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Posted by: NeilP
25-07-2021, 03:52 PM
Forum: Driver Contract Gossip
- Replies (5)

It is that time of year when drivers are signed for the upcoming seasons.  There are some really stupid rumours out there including the proposed return of Mika Hakkinen!!!!

I am ignoring those and making my line ups below.  Obviously interested to see what you guys think or know about 2022.

This is what I THINK it will be not what I think it should be. I would absolutely move Schumacher to Alfa Romeo. I would drop Giovinazzi and Raikkonen. I would drop Latifi from Williams. I would kick Mazepin out of the sport completely. If I am Haas I get an American driver in at least one seat, that I feel as much as it kills me to say so would be good for the sport overall. Gasly should be off to a better team but there are no seats available.  Renault have made two hasty decisions They should have targeted Gasly for a seat in my book.

Mercedes  Hamilton & Russell
Red Bull Verstappen & Perez
McLaren Norris & Ricciardo
Ferrari Leclerc & Sainz
Aston Martin Stroll & Vettel
Renault Ocon & Alonso
Alpha Tauri  Gasly & Tsunoda
Alfa Romeo Bottas & Giovinazzi
Haas Schumacher & Mazepin
Williams Latifi & Atkin

Over to you guys

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Posted by: NeilP
24-07-2021, 04:07 PM
Forum: 2021 Race Threads
- Replies (8)

Having spent the best part of the week tied up in the aftermath of the British GP its time to move on to Hungary.

This is always a race that is pretty much dominated by pole position as overtaking is at a huge premium and usually only into the first corner.  The race dates back to 1986 and was the first F1 venue to be behind the then so called "Iron Curtain".  In its early years the race was dominated by Williams yet strangely enough Nigel Mansells only win here was in a Ferrari.  In recent times the race has been dominated by Mercedes and in particular Lewis Hamilton who has won here no less than 8 times.

The big question I think to be answered here is how is Max Verstappens mindset after that very large impact which is to my memory the biggest of his career to date. Perhaps it is to his benefit that outside of the first corner there are very few challenging places on the circuit and wheel to wheel racing will be at an absolute minimum.  Personally I am sad about that I wanted to see how he would react to some hard racing but I guess we are going to be kept waiting for quite a while for that to transpire.

I think Mercedes improved their car at the British GP but my gut feeling still tells me the Red Bull is still superior and in the hands of Verstappen at least still ahead of Mercedes in most departments.  As has been the case for so long the more competitive battles will be further down the field.  Ferrari have won here twice in recent times through Sebastian Vettel and their dual with McLaren is set to continue and may well be the race within the race we will enjoy the most.  I have a sneeky suspicion Fernando Alonso may well be set for a good race here too.

No bold predictions from me other to say I will be surprised all things being equal if the pole position does not win the race. This is a track however where rain can make the track come alive and I would not mind seeing that but to be honest generally I am not a outside agency lover for racing.  Lst race for a month, I hate this layoff but understand the reasons behind it. I have a feeling this will not last many more years under Liberty because its lost revenue at a crucial time of the year and we know its all about maximising the mighty coffers of the company.

Hope everyone is well. Looking forward to seeing Morini get his ass back in gear, on track and with fewer pitstops!!

Stay safe everyone.

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Posted by: NeilP
24-07-2021, 12:43 AM
Forum: Driver Contract Gossip
- No Replies

My very first thought about Valteri Bottas is what a nice guy he is.  I say that not because he plays number two very well to my favourite driver but because he genuinely comes over as being a very nice guy.  Then one thinks of the old adage "Nice guys Finnish (Pun intended) last".  I do not think that is right all of the time but for sure you could never confuse Michael Schumacher with a cuddly teddy bear (Keep fighting Michael).

No, Valteri is unfortunate to have as his team mate Lewis Hamilton. I do not want to make this post all about Hamilton because it is not. However to ignore his influence on Bottas's situation would be a mistake. It has everything to do with him.  The fact of the matter is he is simply not in the same league as Hamilton, very few ever have been and its arguable if any are right now although I accept some may consider Max Verstappen to be right up there.

Mercedes it seems to me have reached a crossroads with their driver situation.  I am sure for the odd time it actually happens here on the Banter Box we are all in agreement and want to see George Russell in the other seat at Mercedes.  Personally I do not buy into the "Good wingman" to be retained idea.  I feel that has happened in the last two maybe even three seasons and probably with good reason.  Many make the claim its to keep Hamilton happy, maybe that is true maybe not.  Can we not have said the same about Kimi at Ferrari with Vettel.  Can we not say the same about Max Verstappen and his team mates. I am far more certain Red Bull will never challenge Max as the number one driver at that team than I am Mercedes will challenge Hamilton.

To me there is only one choice and it has be to Russell and my reasoning is as follows. Mercedes need a young upcoming driver for the future. Also Hamilton will not be around for ever (Shhh Forza) and they will need a number one driver and in my opinion based on what I have seen so far Russell may well be that guy.  Much is being made of Valteri and his team first attitude at Silverstone this week but can we please be realistic about this.  Hamilton was going to pass him with ease, it would simply have been when not if.  Yes allowing him through unhindered probably helped him enormously to win the race but is that not standing operating practice for all F1 teams in that situation, of course it is.

I do not see where Bottas will remain in F1 I mean where do you go from Mercedes? This is part of all sports and indeed life we all reach the end of our usefulness (My wife and indeed 'friends' tell me that was over a decade ago for me). I do not want to see him go to Haas or Williams for his F1 career to die.

As for Russell will he push Hamilton harder than Bottas. My thoughts are yes he will but he will also light a fire under Hamilton and maybe give him one more wave to ride before he calls time on his career.  What I think it will do is open up the WDC more because I can see Russell taking more points off Hamilton than Bottas and that may open the door for others.

