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#9651 Posted by Sessh (3392 posts) -

Alonso ran towards Honda while Ricciardo is now running away from them. Thing is I'm afraid those moves will prove equally as bad.

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#9654 Posted by Phos (75 posts) -

That team at Enstone has built championship winning cars before, it’s where Alanso got his championships. Well, I guess calling it “that” team isn’t 100% accurate.

Next year’s Redbull isn’t going to be a title contender any more than the Renault with an engine supplier change so late in the season. Funny thing is, I suspect that regardless of how reliable the actual engine is that the Red Bull’s reliability will improve from having a less tightly optimized cooling design.

And I’d be fascinated to know what the extent of the talks with McLaren actually were, considering they seem to have suddenly become the team where your career goes to die.

I’m also kinda worried that the 2019 wings aren’t going to quite have the effect they’re expecting, they do have reduced outwash potential but with the steep angle of attack and the swept profile I wonder if it’s not as reduced as they think it is. It also does nothing to the Y250 vortex.

Speaking of the Y250 vortex, for a while now I’ve suspected that the original intent behind the low narrow nose with the inert center wing section was meant to try and regulate the cars into looking like they did in the 1980’s. Low pointy nose, and they might have imagined that by cutting off the usefulness of the center they would just have it pass directly through the tip prior to the high nose designs.

The explanation they gave for the inert center section was that the center of the wing stalled the most easily, which is clearly wrong, just look at any 2008 car, the center is being run just as hard as the rest, and doesn’t make sense because the wings had a roughly rectangular planform so spanwise flow wouldn’t cause preferential stalling. They even seem to have tried to get the same effect at the rear with the taller narrower wing introduced at the same time.

The reason given for the low nose was that the high noses were creating override risks, but they replaced that with an even greater underride risk! If it was about safety I would imagine the tip of the crash structure should just be mandated to be at or close to the “equator” of the crash structure so it wouldn’t want to go up or down in typical circumstances.

And they couldn’t admit it or even play it off like unintended consequences ruined it and now we’re stuck with these dumb hook noses because someone wanted cars to look like they did in the 80’s.

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#9658 Posted by Ben_H (4188 posts) -

Alonso has announced he is leaving F1 (note the press release did not say retiring which leaves the option of him coming back in a year or two should he want to) to pursue other racing opportunities. Big news obviously and it will have a massive impact on what driver goes where.

He had a video on his Twitter announcing it, and honestly at first I thought it was an elaborate joke because he likes doing that kind of stuff, but then I realized it was real.

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#9659 Posted by Shindig (4914 posts) -

Well, it's been fun. His scraps with Schumacher and Hamilton gave the sport a huge kick up the arse. Hopefully he completes the triple crown and then bows out. Or hangs about prototypes for a bit.

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#9660 Posted by Ben_H (4188 posts) -

The new rumour is that Stroll will be at Force India by next weekend at Monza, replacing Ocon, who will be without a drive for the rest of the year. This entire move already feels disgusting, but given that Ocon just qualified 3rd and has been consistently doing well against Perez all year, it feels even dirtier than it already did. Ocon has been one of the better younger drivers since coming into F1. Stroll has been 99% horrible. He had one podium he lucked into and one good qualifying result he lucked into but other than that he's been on the level of a 1990s pay driver at best.

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#9661 Posted by Shindig (4914 posts) -

If Ocon converts his 3rd spot to a podium. there'll be plenty after him.

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#9662 Edited by Ben_H (4188 posts) -

I hope so. Even Hamilton seemed pretty unhappy about Ocon's situation in the post-qualifying press conference and talked about how stupid it's getting with pay drivers getting better seats than actual good drivers.

They accidentally taped Vettel talking to Ocon about it right after qualifying and they said this (from Motorsport):

Vettel: Next year? Still nothing?

Ocon: No.

Vettel: Will you be here [at Force India]? No?

Ocon: No, no. The seat is taken.

Vettel: Oh yeah? Who?

