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 Post subject: Rank the 2018 line-ups
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:45 pm 
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With all the seats now filled, how would you rank the driver pairings from strongest to weakest for the 2018 season?

Here they are, presented in alphabetical order:

Ferrari: Raikkonen and Vettel
Force India: Ocon and Perez
Haas: Grosjean and Magnussen
McLaren: Alonso and Vandoorne
Mercedes: Bottas and Hamilton
Red Bull: Ricciardo and Verstappen
Renault: Hulkenberg and Sainz
Sauber: Ericsson and Leclerc
Toro Rosso: Gasly and Hartley
Williams: Sirotkin and Stroll

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:20 pm 
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Separated slightly into tiers when it’s very close:

1. Red Bull

2. McLaren

3. Mercedes
4. Ferrari

5. Renault
6. Force India

7. Sauber (could be a more solid seventh but that’s based on how good I expect Leclerc to be)
8. Haas
9. Toro Rosso

10. Williams


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:31 pm 
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1. Red Bull (2 stellar drivers)
2. Mercedes (1 stellar and 1 very assured high performer)
3. Renault (2 drivers at the top, just shy of both being top tier drivers)
4. McLaren (1 stellar and 1 talent, shy of experience)
5. Force India (both are really good, with Ocon being a star that'll keep on rising)
6. Ferrari (1 stellar driver but needs a calmer head, and 1 fading star that isn't on the same level as Ren, Macca and FI drivers IMO)
7. Haas (only experience beats Sauber, despite Leclerc being the best talent out of them all)
8. Sauber (would swap Haas but Leclerc hasnt got the experience yet)
9. Torro Rosso (Gasly is good but inexperience, Hartley won't cut the mustard despite liking the guy)
10. Williams (woeful - Stroll isn't F1 standard and Sirotkin came 3rd TWICE in GP2 - not good enough).

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:10 pm 
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Top line:
Red Bull: Ricciardo and Verstappen

Both good ones, one a little better than the other:
Mercedes: Bottas and Hamilton
Force India: Ocon and Perez
Renault: Hulkenberg and Sainz

One star, the other not (yet or anymore):
Ferrari: Raikkonen and Vettel
McLaren: Alonso and Vandoorne

No stars so far or yet:
Haas: Grosjean and Magnussen
Sauber: Ericsson and Leclerc

Foggy:
Toro Rosso: Gasly and Hartley
Williams: Sirotkin and Stroll

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:14 pm 
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1. Red Bull - Simply put, they are the only team on the grid with two of the drivers I consider to the big five. Pretty easy choice to put them here.
2. Mercedes - Hamilton's one of the three best on the grid, and on his day is untouchable. Bottas had a solid 2017 and I think he'll be better this year, albeit not to the extent that it makes this line-up as strong as Red Bull's.
3. McLaren - For me, Alonso remains the best driver on the grid. Vandoorne improved over 2017 and is a very, very talented driver, but is still far from the finished article (and further from that than Bottas).
4. Ferrari - Vettel had a good 2017, albeit marred by some very obvious negatives. He remains one of the stronger drivers in F1. Kimi, on his day, is obviously still quick. The problem is such days are fewer and further between and he drags them down my rankings.
5. Force India - Very well matched pair. Perez has shown numerous times that he can deliver a podium in the right circumstances and has repaired his reputation following the year at McLaren. Ocon was impressive throughout 2017 and seemed to be getting a handle on quali, too, having struggled a bit there.
6. Renault - Separating FI and Renault was possibly the hardest aspect of this list. Sainz/Ocon is a very close call, as is Hulkenberg/Perez, although right now I'd lean towards both FI drivers which is why I've got them above Renault.
7. Haas - They're kind of like a poor man's FI/Renault. I'd have Grosjean below both Perez and Hulkenberg, and Ocon/Sainz well ahead of Magnussen. But as a pair they are stronger than the three other teams. Might look even better if they ever sort their brakes out!
8. Sauber - Ericsson isn't a driver I rate. Leclerc is the complete opposite; he'll be a star. However, he is still a driver without any F1 experience and it will take him a little while to get up to speed. So with that in mind I've got them here.
9. Toro Rosso - Hummed and hawed about the Toro Rosso/Williams order. My main reason? Hartley. Yes, he went away from F1 and was successful in WEC, but that doesn't always translate to a good F1 driver. Right now as an F1 driver, he is unproven. As is Gasly, who comes into F1 with a strong junior resume.
10. Williams - Sirotkin was actually kind of unlucky in that a) his two good GP2 seasons coincided with a dominant force (Vandoorne and then Prema) and b) he was up against Kubica for the Williams seat. In my mind, he's not that far off Gasly at all. And Stroll, I don't know how to read him at all as he was all over the place last year. I've put them last as until Stroll can deliver more consistent performances, he's a bit of a liability.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:02 pm 
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1. Red Bull
2. Mercedes
3. Mclaren
4. Force India
5. Ferrari
6. Renault
7. Haas
8. Sauber
9. STR
10. Williams

I would say overall this is a weaker driver field than we have been used to in recent years. A lot of fairly uninspiring line ups.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:15 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
1. Red Bull
2. Mercedes
3. Mclaren
4. Force India
5. Ferrari
6. Renault
7. Haas
8. Sauber
9. STR
10. Williams

I would say overall this is a weaker driver field than we have been used to in recent years. A lot of fairly uninspiring line ups.


I think that stems from a few unknowns or drivers still with question marks. Sirotkin,Stroll,Gasly and Hartley could turn into at least decent F1 midfield level and change that perception a bit or fall on their face and confirm your initial impression on the field. My gut instinct is Gasly and Sirotkin will be looked on as pretty decent midfield drivers by years end.

(Leclerc looks legit and I still rate Vandoorne but I don't think you were meaning them anyway).

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:27 pm 
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1. Red Bull
2. Mercedes
3. McLaren
4. Ferrari
5. Force India
6. Renault
7. Haas
8. Sauber
9. Williams
10. STR

Could end up being harsh on STR, I just haven't seen enough of either which is the same boat as Williams but I've seen more of Stroll and Sirotkins AD test was said to be impressive so I've given them the nod.

Ferrari/McLaren and Renault/Force India could go the other way as well and I wouldn't shout too loudly.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:33 pm 
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Lotus49 wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
1. Red Bull
2. Mercedes
3. Mclaren
4. Force India
5. Ferrari
6. Renault
7. Haas
8. Sauber
9. STR
10. Williams

I would say overall this is a weaker driver field than we have been used to in recent years. A lot of fairly uninspiring line ups.


I think that stems from a few unknowns or drivers still with question marks. Sirotkin,Stroll,Gasly and Hartley could turn into at least decent F1 midfield level and change that perception a bit or fall on their face and confirm your initial impression on the field. My gut instinct is Gasly and Sirotkin will be looked on as pretty decent midfield drivers by years end.

(Leclerc looks legit and I still rate Vandoorne but I don't think you were meaning them anyway).


Trouble is most of the drivers you mention are partnered with drivers who I would say aren't a good benchmark. So i'm less excited than I would normally be. I think the rid currently comprises of a few unproved and a few proven to be nothing special. I'm sure in years to come we will see Vandoorne, Ocon and Leclerc doing well so it's not all negative.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:38 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
1. Red Bull
2. Mercedes
3. Mclaren
4. Force India
5. Ferrari
6. Renault
7. Haas
8. Sauber
9. STR
10. Williams

I would say overall this is a weaker driver field than we have been used to in recent years. A lot of fairly uninspiring line ups.


I think that stems from a few unknowns or drivers still with question marks. Sirotkin,Stroll,Gasly and Hartley could turn into at least decent F1 midfield level and change that perception a bit or fall on their face and confirm your initial impression on the field. My gut instinct is Gasly and Sirotkin will be looked on as pretty decent midfield drivers by years end.

(Leclerc looks legit and I still rate Vandoorne but I don't think you were meaning them anyway).


Trouble is most of the drivers you mention are partnered with drivers who I would say aren't a good benchmark. So i'm less excited than I would normally be. I think the rid currently comprises of a few unproved and a few proven to be nothing special. I'm sure in years to come we will see Vandoorne, Ocon and Leclerc doing well so it's not all negative.


Yeah good point, it will be a bit tricky working out if Stroll has improved or Sirotkin faltering if it's close and the STR boys will be hard to read too.

