in his press conferences.

As I mentioned to @Average Reds in a PM, I'm an engineer/car guy and the tech of the sport is what drew me in and made me a casual fan. Daniel Ricciardo made me follow this to an unhealthy extent. The guy is just full of the enjoyment of life. He does and says things that a professional athlete isn't supposed to, but none of it is in any way negative or vindictive. He is having a level of fun in his job that most of us can only dream about.

I can't find a picture or mention of it anywhere, but a fan once accidentally put his already-signed Vettel (Ferrari) portrait in front of Danny, and got it back with a penis drawn under the signature. Ricciardo didn't get in any sort of trouble. It was just fun. He snuck up in the Mercedes press area while Bottas was doing a Q&A, found a live mic, and made fart noises while Valterri was talking. Then there's Lando Norris's pubes:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzIgOpP5eVk


I will never understand why Ricciardo went to Renault, other than the obvious Verstappen preference of Red Bull. I can't wait for him to move on next year.
 

lars10

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FYI: When Lewis went to Mercedes it was far from certain they would be the great/dominant team that they became - they definitely had a superb engine but there's a lot more to it than that. He only won one race the first year @ Mercedes, it wasn't until the next year that they really started to put things together (coinciding with the change to turbo-hybrid engines though). For sure Lewis has an incredible amount of talent, he was absolutely fantastic at McLaren in his debut year (though it was a great car that year too, to be fair).

I also remember Hamilton being very polarizing back then, like Verstappen is now, and I think it's just an issue of being really young, really good and really aggressive. When you are "cutting in line"/"not paying your dues" some people react poorly. Realize that Lewis jumped from GP2 to F1, being paired with Alonso (the world champion of the prior year, coming over from Renault to McLaren) and they were butting heads constantly (Alonso tied him in points for the season, which is pretty shocking if you think about it).
Ugh.. of course I got the name wrong.. thanks for the info!
 

lars10

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I would absolutely kill for Saturday to be a short race in spec cars for the driver's championship, then Sunday's race being for the constructor's championship. I want to sort out the drivers.

In a lot of ways, Hamilton/Mercedes have struck me as very Tom Brady/Patriots-like over the past few years. They doesn't make preparation mistakes. Hamilton takes all responsibility for failure and heaps praise on teammates for success. He's a little too good with the press, to the point that he feels robotic in his press conferences.

As I mentioned to @Average Reds in a PM, I'm an engineer/car guy and the tech of the sport is what drew me in and made me a casual fan. Daniel Ricciardo made me follow this to an unhealthy extent. The guy is just full of the enjoyment of life. He does and says things that a professional athlete isn't supposed to, but none of it is in any way negative or vindictive. He is having a level of fun in his job that most of us can only dream about.

I can't find a picture or mention of it anywhere, but a fan once accidentally put his already-signed Vettel (Ferrari) portrait in front of Danny, and got it back with a penis drawn under the signature. Ricciardo didn't get in any sort of trouble. It was just fun. He snuck up in the Mercedes press area while Bottas was doing a Q&A, found a live mic, and made fart noises while Valterri was talking. Then there's Lando Norris's pubes:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzIgOpP5eVk


I will never understand why Ricciardo went to Renault, other than the obvious Verstappen preference of Red Bull. I can't wait for him to move on next year.
One of the interesting parts of the shows were seeing the team infighting and the clash of personalities between them and then their owners... Ricciardo def needs to move on to a team that can support him properly
 

ernieshore

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Pretty big F1 fan here. I went to the U.S. Grand Prix every year they had it in Indy, except one. That wasn't the best race in the world and the Michelin tire race was a fiasco, but we had a great fan experience there: Camped outside the track, drank all night with people from all over the world, got a weekend general admission ticket for $50

Although, my fandom has admittedly faded in the last couple years. I guess it's part Mercedes dominance. And it's maybe a loss of the U.S. broadcast too --- and I know the Sky/ESPN broadcast has better analysts, but I thought Matchett, Hobbs, etc were a more enjoyable "listen," if that makes sense. Maybe I just want something easy to listen to at 5am or 12am.


Martin Brundle did a good podcast recently where he talked about the best F1 cars he's driven from every decade.
 

Chainsaw318

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I’m also an F1 and Ricciardo fan. The thing I have grown to appreciate and respect about Hamilton is he doesn’t crack.

The comparably great driver of his era, Vettel, has shown in the last few years especially, a proclivity to make that crucial error or do something out of frustration. Vettel botches a turn or an overtake, or looses his cool.

Hamilton just doesn’t. And a part of the Merc/Hamilton magic has been the team channeling Hamilton’s concerns and frustration during a race into focus. When Lewis gets nervous, the team is able to calm him, and he trusts them to do him right.

I miss this dumb sport.
 

Chainsaw318

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Back on Sunday, at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. For you east-coasters, 9am on ESPN.

