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Who will partner Hulkenberg for 2018?
Alonso 9%  9%  [ 4 ]
Kubica 65%  65%  [ 28 ]
Ocon 7%  7%  [ 3 ]
Palmer 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
Perez 5%  5%  [ 2 ]
Sainz 12%  12%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 43
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:06 pm 
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NOTE: I'm basing this on the assumption that Palmer will drive for the rest of the season. I'm aware there are rumours he won't.

So it appears that the second Renault seat is a bit of a hot one at the moment with several drivers linked to it. Hulkenberg is on a multi year deal so only one seat is free.

Alonso - with McLaren-Honda failing to deliver yet again and his contract ending it seems Renault is the logical place for him to move if he doesn't want to stay at McLaren.

Kubica - 3 tests with Renault in around 2 months and one of them at the expense of their current drivers running shows they are serious about him, could it be the ultimate F1 fairytale story?

Ocon - a Mercedes junior which complicates thing but he has history with the manufacturer having been their test driver in 2016. With Wehrlein potentially losing his seat will Mercedes try to move Ocon to make room for Wehrlein at Force India, rather than put one of their junior drivers out of the sport?

Palmer - Can he extend his contract with the team?

Perez - he was linked with the seat last year and apparently Renault are still interested. He doesn't appear to be getting the Ferrari drive and how much longer will he want to stick around at Force India? This would also leave room at Force India for a Wehrlein and Ocon lineup.

Sainz - he was linked with an in season move earlier this year but it didn't amount to anything. He has made it clear his intentions are to move from Toro Rosso into a competitive seat soon and Red Bull look tied up for now with Verstappen and Ricciardo.

Updated for Sainz - Let me know if I've missed any rumours of further contenders for he seat.


Last edited by Black_Flag_11 on Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:21 pm 
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I voted for Kubica but something just occurred to me, if McLaren do drop Honda and get Renault engines instead, I wonder if Kubica might be interested in going to McLaren if there is a seat available.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:36 pm 
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I think it will be Kubica or Ocon.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:30 pm 
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The Kubica thing is really interesting. I'm not aware of big financial reasons for them to want to get him back in F1, and it's not like he's a widely known entity outside of racing. So I'm not quite sure why they'd put so much time and effort getting him into a current car and running enough mileage to qualify him for a super license if they don't think he's up to the task and really want to put him in a race seat.

Granted the publicity would be great and would be a story they could push outside of the motorsport world. But if he's not able to compete at a higher level than Palmer and at least as well as Hulk or Ocon they haven't really done themselves much good.

Ocon on the other hand lets them make a step up from Palmer at the least but with a driver who might even have a performance ceiling that's a good bit higher than what he's showing at the moment.

In the end I can see Ocon as the race driver and signing Kubica as the reserve/test driver.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:51 pm 
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RaggedMan wrote:
The Kubica thing is really interesting. I'm not aware of big financial reasons for them to want to get him back in F1, and it's not like he's a widely known entity outside of racing. So I'm not quite sure why they'd put so much time and effort getting him into a current car and running enough mileage to qualify him for a super license if they don't think he's up to the task and really want to put him in a race seat.

Granted the publicity would be great and would be a story they could push outside of the motorsport world. But if he's not able to compete at a higher level than Palmer and at least as well as Hulk or Ocon they haven't really done themselves much good.

Ocon on the other hand lets them make a step up from Palmer at the least but with a driver who might even have a performance ceiling that's a good bit higher than what he's showing at the moment.

In the end I can see Ocon as the race driver and signing Kubica as the reserve/test driver.

Allowing Kubica to test the 2017 car (meaning Palmer/Hulk having to step aside due to young driver rules) means they must be confident in his ability and the level of support thrown behind him is an indicator that they are serious about employing him.

The only other explanation that would make sense is that Kubica is paying for these tests, I see no reason to assume that's the case though.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:54 pm 
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I really don't know who'll end up with the seat. Saying that, for me Kubica is the favourite simply because they've given him the in-season test. I think with Robert, perhaps there was a little sentimentality with the first test he did, but I'm sure all the way along there has been a curiosity in how he would perform, and an ever-increasing possibility that it could all lead to a full-time return to the Enstone team. At the same time, it would not shock me to see Sainz or Ocon or Perez end up alongside Hulkenberg.

I'm just trying to work out what would be more of a shock: Alonso returning to Renault for 2018, or Renault opting to retain Palmer for another year...