Still possible to impress I think, like Max and Carlos did in their rookie year, but it's more difficult to pick up on if there's no benchmark, yeah.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:07 pm 
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McLaren - Alonso is still the best out there in my opinion. Vandoorne improved steadily throughout last year and showed some great consistency.
Red Bull - I'd say they're the fastest pairing but I feel Verstappen is still not quite the finished article and gets caught up in too many incidents. I fear there's a "Hamilton 2011-esque" season in him yet.
Mercedes - I'd put Hamilton second best only to Alonso. Bottas on the other hand was not quite up to standard last year and went completely missing in too many races.
Renault - Sainz I rate highly and I've always been a fan of Hulkenberg. If Renault produce a top car in the next few years then these two are good enough to deliver on its potential.
Ferrari - Mainly a reflection of how poorly I rate Kimi these days. Vettel is top drawer, if a little prone to losing his composure.
Force India - Two talented individuals but they have too much of a tendency to run into each other to be a good pairing. Both need to grow up a bit. I don't quite buy into the Ocon hype either; he's decent but I don't think he's championship material.
Haas - Two drivers whose careers have fizzled out after some early potential. Grosjean still makes too many errors.
Sauber - I'm not a fan of Ericsson but Leclerc shows some real promise.
Williams - Stroll is not F1 standard, at least not at the moment. Sirotkin however I hold out some hope for.
Toro Rosso - These two looked seriously unimpressive last season. They'd have been better off holding on to Kvyat if the US GP is anything to go by.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:29 pm 
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At the risk of playing devil's advocate, I'm commenting on the bottom two line-ups so far:
Gasly and Hartley were severely handicapped in a team with power units that were giving them grid penalties and engines that were largely having to be nursed towards the end of the season. They've had little chance to prove themselves.
Stroll was promoted to an F1 seat too soon in my opinion. The last season has largely been him trying to find his feet. I'll defer judgement on him for now. Sirotkin has not had the most impressive record in GP2 but form in the feeder series does not always translate into F1. I'm holding out hope for both Williams drivers.

Having ignored the other driver line-ups to now, I'll just say that I've little to argue against posts thus far.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:57 pm 
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1. Red Bull: Ricciardo and Verstappen
This one is easy. Two of the top drivers on the grid in one team, the only pairing that can make that claim.

2. McLaren: Alonso and Vandoorne
While no other team has a pair of top drivers, McLaen has one of them as well as a nicely developing second driver with top potential.

3. Mercedes: Bottas and Hamilton
I struggled a bit with classifying this one and the next, but the deciding factor for me was the presence of a top driver. While I think both Force India drivers are probably as good or better than Bottas, neither of them is Hamilton-level.

4. Force India: Ocon and Perez
Perez has been top of the second tier drivers for a while now, and I see Ocon as having top potential. If he lives up to his promise next year, I could see this one moving up a place.

5. Renault: Hulkenberg and Sainz
I see Hulk as being slightly below Perez, and Sainz' level is largely unknown. I'm ranking Renault below Force India largely on the premise of Ocon's greater potential.

6. Ferrari: Raikkonen and Vettel
Vettel is still a top four or five driver on the grid, but Raikkonen is unfortunately not near his peak anymore. I could see ranking Ferrari as high as 4th, but this is where I feel they fit best.

7. Haas: Grosjean and Magnussen
The Haas pairing is unspectacular, but solid. That makes it better than any of the ones behind, which are all compromised by at least one weak driver.

8. Sauber: Ericsson and Leclerc
I very much believe that Leclerc is the real deal, but he's going to be a totally inexperienced rookie. And Ericsson is experienced, but uninspiring. The combination still puts them ahead of the other two, however.

9. Toro Rosso: Gasly and Hartley
Gasly has been impressive for much of his junior career, and it's possible he'll outperform my expectations next year. Hartley, in my opinion, wasn't F1 material years ago and still isn't.

10. Williams: Sirotkin and Stroll
It's hard to see ranking this one as anything other than bottom. I personally believe Sirotkin will prove faster than Stroll, but he's still a rookie, and not one with the prior success of Leclerc or Gasly. I see Stroll as the weakest driver on the grid with Palmer gone, and if he can't get some consistency going he's not going to have a pretty year.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:31 am 
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Red Bull - I don't think that Verstappen has improved quite as much as many are suggesting. I think Ricciardo just had a slightly worse year than his previous. But Verstappen certainly was really strong in qualifying and this seemed to put pressure on Ricciardo and he did make a couple of mistakes. But other than that, I do think they are 2 top drivers and probably the best combination.

Mercedes - Last year, I think Hamilton was certainly the best driver on the grid. And considering the circumstances that Bottas made an unexpected change without a lot of time to make the car to his liking, then in many ways, he did have an excellent start. But then he did have a low dip. But nothing was that bad. He kept out of trouble and constantly brought reasonable results home. I think that with time over winter to play more of a roll in the team for the car next year, he will be a lot better. Then, if Ricciardo and Verstappen don't improve much over last year, I may swap these 2 teams around.

Ferrari - I think Vettel is the next best driver on the grid after Hamilton. He has however struggled to show it consistently recently. However, I don't doubt his ability and I do think he is better than Ricciardo and Verstappen. I think Kimi has been rather under rated by some. I think he is still easily good enough for F1, just maybe not a top team. He did have a lot of races where is was well off the pace, but a lot where he was strong to. The problem was, that these were often when Vettel was at his best. I think Ferrari can be the 3rd best line up though.

McLaren - I'd have them below Ferrari because it has been so long since I have seen Alonso have the chance to show he is consistently a top driver. This seems really harsh, but I can't be sure how good he is. I think he's right near the top, but I believe Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen are probably better than him now. And I think Kimi was better than Vandoorne was last year quite easily. But Vandoorne was improving. However, I thought he had a terrible start. about the first 3rd of the season was really disappointing given thy hype i heard about him. I'd have rated him lower than Ericsson for the first half of the season. He did much improve though and I think he will keep getting better.

Force India - Really stuck between them and Renault. I think Perez is one of the top midfield drivers. Ocon truly game him a hard time before ehe'd even had a full season in F1. That was impressive. They get involved in contact and disagreements that do end up ruining results that could be better. So that is a slightly negative side to things. But other than that, they are both really Stong and I expect Ocon and hopefully Perez to improve.

Renault - I think Sainz has been one of the most over rated drivers last year. He had several top performances, but not many. I think Toro Rosso were really strong at Monaco and he just got the best out of it. Nothing outstanding. I thought China was over rated. As he nearly crashed on the first lap and then when he desperately tried to get going, he hit the wall and luckily survived. But he was brilliant at recovering from that mistake, no doubt about that. But the main problem I have with Sainz is he has been really inconsistent over the past 2 seasons. He had 3 big crashes this year, 2 being some of the biggest mistakes by any driver this year. He retired in all of them and caused 2 others to retire as well. Resulting in him causing more retirements than any other driver on the gird. But his other results were consistent and even with his mistakes, he got a huge amount of points for the team which hopefully indicates that if he gets more consistent, he will be much better. I'm also unsure about Hulkenberg. I'll call him very solid and better than Sainz, but not managing a podium in his whole career is just a little disappointing. He was unlucky, but he has had a few chances. But he certainly seems pretty reliable.

Hass – Only about Sauber because of experience. Grosjean has been in F1 for quite some time now. I like Grosjean, I used to think he was very good, especially in 2013. But I think he performance really had dropped since then. He’s up and down, but mainly pretty bad. Such a shame he still makes so many mistakes. He however still has several very good races which is another reason why I don’t rate them right near the bottom. I think Magnussen has been really bad this year. He’s had a few decent races, but some of his driving looks rather messy and he makes a fair load of mistakes too. But having now had 3 years in F1, that does make this team a rather experienced line up.

Sauber – I don’t think Ericsson is a good driver when compared to most on the grid. But I think he has been quite under rated in the last 2 seasons. He hasn’t scored any points, but I can remember at leased 3 races that were looking very impressive, 2 of which were Mexico. He does crash rather a lot, but I’d say his pace was level with Wehrlein this year. There average qualifying gap was the smallest on the grid last year. I think Ericsson’s pace tends to be decent, it is just that he has made a fair few mistakes. I don’t know anything about Leclerc, but from what I hear from others, he hopefully will get to be very good. But I don’t think he will be better than Ericsson in his first season. Ericsson although he did take his time to improve has now been in the sport for 4 years and with Sauber for 3. So I think Ericsson being used to the team will give him and advantage over Leclerc. However, this will probably mean Sauber has a weaker line up than last year. To begin with anyway.

Williams – Stroll in my view was really poor last year. But he did have one stunning performance for a rookie. I think that it is likely he will be able to improve next year and hopefully repeat that performance a few times as well as develop he lack of speed in qualifying and the race. I don’t know anything about Sirotkin. Williams really have taken a risk here though. Stroll was certainly not good on the whole, and they get rid of Massa, who was good and get a new driver. I wish they had kept Massa but I heard Massa was wanting more money than they were willing to give. But I really think Williams have a weak line up now. I just hope Sirotkin turns out to be good and Stroll improves, both of which could be possible.