As for Bottas, I will remember him for being a really solid F1 driver.  On his day right up there, but more often that not he was the almost guy.  That said he is one of the nicest guys we have seen on the grid and I wish him luck.

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Posted by: NeilP
06-07-2021, 04:27 PM
Forum: 2021 Race Threads
- Replies (88)

Always my favourite race on the F1 schedule, closely followed by Suzuka.

Many are in agreement if Hamilton especially but also Mercedes as a team do not win this race the season is over with Red Bull winning both titles.  About a week ago I disagreed saying it was too early but with what has transpired and also the comments being made by various sources I think I am onboard with that statement.

If it was a standard format weekend I would still fancy Hamilton to win, the lift and inspiration of a home GP and his record there would have had me solidly thinking Hamilton would win.  With the change in format I am not so sure.  My gut feeling says its another Verstappen win but that could also be the pessimist in me.

Regardless of my personal support I am looking forward to a great race.  I think it will still be close up front certainly closer than the last two races and I think the whole top 10/12 cars will be battling out for a points finish. Yes I expect Red Bull and Mercedes cars to lead the way but who can write off McLaren and in particular Norris after his exploits last weekend.  Hoping to see Forza's team get up and among the leaders the battle for third has certainly moved in McLarens favour of late.

Would it be too much to hope for for George Russell and Williams to get a point. He has been outstanding this season again and I hope he can end that run of zero points for his current team.

Obviously I will watch the whole weekend (Time difference allowing from the USA) but like many I am hating this format change it is absolutely stupid and again as I point out so many times on here an "Americanisation" of the sport.  I live here, I love sport but in truth this country butchers pretty much every single sport it touches.

Before I sign off just a friendly reminder England play Pakistan at cricket in a one day game on both Thursday and Saturday, I did not want anyone to miss that and of course its one sport America cannot screw with (Thank goodness)

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Posted by: forzaferrari
28-06-2021, 11:26 AM
Forum: 2021 Race Threads
- Replies (23)

F2 championship leader Guanyu Zhou will make his F1 debut when he replaces Fernando Alonso in fp1 this weekend

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Posted by: forzaferrari
23-06-2021, 05:17 PM
Forum: 2021 Race Threads
- Replies (30)

According to SkyF1........


Just about every weather app gives dry though

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Posted by: NeilP
12-06-2021, 07:57 PM
Forum: One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest
- Replies (5)

So distressing to see what has happened to Christian Eriksen in the European Championship Soccer tournament.

Just hoping all turns out all right for him, his family and friends.

I think we often overlook especially in motor racing just how dangerous it can be. We have been lulled into a somewhat false sense of security with the cars being so much safer than they used to be.  It sure makes me appreciate it all the more when something like this can happen on a soccer field.

Life is a one way trip... enjoy the ride responsibly and may all your pathways be safe guys.

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Posted by: NeilP
11-06-2021, 06:11 PM
Forum: 2021 Race Threads
- Replies (36)

Get your sun glasses out and prepare to be dazzled. Sadly not by the driving but the paintwork of the track.

We have been back at Paul Ricard for 2 races in 2018-19, last year the race was cancelled.  The two races that have been held have both been won by Lewis Hamilton.  The race sees us return to more traditional racing circuit than the street circuits of Baku and Monaco.

I feel it is here on out we see where the teams truly are in terms of race performance.  Are Red Bull really as fast as they are?  Are Mercedes in decline?  Who is the the third team McLaren or Ferrari?

Its hard to predict, we all have out opinions. As a Mercedes fan I am hopeful of a major bounce back from both the drivers and the team. Whichever way you want to frame it for a major team and indeed the best team over the turbo-hybrid era Baku was an unmitigated disaster.  Max versus Lewis is the obvious headline and one we will be hearing every single race until the end of the year but it is not the only fascinating battle.  Bottas vs Perez is now in full view. It could well be the performance of these two drivers as to who wins the World Constructors Champion.  The undercard of McLaren vs Ferrari is to me almost as fascinating as the battle at the top they are so closely matched.

We now enter a fun part of the schedule with three races in 3 weeks and 4 races in five including my personal favourite the British GP.

So who you guys got for this one?  What are you looking forward to the most and what other trenchant observation if any have you got Smile

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Posted by: NeilP
30-05-2021, 07:34 PM
Forum: F1 General Discussion Board
- Replies (1)

Nothing revolutionary but interesting enough to watch:

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Posted by: NeilP
29-05-2021, 01:46 PM
Forum: 2021 Race Threads
- Replies (50)

I look forward to this as a vast improvement over Monaco but in truth they have similar traits. Overtaking opportunities are better and more numerous but it is still a tough track apart from the longest straight on the F1 calendar.

Lots of talk about wings pre race I hope we do not get the stewards too involved on deciding outcomes here, let it be settled on track.  For me the interesting thing to observe will be the flat out speeds of the cars.  My instincts (which are wrong more often than they are right) tells me Mercedes will be the faster car although from what I read many are saying Red Bull with their aero will be the choice.

Is it truly coincidence that Red Bulls sales line is "It gives you wings".  That said can you believe they have lost yet another court case which is going to cost them millions because consumers are complaining that after drinking the beverage they have not shown any ability to grow wings.  This is the brave new world we live in today. Makes me puke.

My favourite Azerbaijan GP Memory was seeing Danny Ricciardo and Max Verstappen take each other out (well I am being kind it was Maxs fault in my book). We have had many memorable moments it its short history. Who can forget Vettel deciding to play bumper cars with Hamilton. Bottas getting a puncture when it seemed certain he would win. Perez and Ocon coming together more than an AA meeting.

After that last race I think I could get excited about pretty much any race venue.

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