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:12 pm 
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Black_Flag_11 wrote:
RaggedMan wrote:
The Kubica thing is really interesting. I'm not aware of big financial reasons for them to want to get him back in F1, and it's not like he's a widely known entity outside of racing. So I'm not quite sure why they'd put so much time and effort getting him into a current car and running enough mileage to qualify him for a super license if they don't think he's up to the task and really want to put him in a race seat.

Granted the publicity would be great and would be a story they could push outside of the motorsport world. But if he's not able to compete at a higher level than Palmer and at least as well as Hulk or Ocon they haven't really done themselves much good.

Ocon on the other hand lets them make a step up from Palmer at the least but with a driver who might even have a performance ceiling that's a good bit higher than what he's showing at the moment.

In the end I can see Ocon as the race driver and signing Kubica as the reserve/test driver.

Allowing Kubica to test the 2017 car (meaning Palmer/Hulk having to step aside due to young driver rules) means they must be confident in his ability and the level of support thrown behind him is an indicator that they are serious about employing him.

The only other explanation that would make sense is that Kubica is paying for these tests, I see no reason to assume that's the case though.


There is also a lot of publicity coming from the Kubica return, so Renault are on a no lose with it even if it comes to nothing.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:01 am 
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Jenson's Understeer wrote:
I really don't know who'll end up with the seat. Saying that, for me Kubica is the favourite simply because they've given him the in-season test. I think with Robert, perhaps there was a little sentimentality with the first test he did, but I'm sure all the way along there has been a curiosity in how he would perform, and an ever-increasing possibility that it could all lead to a full-time return to the Enstone team. At the same time, it would not shock me to see Sainz or Ocon or Perez end up alongside Hulkenberg.

I'm just trying to work out what would be more of a shock: Alonso returning to Renault for 2018, or Renault opting to retain Palmer for another year...


I think Alonso going to Renault would be less of a shock than retaining Palmer! Zero points, 0-10 in quali battle with Hulk.

Kubica would be a great story for F1. Could be some much needed publicity for Liberty media too. I wonder if they might encourage ($$$) Renault to hire him.
At the test he did the equivalent of 2 full race distances and at a track where the driver doesn’t get much of a rest per lap. He apparently didn’t get to do a qualifying simulation as they had it planned at the end of the day and it was red flagged.
They have nothing to lose by putting him in for at least 1 full race weekend in 2017.
Would love to see him make a full return for 2018!!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:09 am 
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Hungary was a good test for Kubica & he passed with flying colours. Everyone in the paddock would be happy for him to return.

I hope he gets aleast some more official test runs during the race weekends, if not the seat this year. He's very much close to getting the seat for '18.

Question is how soon would they like to offer him a contract?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:53 am 
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Latest rumour is that Ocon is going to be leased by Mercedes to Renault for 2 years, Renault ideally would like to take over Ocon's contract but nevertheless are prepared to compromise, this then sorts out the Wehrlein problem as he takes over Ocon's seat at Force India, remember that Wolff said there are surprises in store and this can only relate to things that he has actual power over like his own drivers.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:13 pm 
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pokerman wrote:
Latest rumour is that Ocon is going to be leased by Mercedes to Renault for 2 years, Renault ideally would like to take over Ocon's contract but nevertheless are prepared to compromise, this then sorts out the Wehrlein problem as he takes over Ocon's seat at Force India, remember that Wolff said there are surprises in store and this can only relate to things that he has actual power over like his own drivers.


Hmmm.....but then what happens to Kubica?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:25 pm 
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UnlikeUday wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Latest rumour is that Ocon is going to be leased by Mercedes to Renault for 2 years, Renault ideally would like to take over Ocon's contract but nevertheless are prepared to compromise, this then sorts out the Wehrlein problem as he takes over Ocon's seat at Force India, remember that Wolff said there are surprises in store and this can only relate to things that he has actual power over like his own drivers.


Hmmm.....but then what happens to Kubica?

From what I've been reading it's more a case of him replacing Palmer after the summer break.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:08 am 
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pokerman wrote:
UnlikeUday wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Latest rumour is that Ocon is going to be leased by Mercedes to Renault for 2 years, Renault ideally would like to take over Ocon's contract but nevertheless are prepared to compromise, this then sorts out the Wehrlein problem as he takes over Ocon's seat at Force India, remember that Wolff said there are surprises in store and this can only relate to things that he has actual power over like his own drivers.