Toro Rosso – Don’t know and haven’t seen much from these 2 drivers. They didn’t impress me at all at the end of last year. Toro Rosso have just got rid of Sainz, who gave them loads of points, and Kvyat did actually look better to me than either of these 2. They really should have kept him IMO until the end of last season. And I think he could well have turned around and turned out to be better than either of these 2 are going to be anyway. He did have 4 years experience. But all is unknown for this year. They could surprise me.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:08 am 
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TheGiantHogweed wrote:
<snip>
McLaren - I'd have them below Ferrari because it has been so long since I have seen Alonso have the chance to show he is consistently a top driver. This seems really harsh, but I can't be sure how good he is. I think he's right near the top, but I believe Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen are probably better than him now. And I think Kimi was better than Vandoorne was last year quite easily. But Vandoorne was improving. However, I thought he had a terrible start. about the first 3rd of the season was really disappointing given thy hype i heard about him. I'd have rated him lower than Ericsson for the first half of the season. He did much improve though and I think he will keep getting better. <snip>


Just on this I think we have to bear in mind for that first third is that he was a rookie driving a very difficult car to drive against someone who happens to thrive in those conditions. Until the intake upgrade in Spain the Honda engine was a mess and the driveability and gearshifts very difficult to master so I'd be inclined to wager Ericsson would be just as, if not more so, all at sea against Alonso in those conditions too. (As would just about everyone else on the grid imo). I can't really think of a worse environment to make your debut in tbh.

From Spain to Malaysia I thought he did very well considering he was a rookie. Then there was some different parts for a couple of GP's and then I think he had a couple of poor ones again but was unlucky in AD. Might be alone but I think if you swap Ocon and Vandoorne it would be Stoff getting rave reviews for hanging with and beating Perez sometimes, while Ocon struggled with the Honda and Alonso's knack for driving difficult cars.


Excerpt from an Autosport+ piece Wuzak just posted on f1technical..

Quote:
"It's fair to say the starting level was almost equivalent from last year - peak power was almost equivalent, but low- rpm power was very down," Hasegawa concedes. "It had huge gaps from something like 9000-10,000rpm - no torque. It's OK on the dyno, but when we used upshift and went from 10,000 to 9000, torque decreased dramatically.

"It will create a big oscillation. The dyno's inertia is huge, so it doesn't create a big problem, but the inertia of the car itself is much less. Such a big torque drop was creating a big oscillation."

This made the car extremely difficult to drive (when it was running) until Honda modified the intake system for May's Spanish Grand Prix, which helped recover the lost bottom-end power and driveability. Until then, the drivers were forced to change gear at odd points. You could hear the graunching sounds as the transmission protested the unusual upshift and clutch settings required to avoid this torque drop.

https://www.autosport.com/f1/feature/78 ... larenhonda

Sorry for snipping the post, it was a good one with a lot of good points but that jumped out as I'd just read the above on that forum and as someone who's been bleating on about the state of that PU pre Spain and the effect it had on the drivers for a while it was nice to see some confirmation from elsewhere.(I don't have AS+)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:32 am 
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As a long time close friend of Wuzak (a former long-time PR1 member noted for his engineering accumen), I can tell you, that he most often right on such matters. Thank God for that, as I am the exact opposite, an engineering "illiterate".
;)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:06 am 
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Lotus49 wrote:
TheGiantHogweed wrote:
<snip>
McLaren - I'd have them below Ferrari because it has been so long since I have seen Alonso have the chance to show he is consistently a top driver. This seems really harsh, but I can't be sure how good he is. I think he's right near the top, but I believe Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen are probably better than him now. And I think Kimi was better than Vandoorne was last year quite easily. But Vandoorne was improving. However, I thought he had a terrible start. about the first 3rd of the season was really disappointing given thy hype i heard about him. I'd have rated him lower than Ericsson for the first half of the season. He did much improve though and I think he will keep getting better. <snip>


Just on this I think we have to bear in mind for that first third is that he was a rookie driving a very difficult car to drive against someone who happens to thrive in those conditions. Until the intake upgrade in Spain the Honda engine was a mess and the driveability and gearshifts very difficult to master so I'd be inclined to wager Ericsson would be just as, if not more so, all at sea against Alonso in those conditions too. (As would just about everyone else on the grid imo). I can't really think of a worse environment to make your debut in tbh.

From Spain to Malaysia I thought he did very well considering he was a rookie. Then there was some different parts for a couple of GP's and then I think he had a couple of poor ones again but was unlucky in AD. Might be alone but I think if you swap Ocon and Vandoorne it would be Stoff getting rave reviews for hanging with and beating Perez sometimes, while Ocon struggled with the Honda and Alonso's knack for driving difficult cars.


Excerpt from an Autosport+ piece Wuzak just posted on f1technical..


I'm not quite sure about if you swapped Ocon with Vandoorne, the criticism would be the other way round. Ocon hasn't made any huge mistakes that he was deemed responsible for and I very much doubt the Mclaren is a harder car to handle than the Force India. Also, I'm not sure what it was after Spain that made Vandoorne appear better. He was awful in Monaco. Crashing in qualifying and running into the wall in the race too. Canada he seemed ok but then in Baku he was only 1 place up from last of the remaining drivers and behind both Saubers. It was only from then on that I thought he clearly improved. I thought Ocon looked impressive from the start against Perez. I'm not saying Vandoorne won't have beaten him quite a bit, but Vandoorne did crash a fair bit to start with. Even on F1 fanatic, I think Vandoorne was rated 18th or 19th for the mid season driver rankings which was pretty low given our expectations. I know he certainly has improved and often has impressed later in the season though. And Alonso will make it harder for him to show us how good he is. But I don't think that changed most of the first half of his season. It is also quite disappointing that both drivers in this team got penalties for ignoring blue flags last year. Drivers very rarely pick these up and Alonso especially really should have known better. This isn't to do with their strength as a team, but it was a slight negative from last year.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:14 am 
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TheGiantHogweed wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
TheGiantHogweed wrote:
<snip>
McLaren - I'd have them below Ferrari because it has been so long since I have seen Alonso have the chance to show he is consistently a top driver. This seems really harsh, but I can't be sure how good he is. I think he's right near the top, but I believe Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen are probably better than him now. And I think Kimi was better than Vandoorne was last year quite easily. But Vandoorne was improving. However, I thought he had a terrible start. about the first 3rd of the season was really disappointing given thy hype i heard about him. I'd have rated him lower than Ericsson for the first half of the season. He did much improve though and I think he will keep getting better. <snip>


Just on this I think we have to bear in mind for that first third is that he was a rookie driving a very difficult car to drive against someone who happens to thrive in those conditions. Until the intake upgrade in Spain the Honda engine was a mess and the driveability and gearshifts very difficult to master so I'd be inclined to wager Ericsson would be just as, if not more so, all at sea against Alonso in those conditions too. (As would just about everyone else on the grid imo). I can't really think of a worse environment to make your debut in tbh.

From Spain to Malaysia I thought he did very well considering he was a rookie. Then there was some different parts for a couple of GP's and then I think he had a couple of poor ones again but was unlucky in AD. Might be alone but I think if you swap Ocon and Vandoorne it would be Stoff getting rave reviews for hanging with and beating Perez sometimes, while Ocon struggled with the Honda and Alonso's knack for driving difficult cars.


Excerpt from an Autosport+ piece Wuzak just posted on f1technical..


I'm not quite sure about if you swapped Ocon with Vandoorne, the criticism would be the other way round. Ocon hasn't made any huge mistakes that he was deemed responsible for and I very much doubt the Mclaren is a harder car to handle than the Force India. Also, I'm not sure what it was after Spain that made Vandoorne appear better. He was awful in Monaco. Crashing in qualifying and running into the wall in the race too. Canada he seemed ok but then in Baku he was only 1 place up from last of the remaining drivers and behind both Saubers. It was only from then on that I thought he clearly improved. I thought Ocon looked impressive from the start against Perez. I'm not saying Vandoorne won't have beaten him quite a bit, but Vandoorne did crash a fair bit to start with. Even on F1 fanatic, I think Vandoorne was rated 18th or 19th for the mid season driver rankings which was pretty low given our expectations. I know he certainly has improved and often has impressed later in the season though. And Alonso will make it harder for him to show us how good he is. But I don't think that changed most of the first half of his season. It is also quite disappointing that both drivers in this team got penalties for ignoring blue flags last year. Drivers very rarely pick these up and Alonso especially really should have known better. This isn't to do with their strength as a team, but it was a slight negative from last year.


Ocon was at least partly at fault for costing FI a possible 1,2 in Baku.

I think Vandoorne probably showed where the Mclaren really was all season. When the package got easier to handle then the gap to Alonso decreased. Pretty much what you would expect on the whole. It's pretty unrealistic to expect a rookie to match Alonso in any circumstances let alone driving a difficult car with very difficult to handle power output. It will be interesting to see how Vandoorne goes this year but I hope people don't write him off if he is consistently a bit behind Alonso. I don't now why people assume that, because Alonso hasn't been able to run with the rest of the top tier guys for a few years that he has decreased in ability. I still consider Alonso the best driver out there and I've seen nothing in recent times that would make me question that. Some of his performances last year were outstanding.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:14 am 
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Black_Flag_11 wrote:
Separated slightly into tiers when it’s very close:

1. Red Bull

2. McLaren

3. Mercedes
4. Ferrari

5. Renault
6. Force India

7. Sauber (could be a more solid seventh but that’s based on how good I expect Leclerc to be)
8. Haas
9. Toro Rosso

10. Williams

:thumbup:

Pretty close to what I would have, although I might drop Haas a bit. Mercedes and Ferrari are carried by their star drivers and, while this could also be true of McLaren, I believe Vandoorne currently has more potential than either Bottas or Kimi.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:26 am 
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olly-44 wrote:
1. Red Bull (2 stellar drivers)
2. Mercedes (1 stellar and 1 very assured high performer)
3. Renault (2 drivers at the top, just shy of both being top tier drivers)
4. McLaren (1 stellar and 1 talent, shy of experience)
5. Force India (both are really good, with Ocon being a star that'll keep on rising)
6. Ferrari (1 stellar driver but needs a calmer head, and 1 fading star that isn't on the same level as Ren, Macca and FI drivers IMO)
7. Haas (only experience beats Sauber, despite Leclerc being the best talent out of them all)
8. Sauber (would swap Haas but Leclerc hasnt got the experience yet)
9. Torro Rosso (Gasly is good but inexperience, Hartley won't cut the mustard despite liking the guy)
10. Williams (woeful - Stroll isn't F1 standard and Sirotkin came 3rd TWICE in GP2 - not good enough).