Ocon: Have a guess! The one who bought it!

Vettel: Yes, but the other one...?

Ocon: Well, the other one [Sergio Perez] brings money.

He definitely sounds like he's getting frustrated. But who can blame him? He's been consistently one of the better drivers outside the top 3 teams since the start of 2017 and now he gets to deal with this.

edit: RaceFans has an article claiming he's going to McLaren and there's going to be a bunch of driver swapping that will ultimately end with Ericsson losing his seat. I'll believe it when I see it. They've been posting a lot of kind of sensationalist articles of this type that sound too convoluted and fishy to be true. Like the one claiming Leclerc and Kimi were swapping seats for Belgium.

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#9664 Posted by Dizzyhippos (4629 posts) -

Well if you ever needed a test case to say "we dont care how ugly the halo is we need it for safety" this race is it. Leclaire might be dead right now if not for it.

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#9665 Posted by Phos (75 posts) -

Hulkenburg's crash was very odd, it really looked like something went wrong with the car. When I first saw it, I thought his throttle stuck open, it just looked like that car wasn't interested in slowing down.

Given the direction Alonso's car was traveling, I don't think Leclerc was actually at risk but I imagine he'd still rather have the halo either way.

Stroll moving to Force India, eeeeesh. With the Williams he at least has plausible deniability for his performance and a teammate he can beat, in a Force India there won't be any doubt remaining.

On a different note, I'm pretty skeptical of the 2019 regs. For one, it makes DRS more effective, and these last few races have made it seem too effective. It also doesn't actually get rid of outwash from the front wings, now it just forces the Y250 vortex to do more of the job, and their swept nature is going to mean a bit of outwash thanks to spanwise flow in any event.

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#9666 Edited by PDXSonic (565 posts) -

DVR didn't record the morning airing of the GP, so I had to watch the replay live. Guess they make up for all the lost commerical time from the live show on the replay sheesh.

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#9668 Edited by Monosukoi (53 posts) -

@phos: Agreed about DRS, it has made passing trivial in most cases. However, the other problem is the top 3 teams having so much more pace than the rest, that the midfield teams don't even bother to defend. Watching a Mercedes drive up through the field (like we've seen in the past 2 races) just isn't that exciting when they're 2 seconds a lap faster and have DRS.

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#9670 Posted by TwistedMerc94 (96 posts) -

Bottas is honestly the worst thing in F1 this year. I miss the days when Rosberg and Hamilton were at each other's necks for wins.

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#9671 Edited by Ben_H (4188 posts) -

Really good race. Disappointing as a Kimi fan but it was super close in a way very few F1 races are these days. Vettel cost Ferrari the win by being an idiot again. Had he been up there either he or Kimi could have prevented Mercedes from backing them up around the pitstops. Kimi seemed like he had the pace but Ferrari pitted him early again (they've seemed way too conservative on tire life estimates the last while), pushed him too hard and ended up using up his tires behind Bottas trying to close the gap to Hamilton so he ran out of grip later on.

It feels like Ferrari is throwing this championship with bad strategy (and Vettel being stupid on race day). It's like last year all over again. They have the car but they keep bungling strategy and making dumb mistakes.

edit: Vandoorne out at a Mclaren for next year. What a shame. He never had the chance to actually drive a good car. Hopefully he gets a seat somewhere, preferably in a better car. He's being replaced by Lando Norris, who seems to have a lot of hype around him despite his results being just okay. Vandoorne's junior results were better and the fact that Alonso was a big defender of his should say something about how good he is as a driver. Supposedly his pace compared Alonso's was better than Massa's and Raikkonen's was when Alonso was teammates with them.

I can't see this going well for Mclaren. They're starting with two new drivers, one a rookie and the other not exactly the top of the pile, and having to try to develop a car with no frame of reference. I feel like they might be about to pull a Williams. But at least Williams is humble about things. Zak Brown will trudge out and brag that next year's Mclaren will be one of the best cars. People are pointing to his choice of going with Norris as yet another "all flash, no substance" decision he's made.