Hmmm.....but then what happens to Kubica?

From what I've been reading it's more a case of him replacing Palmer after the summer break.

I can't see that appealing to Kubica - if he wants back into F1, surely he wants back in properly, not just to replace someone mid-season for less than a dozen races. Yes, he could use that time to earn a drive elsewhere, but where else would he go? Unless Renault would want to boot out Hulkenberg for Ocon, which I can't see any team wanting to do, that closes off all options for Kubica?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:13 am 
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Tufty wrote:
pokerman wrote:
UnlikeUday wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Latest rumour is that Ocon is going to be leased by Mercedes to Renault for 2 years, Renault ideally would like to take over Ocon's contract but nevertheless are prepared to compromise, this then sorts out the Wehrlein problem as he takes over Ocon's seat at Force India, remember that Wolff said there are surprises in store and this can only relate to things that he has actual power over like his own drivers.


Hmmm.....but then what happens to Kubica?

From what I've been reading it's more a case of him replacing Palmer after the summer break.

I can't see that appealing to Kubica - if he wants back into F1, surely he wants back in properly, not just to replace someone mid-season for less than a dozen races. Yes, he could use that time to earn a drive elsewhere, but where else would he go? Unless Renault would want to boot out Hulkenberg for Ocon, which I can't see any team wanting to do, that closes off all options for Kubica?


If that's whats on offer it's better than nothing. Williams and Force India will both probably have seats available.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:18 am 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
Tufty wrote:
pokerman wrote:
UnlikeUday wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Latest rumour is that Ocon is going to be leased by Mercedes to Renault for 2 years, Renault ideally would like to take over Ocon's contract but nevertheless are prepared to compromise, this then sorts out the Wehrlein problem as he takes over Ocon's seat at Force India, remember that Wolff said there are surprises in store and this can only relate to things that he has actual power over like his own drivers.


Hmmm.....but then what happens to Kubica?

From what I've been reading it's more a case of him replacing Palmer after the summer break.

I can't see that appealing to Kubica - if he wants back into F1, surely he wants back in properly, not just to replace someone mid-season for less than a dozen races. Yes, he could use that time to earn a drive elsewhere, but where else would he go? Unless Renault would want to boot out Hulkenberg for Ocon, which I can't see any team wanting to do, that closes off all options for Kubica?


If that's whats on offer it's better than nothing. Williams and Force India will both probably have seats available.

Williams depends on Massa, but you're probably right there. Force India would mean a straight swap with Ocon I guess. Assuming one of those happens (I realise this is now conjecture upon conjecture), that would be almost certainly a year or two in the wilderness for Kubica. But if he can hold his own there, I dare say Ferrari might come calling at some point, unless Raikkonen manages to really come good for Vettel's title challenge. Which in turn would be fun because I doubt somehow that Kubica would be happy to roll over for Seb - if he's good enough for F1, he'll be aiming for that elusive title.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:21 am 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
Tufty wrote:
pokerman wrote:
UnlikeUday wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Latest rumour is that Ocon is going to be leased by Mercedes to Renault for 2 years, Renault ideally would like to take over Ocon's contract but nevertheless are prepared to compromise, this then sorts out the Wehrlein problem as he takes over Ocon's seat at Force India, remember that Wolff said there are surprises in store and this can only relate to things that he has actual power over like his own drivers.


Hmmm.....but then what happens to Kubica?

From what I've been reading it's more a case of him replacing Palmer after the summer break.

I can't see that appealing to Kubica - if he wants back into F1, surely he wants back in properly, not just to replace someone mid-season for less than a dozen races. Yes, he could use that time to earn a drive elsewhere, but where else would he go? Unless Renault would want to boot out Hulkenberg for Ocon, which I can't see any team wanting to do, that closes off all options for Kubica?


If that's whats on offer it's better than nothing. Williams and Force India will both probably have seats available.

He'd probably drive for relatively cheap and I would buy a Williams Martini Kubica shirt in a heartbeat. If they do similar to what McLaren did this year with their shirts etc. they could make an absolute killing on merchandise IMO.

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http://www.mclarenstore.com/stores/mcla ... irt/188842

Also he's over 25.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:24 pm 
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Well Roland seems to think he is in the running somewhere, maybe he should be added to the options list ( or "Other" )

http://www.planetf1.com/news/rowland-tough-to-beat-kubica-to-renault-seat/


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:29 pm 
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Every time I see a poll like this, my first instinct is to reply with 'Me, you fools!'.