I was going to throw in my two cents, but this chap summed up my thoughts nicely across the board.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:43 pm 
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Lots of wishful thinking going on here. Mercedes was the class of the field in 2017, has been the class of the field since 2014, and there's no reason to think Mercedes won't be class of the field in 2018.

Also, I keep Ferrari where they are (2nd) followed by Red Bull. Then Force India.

Too much wishful thinking offered for McLaren, as I don't feel they will advance more than 2-3 slots among the teams. They may give Renault or Haas a run for the money (5th), but that's about it.

This will demonstrate -- once again -- the long-established fact that the car makes the driver, as the legend in his own mind (Alonso) will not drag the McLaren cars to the top, or anywhere remotely close.

The rest of the field (Williams, Toro Rosso, Sauber)... who cares?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:47 pm 
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MB-BOB wrote:
Lots of wishful thinking going on here. Mercedes was the class of the field in 2017, has been the class of the field since 2014, and there's no reason to think Mercedes won't be class of the field in 2018.

Also, I keep Ferrari where they are (2nd) followed by Red Bull. Then Force India.

Too much wishful thinking offered for McLaren, as I don't feel they will advance more than 2-3 slots among the teams. They may give Renault or Haas a run for the money (5th), but that's about it.

This will demonstrate -- once again -- the long-established fact that the car makes the driver, as the legend in his own mind (Alonso) will not drag the McLaren cars to the top, or anywhere remotely close.

The rest of the field (Williams, Toro Rosso, Sauber)... who cares?


You've clearly completely misunderstood the premise of the thread.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:51 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
TheGiantHogweed wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
TheGiantHogweed wrote:
<snip>
McLaren - I'd have them below Ferrari because it has been so long since I have seen Alonso have the chance to show he is consistently a top driver. This seems really harsh, but I can't be sure how good he is. I think he's right near the top, but I believe Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen are probably better than him now. And I think Kimi was better than Vandoorne was last year quite easily. But Vandoorne was improving. However, I thought he had a terrible start. about the first 3rd of the season was really disappointing given thy hype i heard about him. I'd have rated him lower than Ericsson for the first half of the season. He did much improve though and I think he will keep getting better. <snip>


Just on this I think we have to bear in mind for that first third is that he was a rookie driving a very difficult car to drive against someone who happens to thrive in those conditions. Until the intake upgrade in Spain the Honda engine was a mess and the driveability and gearshifts very difficult to master so I'd be inclined to wager Ericsson would be just as, if not more so, all at sea against Alonso in those conditions too. (As would just about everyone else on the grid imo). I can't really think of a worse environment to make your debut in tbh.

From Spain to Malaysia I thought he did very well considering he was a rookie. Then there was some different parts for a couple of GP's and then I think he had a couple of poor ones again but was unlucky in AD. Might be alone but I think if you swap Ocon and Vandoorne it would be Stoff getting rave reviews for hanging with and beating Perez sometimes, while Ocon struggled with the Honda and Alonso's knack for driving difficult cars.

Excerpt from an Autosport+ piece Wuzak just posted on f1technical..


I'm not quite sure about if you swapped Ocon with Vandoorne, the criticism would be the other way round. Ocon hasn't made any huge mistakes that he was deemed responsible for and I very much doubt the Mclaren is a harder car to handle than the Force India. Also, I'm not sure what it was after Spain that made Vandoorne appear better. He was awful in Monaco. Crashing in qualifying and running into the wall in the race too. Canada he seemed ok but then in Baku he was only 1 place up from last of the remaining drivers and behind both Saubers. It was only from then on that I thought he clearly improved. I thought Ocon looked impressive from the start against Perez. I'm not saying Vandoorne won't have beaten him quite a bit, but Vandoorne did crash a fair bit to start with. Even on F1 fanatic, I think Vandoorne was rated 18th or 19th for the mid season driver rankings which was pretty low given our expectations. I know he certainly has improved and often has impressed later in the season though. And Alonso will make it harder for him to show us how good he is. But I don't think that changed most of the first half of his season. It is also quite disappointing that both drivers in this team got penalties for ignoring blue flags last year. Drivers very rarely pick these up and Alonso especially really should have known better. This isn't to do with their strength as a team, but it was a slight negative from last year.


Ocon was at least partly at fault for costing FI a possible 1,2 in Baku.

I think Vandoorne probably showed where the Mclaren really was all season. When the package got easier to handle then the gap to Alonso decreased. Pretty much what you would expect on the whole. It's pretty unrealistic to expect a rookie to match Alonso in any circumstances let alone driving a difficult car with very difficult to handle power output. It will be interesting to see how Vandoorne goes this year but I hope people don't write him off if he is consistently a bit behind Alonso. I don't now why people assume that, because Alonso hasn't been able to run with the rest of the top tier guys for a few years that he has decreased in ability. I still consider Alonso the best driver out there and I've seen nothing in recent times that would make me question that. Some of his performances last year were outstanding.



Yes, I do think Ocon was partly responsible for several things. But he never received a single penalty for anything that was his own fault if I am correct all season. Bottas and Ricciardo were the only other 2 drivers not to get any penalties last year too.


I do not assume that Alonso has lost his ability. But we haven’t had enough evidence in recent years to see how good he really is consistently IMO. He still makes mistakes. He crashed Maldonado out in Abu Dhabi 2015. then the first race of the next year, he crashed into Gutierrez and made them both retire. Also costing himself the chance to do the following race. Then he's got himself a totally unnecessary blue flag penalty this year. I know me myself have complained about how painful blue flags must be, but since only 1 other driver in recent years (or possibly ever?) before him got this penalty somehow shows how easy it is to avoid.

Where as the other drivers I have mentioned, we have seen than against each other lots recently. This makes it hard for me to say Alonso is quite that high without seeing it. So I will guess he is right up close, but as I don't know, I think basing on recent events that the others are that bit better. But yes, that may seem harsh and predicting the unknown. I think the McLaren is too hard to judge how good the drivers really are and as Alonso hasn't been in a top performing team for so long now and neither has he been against a really tough team mate for ages. So I'm just unsure he will be quite as good as the others I've mentioned. But I could easily be wrong.


Last edited by TheGiantHogweed on Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:58 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
You've clearly completely misunderstood the premise of the thread.


Not in the least, because the premise of this discussion is nonsense. The combination of drivers and their talents contribute no more than 20% to the equation of which team will be at the top.

This happens every year, but no more clearly demonstrated than Button's rise to the top in the 2009 Braun. He was a mid-pack to upper mid-pack driver before then, and had been a mid-pack driver since. The innovative Braun made the difference in 2009 (you could have put a potted plant in the cockpit of that Braun), and everyone else played copycat after to catch up and pass, principally Red Bull.

I'm sure this has been discusses ad-nauseam here, but the car makes the driver. That makes the premise of the discussion moot.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:01 pm 
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MB-BOB wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
You've clearly completely misunderstood the premise of the thread.


Not in the least, because the premise of this discussion is nonsense. The combination of drivers and their talents contribute no more than 20% to the equation of which team will be at the top.

This happens every year, but no more clearly demonstrated than Button's rise to the top in the 2009 Braun. He was a mid-pack to upper mid-pack driver before then, and had been a mid-pack driver since. The innovative Braun made the difference in 2009, and everyone else played copycat after to catch up and pass, principally Red Bull.

I'm sure this has been discusses ad-nauseum here, but the car makes the driver. That makes the premise of the discussion moot.

I don't think the first post makes it that clear that it is specifically for the driver line ups and not totally ignoring the ability of the car. So I don't think it is unreasonable for you to post your views the way you have at all. But I do think the intention was to base it purely on how highly you rate the drivers and not thinking about the cars strength. But I can agree it is a little pointless. But that is only because it won't really change the results as the stronger line ups are not always in the best cars. As Bottas wasn't rated that highly last year, but he did get very close to Hamilton's points. And it was 45% down to him that the team won the constructors championship by quite some way if you use statistics like this. Showing that is certainly is mainly the car that allows the driver to perform well.


