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Formula 1 2021 - General Discussion Thread (Read 1st post rules)



  • Who's this Russell guy, never heard of him :p

  • How many races will it take next season before there's a "George, it's James....." team order?

  • Part of me would be surprised if they need to send such a message. They had him over a barrel during the contract negotiations. He might be an explicit no.2 in his contract until Hamilton retires.

    O they might go with the Ferrari model when they had Vettel and Leclerc. Vettel was the default no.1 at the start but when Leclerc proved he is faster they switched to an equal footing. Naturally that would lead to the driver who drops from no.1 to equal status to feel aggrieved and we saw how Vettel fell apart under that circumstance. SO it would be interesting to see how Hamilton reacts if George is genuinely competitive.

    George has great Quali pace in the Williams and it appears to be a strong part of his game, and Hamilton isn't particularly strong in quali compared to his race pace. So George might have the upper hand on Lewis in quali at least. So Mercedes would have to decide how to handle things if George is starting races in front of Hamilton.

  • So Toto wasn't lying when he said "none of those" when asked if Russell would be announced on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

  • So that leave four seats left, the two Williams, one at Alfa and one at Aston Martin.

    Williams - Albon & de Vries? Is Latiffi expected to stay? He brings cash but he's probably not quick enough for them if they want to start getting back to former glories.

    Alfa - Gio staying? I'd be interested to see him race with Bottas as we could see how fast he is, was Kimi still fast or were they both slow. Albon another one but I think Williams probably the better option if he is leaving RB.

    Aston Martin - Assume Stroll keeps his seat?

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  • Joe Saward says Latifi signed a couple of weeks ago and Stroll isn't going anywhere. So if that's true then there are only 2 seats.

    The second Williams is up for grabs and it seems that Mercedes want either De Vries or they want Albon to cut all ties with RB. They don't want a RB driver getting the experience over one of their own.

    Gio's seat is also up for grabs. Ferrari appears to rate him but I'm not sure why. So they might decide to pay for his seat.

  • Stroll is going no where. Latifi is probably also sticking around. Second seat at Williams and Alfa Romeo are up for grabs.

  • Are Schumacher and Mazepin confirmed at Haas? I'm slightly surprised that Tsunda has been confirmed as staying with AT, apart from Baku and the opening race he's been very poor especially in qualifying.

    I don't really see the point in keeping Giovanizzi at Alfa bar Italian/Ferrari links. He's not the worst particularly in qualifying but he isn't good enough to get a car beyond its natural level nor are his race performances notable. I'd personally like to see Schumacher there next season to get him away from the dreadful Haas so we can get a more accurate gauge of his talent.

  • I'd agree with that except to say that Haas is so terrible this year because they have not developed the car this year. They have put all their effort into next year's car. So next year might be a decent improvement. And Williams has improved as this year has gone on but there isn't the same continuity into next year because of the new 2022 regulations. So Haas might get a bump in performance next year. But it might be temporary as their model isn't really about developing their own parts, it's much more about buying Ferrari parts. So their fortunes are tied to Ferrari.

    If Haas shows up next year and is still at the back then they should consider selling and letting someone else have a go.

  • I think the Russell/Hamilton combo could be a tasty as the Rosberg/Hamilton pair up.

    Can't see Russell signing up for bing No.2, and with the new rules, it is all to play for.

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  • It's a fair point with regards the Haas and next season but I really don't expect them to improve as their budget must be the smallest in F1 and the extra years notice that the teams have had since the regulations were pushed back makes me think that there won't be a huge shake up in the order.

  • Schumacher isn't exactly trouncing Mazepin lately. I'm not sure if he deserves or has earned a better drive just yet. He still has a lot to prove in my opinion. His upbringing would have gave him a lot more opportunities and a major head start compared to most.

    What happened in qualifying the last day? Did he disobey team orders and overtake Mazepin or what happened?

  • I can't see Russell being happy to take the number 2 either and I really don't think he'd be happy to fill Valterri's yes man shoes, if that's what they want from him he's better off staying at Williams and I just don't think he'd go for that. He's a huge talent and has time on his hands. He'll definitely be quicker than Valterri and it's going to be very interesting to see how fast he is compared to Lewis, wouldn't be surprised if he outqualifies him fairly regularly.

  • Latifi provides about 75% of the Williams sponsorship so cant leave them.

    Williams used to get all of Russells engines/parts at a discount from Mercedes so could see Merc offering the same discount if they take on De Vries so I imagine thats nailed on to happen.

    And then from the academies;

    Tsunoda was likely to stay as Vips doesnt seem likely to win F2 this year so will likely stay in F2 for 2022. Lawson and Daruvala are even further back than Vips. So RB dont have any replacement ready so Tsunoda remains. RB academy drivers are 1 and 2 in F3 so they may be an option for 2023 depending how they do next year in F2.