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#9673 Posted by Phos (75 posts) -

@ben_h: Yeah I don't know what the deal was with Ferrari's timing in regards to pitting Raikkonen, being conservative for the first stop just means he's going to have to run even longer on unproven tires. It's almost like Ferrari didn't get the memo that all the compounds are one "notch" softer this year and they expected the softs to be able to run almost a full race distance.

Kimi looked hungry this weekend, in a way I haven't seen for a while. Vettel's dumbass mistake against Lewis (who was almost on the ruble strip!) I'm wondering if Ferrari is starting to wish they didn't extend Vettel's contract for so long. I have a feeling this weekend is making Kimi seem much more appealing for his ability to usually keep it between the ditches. Leclerc is fast but it also seems weirdly common for the camera to cut to him bouncing across the grass somewhere.

I dunno that the Williams comparison is completely apt considering that this weekend made it look like Williams is improving while Mclaren still seems clueless. Is lando low key secretly a pay driver and sky doesn't want to talk about it because he's British? Seems like a bad move for them to have two new drivers when their car is in such a way. This really comes off as them trying to use Vandoorne as a scapegoat when it's more likely he just can't deal with that car's weird aerodynamic problems as well as Alonso. It seems like Mclaren is just where your career goes to die. If Sauber is to be believed, the rumors of Vandoorne going there aren't true.

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#9674 Posted by Dave_Tacitus (2459 posts) -

@phos: Norris has been winning everything in lower formulas, he's also British and very young which doesn't hurt their marketing - Lewis won't be around for ever and there's no other British driver on the grid. That he's not going to cost much is another bonus.

Sainz is the risky choice. ;)

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#9675 Posted by Ben_H (4188 posts) -

@phos: You are correct about the Williams comparison. They are improving. And yeah, it seems increasingly like Vandoorne has been forced to take the blame for his car not being even close to on the level of his teammates'. Vandoorne is just another in a line of drivers to start at McLaren and have things go wrong. Luckily for Magnussen and Perez, they at least were given second chances.

For the whole "Kimi looked hungry" thing. Yes definitely, and with the latest rumours being that he was told at some point that weekend that he was not being re-signed, it might make more sense (which made him sounding so somber on the radio and in his interview after getting pole make more sense too). Apparently Vettel said in an interview with a Dutch newspaper recently that he now has three people to compete against out front, including his teammate, which is an interesting thing for someone like him to say. To me that suggests that either Vettel knows Kimi won't be so receptive to team orders anymore (confirming the rumour), that up until now Kimi has been sacrificing his result for Vettel and won't be anymore (also confirming the rumour), or that Kimi has returned to a form such that he can beat Vettel.

And yeah, I have a feeling Ferrari might start regretting their super long contract with Vettel. This is the second year in a row he's been a choke artist when under pressure or when things aren't going exactly perfect for him. And all that is after being given a huge amount of preferential treatment over his teammate. I stopped cheering for Vettel after Monaco last year when they deliberately fucked over Kimi to give Vettel the win even though Kimi was faster the whole weekend. I never have liked Hamilton but I even cheer for him over Vettel now and want him to win this year.

And yeah, as for Leclerc, he had that streak of a few weekends where he did amazing, but outside of that he hasn't looked nearly as good. A bit above Marcus Ericsson at best, and horrid in the wet. He seems to make a lot of mistakes, which reinforces why he needs more time to get comfortable in F1 before he goes to Ferrari. If he makes the mistakes he has made this year while in a Ferrari the media is going to rip him apart. They certainly had no trouble savaging Verstappen after his string of mistakes in races.

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#9676 Posted by Shindig (4914 posts) -

Not sure about Norris entering Formula 1. His record isn't earth shattering. He's winning formula but his win rate is a little lackluster. That's the problem with most of the teenage call-ups in that they aren't overpowering things at lower levels. Vettel and Hamilton did that and opened the floodgates for younger drivers to enter F1 mediocrity at the start of their careers, rather than the end.