Last edited by TheGiantHogweed on Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:05 pm 
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MB-BOB wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
You've clearly completely misunderstood the premise of the thread.


Not in the least, because the premise of this discussion is nonsense. The combination of drivers and their talents contribute no more than 20% to the equation of which team will be at the top.

This happens every year, but no more clearly demonstrated than Button's rise to the top in the 2009 Braun. He was a mid-pack to upper mid-pack driver before then, and had been a mid-pack driver since. The innovative Braun made the difference in 2009, and everyone else played copycat after to catch up and pass, principally Red Bull.

I'm sure this has been discusses ad-nauseum here, but the car makes the driver. That makes the premise of the discussion moot.

It's not for you to determine which threads are worthwhile. If you don't agree with it, why bother posting in it?

The premise of the thread is to determine the best driver pairings. Most people understand the cars are the biggest influence in any performance discussion, but that doesn't mean they can't discuss the drivers on their own


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:21 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
The premise of the thread is to determine the best driver pairings. Most people understand the cars are the biggest influence in any performance discussion, but that doesn't mean they can't discuss the drivers on their own

Yes, and the assumption is that the drivers actually are "paired" (to some purpose), when in reality each driver on a given team will freely throw the other to the curb in a heartbeat if given a chance. Accordingly, I simply don't buy the premise that the "sum" of any pair is (somehow) greater than the individual components.

IMO, there is a top tier of drivers (maybe 1/3 of the field) whom you could place in the best car and any of them could win. These drivers have natural talent, developed skill and experience for their age. The rest are also-rans, to include all the pay to play drivers, who bring more money to the game than talent.

So, to play along, here is my estimation of the top tier, ranked in order of natural talent, developed skill and experience for their age...

Hamilton
Vettel
Ricciardo
Alonso
Verstappen
Raikkonen
Bottas

Note that six of these drivers are already paired as teammates. Assuming the ranking offered, it might suggest that Ricciardo and Verstappen are the best "pairing." But that does not mean that they will finish at the top of any list of theoretical "pairings," when the car they drive is likely to place their "pairing" no better that 3rd best.

Just playing devil's advocate here.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:52 pm 
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MB-BOB wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
You've clearly completely misunderstood the premise of the thread.


Not in the least, because the premise of this discussion is nonsense. The combination of drivers and their talents contribute no more than 20% to the equation of which team will be at the top.

This happens every year, but no more clearly demonstrated than Button's rise to the top in the 2009 Braun. He was a mid-pack to upper mid-pack driver before then, and had been a mid-pack driver since. The innovative Braun made the difference in 2009 (you could have put a potted plant in the cockpit of that Braun), and everyone else played copycat after to catch up and pass, principally Red Bull.

I'm sure this has been discusses ad-nauseam here, but the car makes the driver. That makes the premise of the discussion moot.


Unfortunately it isn't up to you to decide what discussions are worth while and which are not. If you want to discuss 2018 constructors championship finish order I suggest you start a thread. This one if for discussion around the drivers specifically. If you do not wish to partake in that then nobody will force you.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:56 pm 
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MB-BOB wrote:
Lots of wishful thinking going on here. Mercedes was the class of the field in 2017, has been the class of the field since 2014, and there's no reason to think Mercedes won't be class of the field in 2018.

Also, I keep Ferrari where they are (2nd) followed by Red Bull. Then Force India.

Too much wishful thinking offered for McLaren, as I don't feel they will advance more than 2-3 slots among the teams. They may give Renault or Haas a run for the money (5th), but that's about it.


This will demonstrate -- once again -- the long-established fact that the car makes the driver, as the legend in his own mind (Alonso) will not drag the McLaren cars to the top, or anywhere remotely close.

The rest of the field (Williams, Toro Rosso, Sauber)... who cares?



Just read this again and you definately don't understand the premise of the thread. These sentences clearly show you think people are discussing where they think the car/driver package will fair.

When obviously they are not.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:11 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
Unfortunately it isn't up to you to decide what discussions are worth while and which are not. If you want to discuss 2018 constructors championship finish order I suggest you start a thread. This one if for discussion around the drivers specifically. If you do not wish to partake in that then nobody will force you.


I offer some context to the discussion, and you accuse me (three posts now is ENOUGH) of not understanding the question, when I clearly do. You're not a moderator here. If you don't like my opinions, you are free to not read my posts, or place me on your ignore list. For my part, I try to tolerate it when you freely take discussions off-topic... viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14747, so please stop playing the pot calling the kettle black

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:38 pm 
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MB-BOB wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
Unfortunately it isn't up to you to decide what discussions are worth while and which are not. If you want to discuss 2018 constructors championship finish order I suggest you start a thread. This one if for discussion around the drivers specifically. If you do not wish to partake in that then nobody will force you.


I offer some context to the discussion, and you accuse me (three posts now is ENOUGH) of not understanding the question, when I clearly do. You're not a moderator here. If you don't like my opinions, you are free to not read my posts, or place me on your ignore list. For my part, I try to tolerate it when you freely take discussions off-topic... viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14747, so please stop playing the pot calling the kettle black


How would you now if I was a mod here or not :lol:

If you understood the thread topic then the comments in the first few sentences of your post don't make any sense -

"Lots of wishful thinking going on here. Mercedes was the class of the field in 2017, has been the class of the field since 2014, and there's no reason to think Mercedes won't be class of the field in 2018."

That sentence makes no sense if you understand people are ranking the drivers rather than the package. Surely you can see that?

I am actually being kind assuming you didn't understand the premise of the thread. If I was unkind I would say you understood it but were being deliberately obtuse. Fortunately I am a charitable soul.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:36 pm 
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MB-BOB wrote:
Zoue wrote:
The premise of the thread is to determine the best driver pairings. Most people understand the cars are the biggest influence in any performance discussion, but that doesn't mean they can't discuss the drivers on their own

Yes, and the assumption is that the drivers actually are "paired" (to some purpose), when in reality each driver on a given team will freely throw the other to the curb in a heartbeat if given a chance. Accordingly, I simply don't buy the premise that the "sum" of any pair is (somehow) greater than the individual components.

IMO, there is a top tier of drivers (maybe 1/3 of the field) whom you could place in the best car and any of them could win. These drivers have natural talent, developed skill and experience for their age. The rest are also-rans, to include all the pay to play drivers, who bring more money to the game than talent.

So, to play along, here is my estimation of the top tier, ranked in order of natural talent, developed skill and experience for their age...

Hamilton
Vettel
Ricciardo
Alonso
Verstappen
Raikkonen
Bottas

Note that six of these drivers are already paired as teammates. Assuming the ranking offered, it might suggest that Ricciardo and Verstappen are the best "pairing." But that does not mean that they will finish at the top of any list of theoretical "pairings," when the car they drive is likely to place their "pairing" no better that 3rd best.

Just playing devil's advocate here.

There are already threads on driver rankings, though. This one is different, in that it's about the strongest driving team. Which increases a team's chance of punching above their weight. You may not find that important, but it doesn't render the thread moot


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:11 pm 
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TheGiantHogweed wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
TheGiantHogweed wrote:
<snip>
McLaren - I'd have them below Ferrari because it has been so long since I have seen Alonso have the chance to show he is consistently a top driver. This seems really harsh, but I can't be sure how good he is. I think he's right near the top, but I believe Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen are probably better than him now. And I think Kimi was better than Vandoorne was last year quite easily. But Vandoorne was improving. However, I thought he had a terrible start. about the first 3rd of the season was really disappointing given thy hype i heard about him. I'd have rated him lower than Ericsson for the first half of the season. He did much improve though and I think he will keep getting better. <snip>


Just on this I think we have to bear in mind for that first third is that he was a rookie driving a very difficult car to drive against someone who happens to thrive in those conditions. Until the intake upgrade in Spain the Honda engine was a mess and the driveability and gearshifts very difficult to master so I'd be inclined to wager Ericsson would be just as, if not more so, all at sea against Alonso in those conditions too. (As would just about everyone else on the grid imo). I can't really think of a worse environment to make your debut in tbh.

From Spain to Malaysia I thought he did very well considering he was a rookie. Then there was some different parts for a couple of GP's and then I think he had a couple of poor ones again but was unlucky in AD. Might be alone but I think if you swap Ocon and Vandoorne it would be Stoff getting rave reviews for hanging with and beating Perez sometimes, while Ocon struggled with the Honda and Alonso's knack for driving difficult cars.


Excerpt from an Autosport+ piece Wuzak just posted on f1technical..