    Ferrari's only F2 title contender would be Shwartzman, he may actually appeal to Haas (double down on the Russia theme with a second Russian driver) with Mick then shifting over to the Alfa displacing Giovinazzi.

    The most interesting F2 drivers would be Zhou and Piastri the two Alpine juniors but Alpine dont supply anyone else engines so they have nowhere to go.

  • There's a limit to how much a driver can be forced to be a number 2. If they're consistently quicker than the incumbent, then it would be farcical to have them move out of the way repeatedly. You can only do that sort of crap when one driver has an established lead in the championship. George knows that if he can match or beat Hamilton consistently then sooner or later they have to give him equal status.

  • If he can even match Hamilton then he'll be considered better than Hamilton. Its like when leclerc joined Ferrari and the narrative was that if leclerc could lose but even stay somewhat competitive with vettel in his first year then it would be a win for leclerc.

    You'd expect George to be ahead of Hamilton a few times in a season due to various circumstances, but they should be relatively rare. If they need to tell George to move over more than once or twice in the first half of the season then it means George is able to be ahead of Hamilton in the first place so he's probably as quick or quicker than Hamilton. And that would change the calculations entirely.

  • As the RedBull Mercedes title fight rages on, so does the development fight. Resources for next years car are thrown into this year. See 2008 where Brawn and RedBull (lol just realises that) rose as title contenders. McLaren and Ferrari lost out.

    Its easy easy to see a chain reaction of a non competitive car and someone retiring. Alpine, Ferrari and McLaren might next year the early hitters, all they hope for is an extended title fight to the last race between Max and Lewis.

  • I don’t think George will play the Bottas role, and Mercedes like to pretend they don’t prioritise drivers until later in the championship. If George gets a few early good results over Hamilton, it will put Mercedes in a difficult position because Hamilton will not accept being beaten by his teammate (as we’ve seen previously). And all that will play into their rivals’ hands, who will be putting their weight behind Max and Leclerc.

  • On the topic of what’s happening with AR, Mazapin posted a cryptic story on Instagram just saying “#NM99😉”…..

    99 is Gio’s number so I’m wondering could it be coming available soon? If so, has Gio changed it or is he out?!? Part of me loved the musical chairs part of the season haha

  • Jesus that’s poor form if true. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Schumacher move to Alfa given the relationship between him and Mazepin and the clout that Mazepin has with the team.

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  • Apparently that's his number from previous formula and he is no. 9 now. Accident? Who knows.

    He would have to wait 2 years after Gio leaves to get the no. 99

  • Would he! Didn’t realise there were limits on when a number can be used again! Makes mazapins post even odd’er so!!

  • Yeah dunno what the deal with it is! He posted it tho, I saw it myself! I don’t follow him but it appeared on that suggestion page if your familiar with Instagram I’m sure you know what I’m on about haha

  • Would be silly of Mercedes to have a set 1-2 from too early in the season. We don't know how the cars are going to behave next year at all and especially with the big teams a mis-step early could leave them chasing. With completely new cars there could be (particularly the big teams) massive improvements to be made over the season. We saw in 09 with Ferrari and McLaren making massive gains over the season even aside from the double diffuser. The cars were still flawed and they had to change direction but it was possible. A big team could end up with a consistently 3rd fastest car or start 6th/7th and make it people with a couple of wins by mid-season.

  • Yeah it's all in the retelling. I think there was a period before the summer break where Schumacher made some mistakes and spun a few times which narrowed the gap in some ways. But, as you point out, he is trouncing him in Quali and races.

    But people use stats to suit their preferred narrative. For example you site the stat that Mazepin has only been beaten by a bigger margin by Gasley and Max has beaten Perex by the same difference, but would you site that as evidence that Perez is being hammered by his teammate? I think lots more posters would mount a defence of Perez loosing margin than Mazepin, in spite of the actual margin being about the same.

  • I didn’t realise Daniel had a seat at McLaren until 2023. The team boss still says they are committed to him but if his form doesn’t improve he’s probably going to cost them third place in the constructors this year.

    No idea what that post from mazepin means but I’d like to see Schumacher out of that Haas so we can see what he’s actually like.

  • Happy for him. Hope he can do what Gasley has done and rebuild his reputation

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  • This is quite telling. Source - BBC

    A Red Bull spokesperson said: 'We have released Alex to become a Williams Racing driver in 2022 but retain a relationship with him that includes future options."

    I suspect that Alex will be treated like a driver who's just announced he's leaving the team throughout his time at Williams until such a time that he does move on or Red Bull say they have nothing further to do with him.