I was looking at Max Verstappen's record and, in his breakthrough Formula 3 year, he secured six of his ten wins on two weekends. The lad seemed so exciting when he came in but, imagine his confidence if he had another season honing it at a lower level. Just look at those that have passed through Red Bull's system and where they wound up within a few years.

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#9677 Posted by stalefishies (444 posts) -

To brake up the driver speculation (sorry not sorry) here's a crazy clip of a Moto2 rider reaching over and grabbing another guy's brake lever:

Loading Video...

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#9678 Edited by Ben_H (4188 posts) -

Kimi is out at Ferrari and Leclerc is in for next year. Kimi is going back to Sauber for two years to help rebuild the team and develop the car. Supposedly he is taking a stake in the team (he already owns several racing teams so this sounds like something he'd do). He lives quite close to Sauber HQ as is so that's also interesting. Kimi's known for being one of the best at developing and setting up cars so Sauber having him for that while on this upswing in form will be interesting. I'm curious as to how Kimi will handle the rest of this season.

It'll be interesting to see how things go with Vettel and Leclerc. I really hope Ferrari doesn't force Leclerc into a #2 role. I'd love to see him immediately start beating Vettel.

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#9679 Edited by Ben_H (4188 posts) -

Ferrari is 100% not going to win either Driver's or Constructor's Championships this year. They're falling apart. Vettel's slipping hard right now. Ferrari's strategy continues to be abhorrent. Kimi looked the faster of the two today though he didn't have to nurse home tires way too soft the distance he was expected to do like Vettel did. I'm not sure how anyone could have thought ultrasoft tires could keep pace with softs for that long.

Singapore continues to be one of the dullest races of the season. If it wasn't for Perez being dumb, quite literally nothing would have happened the whole race. There was that one point where Verstappen got close to Hamilton because of backmarkers and that's about it. I ended up stopping watching and baking muffins for the last 20 or so laps.

edit: Also, by lap 45 or so, everyone but the top 6 was a 50+ seconds behind. Alonso was 7th with two pit stops worth of time between him and Ricciardo in 6th. It's getting silly.

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#9680 Posted by Shindig (4914 posts) -

@stalefishies Yeah, Fenati was sacked immediately and given a two race ban. If you're interested, there's footage from three years back where he kicks out at another rider before hitting his killswitch.

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#9681 Posted by Phos (75 posts) -

Wow it's looking like not only Vettel won't get the championship, he might not even get 2nd.

I think Verstappen's elbows were too far out, but the nyquill is really starting to take effect (head cold) now so I might change my mind yet.

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#9682 Posted by PDXSonic (565 posts) -

@pdxsonic said:

Well not much surprise left in this season. Might as well hand Hamilton the trophy and start racing for second. Mercedes clearly have the best car, and it's not even close.

Well when I said this 2 months ago, I didn't think things would be this bad lol. Vettel brought this on himself today, I got why he wanted to pass but Max was on a penalty already.

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#9683 Posted by Phos (75 posts) -

Looking at it again, vettel’s trajectory post contact seems to suggest he wouldn’t have made it but that’s really hard to put down to his pre contact state. I don’t see why all the commentators peg that as a bad spot to pass, seems like a reasonable spot if you’re behind someone who got a bad run up to it like Verstappen did.

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#9684 Posted by Shindig (4914 posts) -

Vettel can't chase, man. He leads from the front and that's about it.

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#9685 Posted by Ben_H (4188 posts) -

Ferrari needs to get a new strategy team. They just threw this entire race. Then they had the gall to tell Kimi that Hamilton was two-stopping when it's obvious he isn't barring something happening that wrecks his tires.

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#9686 Edited by Sessh (3392 posts) -

Ferrari is being run by utter morons right now. I just can't understand how anyone there can still think "our strategies are fine".