I'm not quite sure about if you swapped Ocon with Vandoorne, the criticism would be the other way round. Ocon hasn't made any huge mistakes that he was deemed responsible for and I very much doubt the Mclaren is a harder car to handle than the Force India. Also, I'm not sure what it was after Spain that made Vandoorne appear better. He was awful in Monaco. Crashing in qualifying and running into the wall in the race too. Canada he seemed ok but then in Baku he was only 1 place up from last of the remaining drivers and behind both Saubers. It was only from then on that I thought he clearly improved. I thought Ocon looked impressive from the start against Perez. I'm not saying Vandoorne won't have beaten him quite a bit, but Vandoorne did crash a fair bit to start with. Even on F1 fanatic, I think Vandoorne was rated 18th or 19th for the mid season driver rankings which was pretty low given our expectations. I know he certainly has improved and often has impressed later in the season though. And Alonso will make it harder for him to show us how good he is. But I don't think that changed most of the first half of his season. It is also quite disappointing that both drivers in this team got penalties for ignoring blue flags last year. Drivers very rarely pick these up and Alonso especially really should have known better. This isn't to do with their strength as a team, but it was a slight negative from last year.


Why would the FI be harder to drive than a car suffering the problems McLaren had pre-Spain? The vibrations and driveability were so bad Alonso broke his driveshaft because he dared to touch the throttle with one tyre in a puddle in China. All Ocon had to do was get in and drive with his normal approach while Vandoorne had to deal with the Honda PU. Even fuel saving takes you away from your normal style and the Macca boys had to do the most of it (While still driving around the other issues like gearshifts and horrid driveability).

Chassis-wise neither car had any fundamental handling issues as far as I'm aware, they were both good so it's clear Stoff had the harder car to drive. He's also next to a driver not on Alonso's level so even if both Ocon and Stoff were identical in skill he's going to be further away from Alo than Ocon is to Perez. And that's in normal conditions. Alonso with a problem to drive around is second to none. He was on for a points finish and setting fastest laps in Mal '2010 driving with a broken clutch, he qualified 4th with a bent front left suspension in the rain in Mal '14, he won in the wet in Malaysia in 2012 with a car with little rear end grip due to a dodgy coanda.

In Monaco Stoff showed some pace for the first time because he didn't have to drive around the PU shortcomings anymore but he did make some errors yeah, not unlike Max the year before though and most other top drivers around Monaco. In Baku he got a terrible strategy as they covered the wrong man (Grosjean) and dodgy pit stop later on as well I believe which put him back there, he actually looked arguably quicker than Alonso before that which was the first time we could say that.

He crashed 3 times, once getting caught out by the Honda's embarrassing speed on the straight in Spain where he didn't think Massa could close that big of a gap before T1, a silly error but Massa's onboard is hilarious with how far away he was and then twice in Monaco which all top drivers seem keen on. Ocon had a few run-ins with Perez.

I'm not surprised he was rated lowly, I don't think people understand just how difficult that car was to drive or just how much these regs and tyres suit Alonso. Alonso has been able to use his old Michelin era driving style with aggressive turn in again with these tyres and the whole vibration/driveability issues with Honda were barely mentioned in respect to how it effects the driver, only power loss was discussed at length (Partly the drivers fault for talking about it so much I guess though). Now Hasegawa has confirmed those issues hopefully people can see just what was going on Pre-Spain.

Ignoring blue flags is entirely forgivable if you're in your own fight for the points and don't cost anyone else a position in my book, there is far too much moaning about blue flags. There's usually a couple of incidents a year but that's because you have to be in pretty specific circumstances to "ignore" them like fighting for a point at your engine makers home GP in the last couple of laps for example. If Alonso had just thrown that chance away to jump out of Lewis's way the moment he saw blue I'd have less respect for him tbh. If he was just cruising around and ignored them then that's different of course. Can't recall Stoff's so can't comment.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:07 pm 
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TheGiantHogweed wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
TheGiantHogweed wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
TheGiantHogweed wrote:
<snip>
McLaren - I'd have them below Ferrari because it has been so long since I have seen Alonso have the chance to show he is consistently a top driver. This seems really harsh, but I can't be sure how good he is. I think he's right near the top, but I believe Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen are probably better than him now. And I think Kimi was better than Vandoorne was last year quite easily. But Vandoorne was improving. However, I thought he had a terrible start. about the first 3rd of the season was really disappointing given thy hype i heard about him. I'd have rated him lower than Ericsson for the first half of the season. He did much improve though and I think he will keep getting better. <snip>


Just on this I think we have to bear in mind for that first third is that he was a rookie driving a very difficult car to drive against someone who happens to thrive in those conditions. Until the intake upgrade in Spain the Honda engine was a mess and the driveability and gearshifts very difficult to master so I'd be inclined to wager Ericsson would be just as, if not more so, all at sea against Alonso in those conditions too. (As would just about everyone else on the grid imo). I can't really think of a worse environment to make your debut in tbh.

From Spain to Malaysia I thought he did very well considering he was a rookie. Then there was some different parts for a couple of GP's and then I think he had a couple of poor ones again but was unlucky in AD. Might be alone but I think if you swap Ocon and Vandoorne it would be Stoff getting rave reviews for hanging with and beating Perez sometimes, while Ocon struggled with the Honda and Alonso's knack for driving difficult cars.

Excerpt from an Autosport+ piece Wuzak just posted on f1technical..


I'm not quite sure about if you swapped Ocon with Vandoorne, the criticism would be the other way round. Ocon hasn't made any huge mistakes that he was deemed responsible for and I very much doubt the Mclaren is a harder car to handle than the Force India. Also, I'm not sure what it was after Spain that made Vandoorne appear better. He was awful in Monaco. Crashing in qualifying and running into the wall in the race too. Canada he seemed ok but then in Baku he was only 1 place up from last of the remaining drivers and behind both Saubers. It was only from then on that I thought he clearly improved. I thought Ocon looked impressive from the start against Perez. I'm not saying Vandoorne won't have beaten him quite a bit, but Vandoorne did crash a fair bit to start with. Even on F1 fanatic, I think Vandoorne was rated 18th or 19th for the mid season driver rankings which was pretty low given our expectations. I know he certainly has improved and often has impressed later in the season though. And Alonso will make it harder for him to show us how good he is. But I don't think that changed most of the first half of his season. It is also quite disappointing that both drivers in this team got penalties for ignoring blue flags last year. Drivers very rarely pick these up and Alonso especially really should have known better. This isn't to do with their strength as a team, but it was a slight negative from last year.


Ocon was at least partly at fault for costing FI a possible 1,2 in Baku.

I think Vandoorne probably showed where the Mclaren really was all season. When the package got easier to handle then the gap to Alonso decreased. Pretty much what you would expect on the whole. It's pretty unrealistic to expect a rookie to match Alonso in any circumstances let alone driving a difficult car with very difficult to handle power output. It will be interesting to see how Vandoorne goes this year but I hope people don't write him off if he is consistently a bit behind Alonso. I don't now why people assume that, because Alonso hasn't been able to run with the rest of the top tier guys for a few years that he has decreased in ability. I still consider Alonso the best driver out there and I've seen nothing in recent times that would make me question that. Some of his performances last year were outstanding.



Yes, I do think Ocon was partly responsible for several things. But he never received a single penalty for anything that was his own fault if I am correct all season. Bottas and Ricciardo were the only other 2 drivers not to get any penalties last year too.


I do not assume that Alonso has lost his ability. But we haven’t had enough evidence in recent years to see how good he really is consistently IMO. He still makes mistakes. He crashed Maldonado out in Abu Dhabi 2015. then the first race of the next year, he crashed into Gutierrez and made them both retire. Also costing himself the chance to do the following race. Then he's got himself a totally unnecessary blue flag penalty this year. I know me myself have complained about how painful blue flags must be, but since only 1 other driver in recent years (or possibly ever?) before him got this penalty somehow shows how easy it is to avoid.

Where as the other drivers I have mentioned, we have seen than against each other lots recently. This makes it hard for me to say Alonso is quite that high without seeing it. So I will guess he is right up close, but as I don't know, I think basing on recent events that the others are that bit better. But yes, that may seem harsh and predicting the unknown. I think the McLaren is too hard to judge how good the drivers really are and as Alonso hasn't been in a top performing team for so long now and neither has he been against a really tough team mate for ages. So I'm just unsure he will be quite as good as the others I've mentioned. But I could easily be wrong.


BIB-I've no idea why you think blue flag penalties could possibly be that rare that Alonso's was the first ever!? There were 3 others just the previous year, 1 for Pascal and 2 for Gutierrez and the year before Max got a drive through in AD for doing it.

And you'll find a few every year I would bet if you keep going back. They're only on the rare side because it takes pretty specific circumstances for you to bother ignoring them rather than getting out of the way and I think Alonso's is the perfect example of when to ignore them.

The teams second home race, last couple of laps, racing for the last point and Lewis was safe enough from Max. I'm ignoring them too tbh...

And his team mate recently was Button who's as tough as they come and he handled him as well as Lewis did. And he made no driving errors this year and even the Gutierrez crash has some mitigating circumstances around the ERS system on the Haas switching to harvest and losing ers deployment which caught Alonso out. Racing Incident according to the stewards.