I’m very excited to have racing back. It may be a shitshow- no team loyalty (25% of drivers already know they are driving elsewhere next year) + rusty drivers + new cars likely means a track full of carbon fiber pieces.

This could also be interesting in that the Mercedes team had trouble with their engines here last year for reasons that were attributed to temp and possibly altitude. If those gremlins have not been solved, could be a wide open race.
 

Chainsaw318

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I want Ricciardo to destroy his car every race to punish Renault for wasting two years of his prime.
Ricciardo was my first favorite getting into the sport and probably who I most want to see succeed. I’m excited to see him in a McClaren next year, with the better engine.

I am also doing fantasy F1 with the Shift F1 podcast and excited to see my squad of Verstappen, Ricciardo, Perez, Sainz and Kimi go to work.
 

Chainsaw318

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Watching practice and the Mercedes look the same as they have, just dominant. The Racing Points are going to be on podiums this year with their car that is a copy of last years Mercedes, and it’s going to make some other teams lose their goddamn minds.

Looks-wise the black Mercedes look cool, but the Alpha Tauri is the real new color scheme out there. It’s cool, I guess, but I really liked how the last years Torro Rosso looked, with the cool Bull on the side.
 

SocrManiac

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McLaren's matte orange is pretty slick, too.

All of the bitching about DAS is tiresome and it's only Friday. It's nice to have F1 back.
 

Chainsaw318

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Should be fun tomorrow. Ferrari’s look lost, Racing points and McLarens look for real.

Some individual driver stories-
if Lance Stroll can’t keep close to Perez, and they will be in the fight for major points this year and next, does the convo start about finding a better 2nd driver to replace the owners son?

If Ferrari is weak, and Red Bull can be second, does Albon stay competitive enough to avoid getting replaced early next year by the man next up? Basically, does Red Bull Red Bull their 2nd driver for the 3rd time in 6 years?
 

SocrManiac

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I’m not a Mercedes guy, but this year’s livery is an all-timer. Even if it was ugly, the message should be enough for that. The fact the stars make it look like it has scales is just icing on the cake.

If we take this year’s Racing Point to essentially be last year’s Mercedes, it’s pretty telling how far ahead of the field the German team really is.

I still can’t believe the gap at the top to Verstappen. A half second at this circuit is an eternity when you see how bunches the rest of the field is.

I genuinely think Vettel has a psychological issue. If I had to put my finger on an event where he snapped, I’d pick the incident where he thought Hamilton brake-checked him before the safety car restart and he came alongside and bumped Luis. Vettel has been a mistake-prone, red-hazed mess ever since.
 

rguilmar

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I didn't know there even was an F1 thread. Awesome!

First off, it's a little sad to see Ferrari so far off the pace. Vettel is moving on, the car isn't very fast, just looks like a lost year. Agreed with it probably being for the best to move on from Sebastian as he just seems prone to massive errors, but it just adds a degree of uncertainty in the future. Things I am excited to watch for are (in no particular order):
1. McLaren and Racing Point- how for real are they?
2. Verstappen- is there a next step for him? I'm not huge Max fan but there is no denying the talent
3. What the F does Ferrari do?
4. Esteban Ocon- just glad to see him back as I felt he was the victim of a numbers game a few years ago (not just the 20 drivers, but other numbers like dollars and age- not that he is old but teams wanted to see what even younger drivers could do)
5. Haas- Hey, it's the American team. They seem destined to battle for the non-Williams last place (ie 9th), but curious to see if they can make magic like a few years ago

Not too interested in the top of the standings as it looks like it will be Mercedes (huge gap) everyone else. Also, it was brought up earlier why Danny Ric moved to Renault. I always thought part of it was to attempt to stick it to Red Bull. There was a bit of a rivalry brewing between Renault and Red Bull over RB's switch from a Renault engine to a Honda before last year. It didn't surprise me that he moved to Renault knowing their dislike for Red Bull.

Almost time for lights out!
 

Chainsaw318

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I anticipated chaos, but not all the mechanical failures. These cars had been much more dependable the last 2 years or so.
I don’t think in the 5-6 seasons I’ve watched I’ve seen a whelk come off a car like it did with Kimi’s. The restraints always grab it and hold it to the car.
You can see easily how those things could kill drivers and fans. Christ.
 

SocrManiac

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I'm not a huge F1 fan, or auto racing fan in general, but I watched large chunks of today's race and was pretty captivated by it. If every F1 race was like that, I'd be clearing my Sundays out for the next few months.
I love F1.

They are not all like that.

There are races to watch for the track (Monaco, Mexico, and anything at night, especially) and some for the racing (Italy and England).

I’m really looking forward to next week as a fan of the engineering. What can the eggheads do you make improvements over this week?
 