I voted for Sainz. Kubica is a great story, but Sainz is a current F1 driver. I think Kubica might drive some races, but I do not expect him to be the full-time 2018 driver.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:29 pm 
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It is pointing to Kubica especially if Renault found he was faster than Hulkenberg in the recent test on similar fuel loads. If he wasn't then either Ocon or Rowland. Renault won't buy out Sainz or Perez and Palmer is going to be let go. Of course Alonso gets the seat if he wants it but I think he will be happy with a McLaren with a better engine which could be a Renault or even Honda if they get their act together over the next two months.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:42 pm 
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Tufty wrote:
pokerman wrote:
UnlikeUday wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Latest rumour is that Ocon is going to be leased by Mercedes to Renault for 2 years, Renault ideally would like to take over Ocon's contract but nevertheless are prepared to compromise, this then sorts out the Wehrlein problem as he takes over Ocon's seat at Force India, remember that Wolff said there are surprises in store and this can only relate to things that he has actual power over like his own drivers.


Hmmm.....but then what happens to Kubica?

From what I've been reading it's more a case of him replacing Palmer after the summer break.

I can't see that appealing to Kubica - if he wants back into F1, surely he wants back in properly, not just to replace someone mid-season for less than a dozen races. Yes, he could use that time to earn a drive elsewhere, but where else would he go? Unless Renault would want to boot out Hulkenberg for Ocon, which I can't see any team wanting to do, that closes off all options for Kubica?

It would be a chance for Kubica to put himself in the shop window, as regards Renault how can they know Kubica is up for the job, better to have him in the car for 6 months rather than making the mistake of signing him on a longer contract.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:45 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
Tufty wrote:
pokerman wrote:
UnlikeUday wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Latest rumour is that Ocon is going to be leased by Mercedes to Renault for 2 years, Renault ideally would like to take over Ocon's contract but nevertheless are prepared to compromise, this then sorts out the Wehrlein problem as he takes over Ocon's seat at Force India, remember that Wolff said there are surprises in store and this can only relate to things that he has actual power over like his own drivers.


Hmmm.....but then what happens to Kubica?

From what I've been reading it's more a case of him replacing Palmer after the summer break.

I can't see that appealing to Kubica - if he wants back into F1, surely he wants back in properly, not just to replace someone mid-season for less than a dozen races. Yes, he could use that time to earn a drive elsewhere, but where else would he go? Unless Renault would want to boot out Hulkenberg for Ocon, which I can't see any team wanting to do, that closes off all options for Kubica?


If that's whats on offer it's better than nothing. Williams and Force India will both probably have seats available.

Williams is an interesting option, if he proves that he's back close to his best then he could be an ideal driver for them.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:56 am 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
Tufty wrote:
pokerman wrote:
UnlikeUday wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Latest rumour is that Ocon is going to be leased by Mercedes to Renault for 2 years, Renault ideally would like to take over Ocon's contract but nevertheless are prepared to compromise, this then sorts out the Wehrlein problem as he takes over Ocon's seat at Force India, remember that Wolff said there are surprises in store and this can only relate to things that he has actual power over like his own drivers.


Hmmm.....but then what happens to Kubica?

From what I've been reading it's more a case of him replacing Palmer after the summer break.

I can't see that appealing to Kubica - if he wants back into F1, surely he wants back in properly, not just to replace someone mid-season for less than a dozen races. Yes, he could use that time to earn a drive elsewhere, but where else would he go? Unless Renault would want to boot out Hulkenberg for Ocon, which I can't see any team wanting to do, that closes off all options for Kubica?


If that's whats on offer it's better than nothing. Williams and Force India will both probably have seats available.


I wouldn't be surprised if Palmer is replaced mid-season. Enstone has already done the same with the full-circle story of another Senna in a Lotus (and in the Williams too), so I wouldn't bet against them having Kubica doing the same this year. Still up to Kubica to live up to the hype and deliver to get more than just 9 races more.

Also if he out-performs Palmer this year, that could also be the nail in the coffin for Di Resta's F1 career. (3 yr gap v 6 yr gap)

This is all hypothetical, of course.

So I voted Sainz.