_________________
"Clark came through at the end of the first lap so far ahead that we in the pits were convinced that the rest of the field must have been wiped out in an accident."
-Eddie Dennis, describing the dominance of Jim Clark in the Lotus 49 at Spa 1967


Last edited by Lotus49 on Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:09 pm 
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Lotus49 wrote:
TheGiantHogweed wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
TheGiantHogweed wrote:
<snip>
McLaren - I'd have them below Ferrari because it has been so long since I have seen Alonso have the chance to show he is consistently a top driver. This seems really harsh, but I can't be sure how good he is. I think he's right near the top, but I believe Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen are probably better than him now. And I think Kimi was better than Vandoorne was last year quite easily. But Vandoorne was improving. However, I thought he had a terrible start. about the first 3rd of the season was really disappointing given thy hype i heard about him. I'd have rated him lower than Ericsson for the first half of the season. He did much improve though and I think he will keep getting better. <snip>


Just on this I think we have to bear in mind for that first third is that he was a rookie driving a very difficult car to drive against someone who happens to thrive in those conditions. Until the intake upgrade in Spain the Honda engine was a mess and the driveability and gearshifts very difficult to master so I'd be inclined to wager Ericsson would be just as, if not more so, all at sea against Alonso in those conditions too. (As would just about everyone else on the grid imo). I can't really think of a worse environment to make your debut in tbh.

From Spain to Malaysia I thought he did very well considering he was a rookie. Then there was some different parts for a couple of GP's and then I think he had a couple of poor ones again but was unlucky in AD. Might be alone but I think if you swap Ocon and Vandoorne it would be Stoff getting rave reviews for hanging with and beating Perez sometimes, while Ocon struggled with the Honda and Alonso's knack for driving difficult cars.

Excerpt from an Autosport+ piece Wuzak just posted on f1technical..


I'm not quite sure about if you swapped Ocon with Vandoorne, the criticism would be the other way round. Ocon hasn't made any huge mistakes that he was deemed responsible for and I very much doubt the Mclaren is a harder car to handle than the Force India. Also, I'm not sure what it was after Spain that made Vandoorne appear better. He was awful in Monaco. Crashing in qualifying and running into the wall in the race too. Canada he seemed ok but then in Baku he was only 1 place up from last of the remaining drivers and behind both Saubers. It was only from then on that I thought he clearly improved. I thought Ocon looked impressive from the start against Perez. I'm not saying Vandoorne won't have beaten him quite a bit, but Vandoorne did crash a fair bit to start with. Even on F1 fanatic, I think Vandoorne was rated 18th or 19th for the mid season driver rankings which was pretty low given our expectations. I know he certainly has improved and often has impressed later in the season though. And Alonso will make it harder for him to show us how good he is. But I don't think that changed most of the first half of his season. It is also quite disappointing that both drivers in this team got penalties for ignoring blue flags last year. Drivers very rarely pick these up and Alonso especially really should have known better. This isn't to do with their strength as a team, but it was a slight negative from last year.


Why would the FI be harder to drive than a car suffering the problems McLaren had pre-Spain? The vibrations and driveability were so bad Alonso broke his driveshaft because he dared to touch the throttle with one tyre in a puddle in China. All Ocon had to do was get in and drive with his normal approach while Vandoorne had to deal with the Honda PU. Even fuel saving takes you away from your normal style and the Macca boys had to do the most of it (While still driving around the other issues like gearshifts and horrid driveability).

Chassis-wise neither car had any fundamental handling issues as far as I'm aware, they were both good so it's clear Stoff had the harder car to drive. He's also next to a driver not on Alonso's level so even if both Ocon and Stoff were identical in skill he's going to be further away from Alo than Ocon is to Perez. And that's in normal conditions. Alonso with a problem to drive around is second to none. He was on for a points finish and setting fastest laps in Mal '2010 driving with a broken clutch, he qualified 4th with a bent front left suspension in the rain in Mal '14, he won in the wet in Malaysia in 2012 with a car with little rear end grip due to a dodgy coanda.

In Monaco Stoff showed some pace for the first time because he didn't have to drive around the PU shortcomings anymore but he did make some errors yeah, not unlike Max the year before though and most other top drivers around Monaco. In Baku he got a terrible strategy as they covered the wrong man (Grosjean) and dodgy pit stop later on as well I believe which put him back there, he actually looked arguably quicker than Alonso before that which was the first time we could say that.

He crashed 3 times, once getting caught out by the Honda's embarrassing speed on the straight in Spain where he didn't think Massa could close that big of a gap before T1, a silly error but Massa's onboard is hilarious with how far away he was and then twice in Monaco which all top drivers seem keen on. Ocon had a few run-ins with Perez.

I'm not surprised he was rated lowly, I don't think people understand just how difficult that car was to drive or just how much these regs and tyres suit Alonso. Alonso has been able to use his old Michelin era driving style with aggressive turn in again with these tyres and the whole vibration/driveability issues with Honda were barely mentioned in respect to how it effects the driver, only power loss was discussed at length (Partly the drivers fault for talking about it so much I guess though). Now Hasegawa has confirmed those issues hopefully people can see just what was going on Pre-Spain.

Ignoring blue flags is entirely forgivable if you're in your own fight for the points and don't cost anyone else a position in my book, there is far too much moaning about blue flags. There's usually a couple of incidents a year but that's because you have to be in pretty specific circumstances to "ignore" them like fighting for a point at your engine makers home GP in the last couple of laps for example. If Alonso had just thrown that chance away to jump out of Lewis's way the moment he saw blue I'd have less respect for him tbh. If he was just cruising around and ignored them then that's different of course. Can't recall Stoff's so can't comment.



Maybe I don't understand how hard it was then. But I thought I had heard so many people say McLaren had one of the best chassis this year. So in some aspects, the McLaren should have been very easy to handle if this was correct. I am sure I heard Alonso say he was convinced it was right at the top multiple times. I have to say I do follow some drivers closer than others so maybe I have been too harsh on Vandoorne. He wasn't one I followed as closely. Even I can't remember when Vandoorne got a penalty for blue flags, but I pointed out several times this year that it was a coincidence that both drivers at McLaren happened to have got one of these penalties that pretty much never get collected. So I'm pretty certain he broke these rules one race. But on another website, I did see an article on how drivers in weaker cars can often break the rules but still gain more out of doing that than not. I guess it gets the job done but it looks unprofessional. But yes, It was Vandoorne's first year. I think I have probably been a bit too harsh on him so lets leave it at that. I think I haven't appreciated his performances enough towards the end of the season as I didn't notice many outstanding ones, but I have read enough people say he was a lot better.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:37 pm 
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MB-BOB wrote:
Yes, and the assumption is that the drivers actually are "paired" (to some purpose), when in reality each driver on a given team will freely throw the other to the curb in a heartbeat if given a chance. Accordingly, I simply don't buy the premise that the "sum" of any pair is (somehow) greater than the individual components.

IMO, there is a top tier of drivers (maybe 1/3 of the field) whom you could place in the best car and any of them could win. These drivers have natural talent, developed skill and experience for their age. The rest are also-rans, to include all the pay to play drivers, who bring more money to the game than talent.

I don't think most people are thinking in terms of a 'pairing' like you refer to; if this discussion were taking place in 1989, I expect everyone would universally put Prost/Senna as #1 despite how toxic that pairing was on a personnel basis.

You say that you don't buy the premise that the sum of the pair is greater than that of the individual components, and neither do I: this thread is basically ranking what you believe the sum of the driver components of each team might be. I certainly hope that everyone who participated in the thread is aware that the car has far more to do with competitive results than the drivers - actually, that's the reason for the existence of the thread when you think about it! If it weren't that the car hides driver ability so well, there would be little reason to debate which drivers - and hence, driver pairings - were the best.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:50 pm 
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TheGiantHogweed wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
TheGiantHogweed wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
TheGiantHogweed wrote:
<snip>
McLaren - I'd have them below Ferrari because it has been so long since I have seen Alonso have the chance to show he is consistently a top driver. This seems really harsh, but I can't be sure how good he is. I think he's right near the top, but I believe Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen are probably better than him now. And I think Kimi was better than Vandoorne was last year quite easily. But Vandoorne was improving. However, I thought he had a terrible start. about the first 3rd of the season was really disappointing given thy hype i heard about him. I'd have rated him lower than Ericsson for the first half of the season. He did much improve though and I think he will keep getting better. <snip>


Just on this I think we have to bear in mind for that first third is that he was a rookie driving a very difficult car to drive against someone who happens to thrive in those conditions. Until the intake upgrade in Spain the Honda engine was a mess and the driveability and gearshifts very difficult to master so I'd be inclined to wager Ericsson would be just as, if not more so, all at sea against Alonso in those conditions too. (As would just about everyone else on the grid imo). I can't really think of a worse environment to make your debut in tbh.

From Spain to Malaysia I thought he did very well considering he was a rookie. Then there was some different parts for a couple of GP's and then I think he had a couple of poor ones again but was unlucky in AD. Might be alone but I think if you swap Ocon and Vandoorne it would be Stoff getting rave reviews for hanging with and beating Perez sometimes, while Ocon struggled with the Honda and Alonso's knack for driving difficult cars.

Excerpt from an Autosport+ piece Wuzak just posted on f1technical..