They (and Vettel's over-aggressivenis in the latter half of the season) have just thrown away what seemed like an easy double title for 2018.

I hope some heads will role or the Mercedes train will keep on trucking for a lot of years.

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#9687 Posted by Ben_H (4188 posts) -

Kimi did a good job holding up Hamilton. It will all depend if Hamilton's tires were worn out enough by that to force him to pit or for Kimi to pass.

I think this race is about to turn into a procession for about 25 laps.

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#9688 Edited by Sessh (3392 posts) -

Yeah, I get the idea. It won't work out though.

They always, and I mean always, go for the impossibly long shot base on their weird predicitions.

I still hope I'm wrong though, one last victory for Kimi would be amazing.

Edit: Maybe this could work out, Hamilton is complaining even more than usual.

Edit2: Wow, he actually did box.

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#9689 Posted by Ben_H (4188 posts) -

This race went from being interesting to looking like a procession back to being interesting.

I do think Red Bull might have pitted Verstappen a bit early. He has to do over 30 laps on those super softs.

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#9690 Posted by MachoFantastico (6678 posts) -

There is such a gigantic gap between the top three teams and everyone else it's unbelievable. Really hope that changes next year.

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#9691 Posted by Sessh (3392 posts) -

Been a while since a race finish was this exciting. Go Kimi!

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#9692 Edited by Ben_H (4188 posts) -

@machofantastico: Something has to be done. It's almost a minute gap every race now.

The ending to this race is so tense!

edit: Holy fuck Kimi has this. They're both way behind. And he has completely won it on merit.

double edit: yup. Holy shit holy shit holy shit he finally won again. He's been driving so good since the summer break. He 100% deserves this!

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#9693 Edited by Sessh (3392 posts) -

I can't tell you guys how happy I am that Ferrari got it right after all and Kimi got a final (probably) win.

I still think he should have gotten one more year instead of LeClerc, but oh well, at least he got to show his speed again.

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#9694 Posted by Ben_H (4188 posts) -

@sessh: I agree! I was hoping he would at least get that one last win before he goes onto his (sort of) retirement project at Sauber.

He seemed pretty subdued at his interview given he won but I guess that's just how he is. He said the celebrations would be later.

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#9695 Posted by Sessh (3392 posts) -

@ben_h: Yeah, it was all just very typical Kimi. The interview with Brundle especially.

B: "You must be very happy and excited, your last win was in 2013"

K: "I'm happier than I would be if I was second, I guess". Then a short grin.

Kimi is just so entertaining.

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#9696 Posted by clush (704 posts) -

There is such a gigantic gap between the top three teams and everyone else it's unbelievable. Really hope that changes next year.

Well, there used to be a gigantic gap between the top one team and the rest... three competitive teams is probably as good as it's gonna get.

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#9697 Posted by Ben_H (4188 posts) -

@clush said:
@machofantastico said:

There is such a gigantic gap between the top three teams and everyone else it's unbelievable. Really hope that changes next year.

Well, there used to be a gigantic gap between the top one team and the rest... three competitive teams is probably as good as it's gonna get.

Check out seasons like 2012 or 2010. In 2012 6 different teams won and 7 were represented in podium positions. It's one thing for a few teams to be slightly stronger than the others, it's another for it to be quite literally impossible for anyone other than the top 3 teams to have a chance of a podium unless 4 or more drivers from the top 3 teams have mechanical issues or crashes. Even in the era of Ferrari dominance there was more variability in who got on the podium compared to now. Even in 2014 at peak Mercedes dominance, 6 teams managed to get at least one podium.

It only began last year that the top 3 teams were the only teams to get podiums. Had Stroll not got his podium in Baku (which was caused by 4 frontrunners having their races compromised in some way. Vettel had his penalty for hitting Hamilton, Hamilton had his headrest come loose, Kimi got hit and had severe damage, and Verstappen retired), only the top 3 teams would have been on podium. This year Perez got a podium in Baku, but only because 4 of the frontrunners had their races compromised (the Red Bulls crashed into each other, Bottas had a blowout, and Kimi got hit and had a bunch of damage).