No, I didn't. #hypetrain

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:03 am 
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moby wrote:
Well Roland seems to think he is in the running somewhere, maybe he should be added to the options list ( or "Other" )

http://www.planetf1.com/news/rowland-tough-to-beat-kubica-to-renault-seat/

Unfortunately I think adding another option will reset the poll and there have been quite a lot of votes now. I should have put an 'other' option though.

Given the quality of drivers listed above, all of whom seem to be legitimate contenders for the seat, I would be surprised to see Rowland take it.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:44 am 
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I think Palmer was a stretch to include on the poll. Having a vote is just taking the mickey!

I would think Kubica is the leading contender with Sainz another possibility.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:07 pm 
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oz_karter wrote:
I think Palmer was a stretch to include on the poll. Having a vote is just taking the mickey!

I would think Kubica is the leading contender with Sainz another possibility.

I don't think it is too much to include Palmer. I still think there is a very small possibility he may be there next year. I don't think it has been clearly confirmed anywhere that he certainly won't be unless I'm missing something. If he gets the chance to finish off this year and has decent reliability, there is a small chance he could improve to be enough for what the team are after. In the first half of 2015 which was Ericsson 2nd season, I still thought he was pretty much the worst on the grid. But in the 2nd half of that season, he looked to improve a lot and also looked better than Nazr. That continued in 2016. So if Palmer does improve, they may possibly keep him. Very, very unlikely but I still think it is possible. So perfectly reasonable to have a voting option for him.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:29 pm 
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TheGiantHogweed wrote:
oz_karter wrote:
I think Palmer was a stretch to include on the poll. Having a vote is just taking the mickey!

I would think Kubica is the leading contender with Sainz another possibility.

I don't think it is too much to include Palmer. I still think there is a very small possibility he may be there next year. I don't think it has been clearly confirmed anywhere that he certainly won't be unless I'm missing something. If he gets the chance to finish off this year and has decent reliability, there is a small chance he could improve to be enough for what the team are after. In the first half of 2015 which was Ericsson 2nd season, I still thought he was pretty much the worst on the grid. But in the 2nd half of that season, he looked to improve a lot and also looked better than Nazr. That continued in 2016. So if Palmer does improve, they may possibly keep him. Very, very unlikely but I still think it is possible. So perfectly reasonable to have a voting option for him.

I think he was almost gone last year until a series of strong late season performances saved him. It's not out of the question for the same to happen again especially if driver/contract talks with his potential replacements turns into a long winded mess.
That said, I can't help but feel Renault might have regretted making that decision based on the end of last season, since (and how much you attribute this to bad luck may vary) he hasn't come close to keeping anything like that form in the first half of this season.

I haven't answered the poll because I have no clue. I struggle to recall a seat being more up in the air with more drivers a realistic possibility to fill it.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:47 pm 
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wolfticket wrote:
TheGiantHogweed wrote:
oz_karter wrote:
I think Palmer was a stretch to include on the poll. Having a vote is just taking the mickey!

I would think Kubica is the leading contender with Sainz another possibility.

I don't think it is too much to include Palmer. I still think there is a very small possibility he may be there next year. I don't think it has been clearly confirmed anywhere that he certainly won't be unless I'm missing something. If he gets the chance to finish off this year and has decent reliability, there is a small chance he could improve to be enough for what the team are after. In the first half of 2015 which was Ericsson 2nd season, I still thought he was pretty much the worst on the grid. But in the 2nd half of that season, he looked to improve a lot and also looked better than Nazr. That continued in 2016. So if Palmer does improve, they may possibly keep him. Very, very unlikely but I still think it is possible. So perfectly reasonable to have a voting option for him.

I think he was almost gone last year until a series of strong late season performances saved him. It's not out of the question for the same to happen again especially if driver/contract talks with his potential replacements turns into a long winded mess.
That said, I can't help but feel Renault might have regretted making that decision based on the end of last season, since (and how much you attribute this to bad luck may vary) he hasn't come close to keeping anything like that form in the first half of this season.

I haven't answered the poll because I have no clue. I struggle to recall a seat being more up in the air with more drivers a realistic possibility to fill it.

Palmer would have been gone if Renault had offered KMag more than a 1 year contract which he refused, Palmer then just took up the same contract.

_________________
PF1 Pick 10 Competition

2013: 5th Place
2014: Champion
2015: 3rd Place
2016: 4th Place

2017: 9th Place

Wins: Abu Dhabi 2017
Podiums: 2nd Canada 2015, 3rd Monza 2016, Hungary 2016 and Barcelona 2015


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