FWIW, I do know a little about F1 - I mean, I've watched Senna 10 times (it might be my favorite documentary about anything) and read a biography about him as well, and I do pay attention and dip in and out during race weeks. It helps living in the UK, where F1 *is* auto racing. And if it's raining, I'm much more likely to pay attention. But the financial doping and lack of parity between teams is very off-putting, and the lack of actual racing (i.e., overtaking) many weeks doesn't make for exciting viewing. And all of that aside, I struggle to comprehend how auto racing fits a world in which global warming is real and environmental sustainability matters...but that's probably beyond the scope of this thread.
 

SocrManiac

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And all of that aside, I struggle to comprehend how auto racing fits a world in which global warming is real and environmental sustainability matters...but that's probably beyond the scope of this thread.
Not really beyond the scope, in my opinion.

Next to war, auto racing might drive more technology than anything outside of NASA (or SpaceX). F1 is at the forefront of this. Many ideas born in F1 have trickled down to road cars.

There was an interview with Toto Wolff today where he addressed the sustainability of F1 in general. He commented that the hybrid power plants in particular are incredibly sophisticated and ripe for propagation to road cars. This not only offsets the financial burden on teams as consumers start to purchase the technology, but it drives further refinement and can reduce fuel dependency. The Formula E Championship is a further outgrowth of this, though the racing itself is video game silliness.
 

Chainsaw318

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A possible positive outcome of the condensed euro-centric schedule maybe to get them to adjust the schedule to limit the back and forth across the ocean randomly.

Group the races by continent and stop the dumb scheduling that causes trips like Monaco-Canada-France and the back and forth across Asia
 

BrazilianSoxFan

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What do you guys think about Hamilton's penalty for his collision with Albon? It seems clear to me that it was deserved, but I've seen some arguing otherwise.
 

SocrManiac

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Not sure I could argue against it. I don't see any evidence of massive understeer. He simply didn't leave Albon room and ruined the kid's race. If anything, the penalty wasn't harsh enough.
 
The existence of the "Styrian Grand Prix" amuses me. It's like having the US Open golf tournament at Congressional one week and then playing the "Upper Chesapeake Classic" at Congressional the next. (Not that this is a problem on the PGA Tour, of course - they're having "The Workday" this week and "The Memorial" the next week at the same course. Thank goodness for sponsors, I guess.)
 

Chainsaw318

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It’s going to be interesting to see how, if at all, they adjust to the track this week versus last. That was a wild amount of mechanical
failure last week, and it seems like the Mercedes’ almost shook themselves into an issue on the curbs.

Wonder if we see the same again, as a week is too short to sort anything, or if the race is a little slower as they all avoid that curb-heavy line.
 

SocrManiac

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I can’t fathom how Stroll got away with torpedoing Ricciardo. I feel like Lance has cost Danny 50 points in collisions and awful racing over the past few years.
 

Chainsaw318

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Didn’t like it, and wouldn’t have complained if they had penalized Stroll, but without contact, I feel like they don’t make hard calls like that. Stroll had been on Ricciardo the whole stint, but didn’t have enough to get past his defense. It’s a shame smart defensive driving isn’t better rewarded, versus the guy behind making a move, but it isn’t.

As someone who likes Ricciardo doing well, I’m more concerned that Renault had another cooling issue, and something happened after Ricciardo pitted and put on the soft tires that made that car less competitive.

Norris showing his stuff has been so good to see. Dudes got huge stones and obviously is more confident in his driving and car.

I wish Russell had put a clean race together. I’d like to see if the Williams is better than the Haas and maybe competitive with another team, like Alfa Romeo.
 

SocrManiac

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The thing is, the only reason there wasn’t contact is because Ricciardo saw it coming and bailed. Lance lost control of his car and didn’t leave any space on track for Ricciardo. On a street circuit without runoff, Danny would have been a smear on the wall.

Renault have filed an official protest against the Pink Mercedes. It wasn’t even dismissed out of hand. Things could get very interesting here.
 

Chainsaw318

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I genuinely think Vettel has a psychological issue. If I had to put my finger on an event where he snapped, I’d pick the incident where he thought Hamilton brake-checked him before the safety car restart and he came alongside and bumped Luis. Vettel has been a mistake-prone, red-hazed mess ever since.
I had meant to post this video when you had mentioned it, but that this incident wasn’t a much bigger deal is odd to think about, with Vettel purposefully causing contact during a safety car.

View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iOI2It_W3No
 

Chainsaw318

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Man, poor Sergio. Hope he’s okay and also what a horrible bit of career luck, as the rumors swirl still that he will lose his spot to Vettel next year.

Also hope they can lock down any spread, as it had been so impressive to go from Austria to Hungary without issue. Maybe the drivers can’t jet out in the off weeks?
 

Chainsaw318

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Well, per Racefans, Perez is to only positive test so far, so that’s a great result.

Just watched qualifying and I don’t know if the Mercs have ever been this dominant in the era I have watched. No one is close in qualifying.

And Vettel is a every-week roller coaster it seems. Wonder if he will plow into someone on the opening lap, starting from the back of the first group.

There may now be 7-8 drivers I’d rather have in a single race than Seb, which I would not have thought last year.