It shouldn't be this way. For anyone on the fourth place team down, they basically have to rely on freak occurrences to happen in order to get into the top 6. That doesn't sound competitive at all. The increasing gap we see between 6th and 7th place every race is a good indicator of how uncompetitive F1 has become. The top 3 teams are nearly lapping the entire field every race at this point.

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#9698 Posted by clush (704 posts) -

@ben_h: well of course if there's 3 top teams it's gonna be harder for everyone else to get a podium than when there's only 1 or 2 top teams. Anyway, I was talking more about 2015 and 2016, to say recently it's gotten better rather than worse.

Look at today, 3 teams finishing within 3 seconds... I honestly can't remember the last time that happened.

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#9699 Edited by Phos (75 posts) -

My understanding of why there's such a gap: "Virtual" floor sealing. There's every type of bargeboard and wing and turning vane represented all up and down the field, but then there's the huge gap between the field and the big teams. If you want evidence of this, recall how well the red bull worked in Monza with an almost level rear wing Or the Williams, Ferrari, and Haas looking as similar as they do but performing so differently. Note: I imagine the Mclaren is also suffering from this but its problems do not end there, if it weren't for the F1 front wing it would be easy to mistake that car for an overgrown Formula 3 car. I'd call it amature hour, but a Swift 016's diffuser problably works better.

Sealing the floor was originally done by sliding skirts, a straightforward and relatively inexpensive way of doing it, but the FIA decided this was too fast, then there were a bunch of intermediate steps that aren't relevant, then you get advancements in vortex generation understanding being applied to use vortices to seal the floor.

Why do you need to seal the floor? With an unsealed floor, the diffuser works its hardest in a straight line, when you need to least downforce. It's still very effective, otherwise group CN cars wouldn't bother, but F1 cars are a perfect storm of competitiveness combined with the giant tires in free air right next to the floor that having a sealed floor is a huge advantage.

2017 made things so much worse because the wider tires (and their tire squirt, turbulent jets of air squeezed out between the tire and the road) and larger diffuser both in their own way made it even more important to make air act like a partition, while opening up rules limiting how vortices could be created along the edge of the floor. Prior to 2017, holes in the floor could not be closed, you had to be able to "floss" any hole cut in the floor, but strangely the width of that regulation wasn't expanded with size of the floor.

If they want to bring teams closer in pace and limit spending they need to stop writing rules that encourage such stupidly hit or miss development. I wanna say Ferrari's brought a new floor to every race that wasn't part of a double header, and that's the sort of thing an out of control budget can really do.

On another subject, I've seen a lot of pundits going this way or that over why Vettel keeps spinning out every time he touches someone. The front end of F1 cars is extremely light, the current rules make rear grip so much easier to come by that there's basically as little weight as they can manage in the front. But as to why he's the one spinning, his car seems to understeer the moment it's given the chance to lose traction, it always seems to understeer, with the exception of tight corners + wet weather + heavy right foot. I think vettel just prefers a very pushy car, and if Scott Mansell has it right, the sort of line he takes almost reminds me of a GT car, that his set up requires more effort to get the car to yaw. This also matches up him him so abruptly losing the front end in Germany in such an innocuous situation. (Would have rather linked to his youtube channel but that video seems gone from there?)

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#9700 Posted by Phos (75 posts) -

That was probably Verstappen’s last chance to break the youngest pole sitter record, was he prevented by vettel knocking him down to defend his record? Of course not, Ricciardo got pole. That’s going to be awkward I imagine.

The Red Bulls are so fast in Mexico because of the altitude. Not sure exactly how much they’re losing, but I’ve heard as extreme as running Monaco spec aero to get sub Monza levels of downforce. The Red Bull is probably the only car able to make as much downforce as they actually want it to, or at least it comes closest.