I'm not quite sure about if you swapped Ocon with Vandoorne, the criticism would be the other way round. Ocon hasn't made any huge mistakes that he was deemed responsible for and I very much doubt the Mclaren is a harder car to handle than the Force India. Also, I'm not sure what it was after Spain that made Vandoorne appear better. He was awful in Monaco. Crashing in qualifying and running into the wall in the race too. Canada he seemed ok but then in Baku he was only 1 place up from last of the remaining drivers and behind both Saubers. It was only from then on that I thought he clearly improved. I thought Ocon looked impressive from the start against Perez. I'm not saying Vandoorne won't have beaten him quite a bit, but Vandoorne did crash a fair bit to start with. Even on F1 fanatic, I think Vandoorne was rated 18th or 19th for the mid season driver rankings which was pretty low given our expectations. I know he certainly has improved and often has impressed later in the season though. And Alonso will make it harder for him to show us how good he is. But I don't think that changed most of the first half of his season. It is also quite disappointing that both drivers in this team got penalties for ignoring blue flags last year. Drivers very rarely pick these up and Alonso especially really should have known better. This isn't to do with their strength as a team, but it was a slight negative from last year.


Why would the FI be harder to drive than a car suffering the problems McLaren had pre-Spain? The vibrations and driveability were so bad Alonso broke his driveshaft because he dared to touch the throttle with one tyre in a puddle in China. All Ocon had to do was get in and drive with his normal approach while Vandoorne had to deal with the Honda PU. Even fuel saving takes you away from your normal style and the Macca boys had to do the most of it (While still driving around the other issues like gearshifts and horrid driveability).

Chassis-wise neither car had any fundamental handling issues as far as I'm aware, they were both good so it's clear Stoff had the harder car to drive. He's also next to a driver not on Alonso's level so even if both Ocon and Stoff were identical in skill he's going to be further away from Alo than Ocon is to Perez. And that's in normal conditions. Alonso with a problem to drive around is second to none. He was on for a points finish and setting fastest laps in Mal '2010 driving with a broken clutch, he qualified 4th with a bent front left suspension in the rain in Mal '14, he won in the wet in Malaysia in 2012 with a car with little rear end grip due to a dodgy coanda.

In Monaco Stoff showed some pace for the first time because he didn't have to drive around the PU shortcomings anymore but he did make some errors yeah, not unlike Max the year before though and most other top drivers around Monaco. In Baku he got a terrible strategy as they covered the wrong man (Grosjean) and dodgy pit stop later on as well I believe which put him back there, he actually looked arguably quicker than Alonso before that which was the first time we could say that.

He crashed 3 times, once getting caught out by the Honda's embarrassing speed on the straight in Spain where he didn't think Massa could close that big of a gap before T1, a silly error but Massa's onboard is hilarious with how far away he was and then twice in Monaco which all top drivers seem keen on. Ocon had a few run-ins with Perez.

I'm not surprised he was rated lowly, I don't think people understand just how difficult that car was to drive or just how much these regs and tyres suit Alonso. Alonso has been able to use his old Michelin era driving style with aggressive turn in again with these tyres and the whole vibration/driveability issues with Honda were barely mentioned in respect to how it effects the driver, only power loss was discussed at length (Partly the drivers fault for talking about it so much I guess though). Now Hasegawa has confirmed those issues hopefully people can see just what was going on Pre-Spain.

Ignoring blue flags is entirely forgivable if you're in your own fight for the points and don't cost anyone else a position in my book, there is far too much moaning about blue flags. There's usually a couple of incidents a year but that's because you have to be in pretty specific circumstances to "ignore" them like fighting for a point at your engine makers home GP in the last couple of laps for example. If Alonso had just thrown that chance away to jump out of Lewis's way the moment he saw blue I'd have less respect for him tbh. If he was just cruising around and ignored them then that's different of course. Can't recall Stoff's so can't comment.



Maybe I don't understand how hard it was then. But I thought I had heard so many people say McLaren had one of the best chassis this year. So in some aspects, the McLaren should have been very easy to handle if this was correct. I am sure I heard Alonso say he was convinced it was right at the top multiple times. I have to say I do follow some drivers closer than others so maybe I have been too harsh on Vandoorne. He wasn't one I followed as closely. Even I can't remember when Vandoorne got a penalty for blue flags, but I pointed out several times this year that it was a coincidence that both drivers at McLaren happened to have got one of these penalties that pretty much never get collected. So I'm pretty certain he broke these rules one race. But on another website, I did see an article on how drivers in weaker cars can often break the rules but still gain more out of doing that than not. I guess it gets the job done but it looks unprofessional. But yes, It was Vandoorne's first year. I think I have probably been a bit too harsh on him so lets leave it at that. I think I haven't appreciated his performances enough towards the end of the season as I didn't notice many outstanding ones, but I have read enough people say he was a lot better.


Chassis wise it was great all year yeah, handling,balance wise I didn't hear a single complaint. But it's the vibrations from the pu and driveability of the engine that caused the problems. Power dumps on corner exit so they couldn't get on the throttle for X amount of metre's, they had to short shift to control torque in slower speed corners while going long in other spots to control resonance (According to Ben Anderson).

They had to avoid all kerbs and brake earlier than they might want to so they can take more pace through the corner to avoid that waiting to get back on the throttle on exit(This is where Alonso was killing Stoff as Stoff was braking too late apparently which was leaving him on exit unable to get back on the power because of the driveability while Alonso carried much more speed through the corner allowing him to get back on the throttle quicker was how it was explained to me). All while lifting and coasting much more than everyone else.

Ocon had a tidy chassis himself and the best PU. He could get in and just adapt to the new formula while Stoff had all the above to deal with as well as the normal rookie stuff/new formula and a right at home Alonso. I thought Lewis had a tough rookie gig but I've not seen one tougher than what Vandoorne faced and we've not even touched on the comparative amount of running he could do with all the reliability issues in testing and FP's with Honda severely compromising him.

I don't think you're alone in underestimating what the McLaren drivers had to deal with before Spain, it was largely glossed over, and I'm hoping we see some more insight in the McHonda documentary coming to Amazon next month. :thumbup:

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-Eddie Dennis, describing the dominance of Jim Clark in the Lotus 49 at Spa 1967


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:44 am 
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Jenson's Understeer wrote:
1. Red Bull - Simply put, they are the only team on the grid with two of the drivers I consider to the big five. Pretty easy choice to put them here.
2. Mercedes - Hamilton's one of the three best on the grid, and on his day is untouchable. Bottas had a solid 2017 and I think he'll be better this year, albeit not to the extent that it makes this line-up as strong as Red Bull's.
3. McLaren - For me, Alonso remains the best driver on the grid. Vandoorne improved over 2017 and is a very, very talented driver, but is still far from the finished article (and further from that than Bottas).
4. Ferrari - Vettel had a good 2017, albeit marred by some very obvious negatives. He remains one of the stronger drivers in F1. Kimi, on his day, is obviously still quick. The problem is such days are fewer and further between and he drags them down my rankings.
5. Force India - Very well matched pair. Perez has shown numerous times that he can deliver a podium in the right circumstances and has repaired his reputation following the year at McLaren. Ocon was impressive throughout 2017 and seemed to be getting a handle on quali, too, having struggled a bit there.
6. Renault - Separating FI and Renault was possibly the hardest aspect of this list. Sainz/Ocon is a very close call, as is Hulkenberg/Perez, although right now I'd lean towards both FI drivers which is why I've got them above Renault.
7. Haas - They're kind of like a poor man's FI/Renault. I'd have Grosjean below both Perez and Hulkenberg, and Ocon/Sainz well ahead of Magnussen. But as a pair they are stronger than the three other teams. Might look even better if they ever sort their brakes out!
8. Sauber - Ericsson isn't a driver I rate. Leclerc is the complete opposite; he'll be a star. However, he is still a driver without any F1 experience and it will take him a little while to get up to speed. So with that in mind I've got them here.
9. Toro Rosso - Hummed and hawed about the Toro Rosso/Williams order. My main reason? Hartley. Yes, he went away from F1 and was successful in WEC, but that doesn't always translate to a good F1 driver. Right now as an F1 driver, he is unproven. As is Gasly, who comes into F1 with a strong junior resume.
10. Williams - Sirotkin was actually kind of unlucky in that a) his two good GP2 seasons coincided with a dominant force (Vandoorne and then Prema) and b) he was up against Kubica for the Williams seat. In my mind, he's not that far off Gasly at all. And Stroll, I don't know how to read him at all as he was all over the place last year. I've put them last as until Stroll can deliver more consistent performances, he's a bit of a liability.

Not much to argue with your rankings and explanations, I think there is a solid group of tier 2 drivers with not much to choose between them and the teams with the tier 1 drivers have to be at the top, I think with Ferrari and Mclaren it's very close, Alonso has the edge on Vettel but Kimi has achieved more than Vandoorne who I feel has to up his game a bit this year.

Same with Force India and Renault again it's very close one way or the other, then behind those you have a mix of inferior and inexperienced drivers, like you say Haas has by the far the more experienced drivers with Grosjean being on the tip of being a tier 2 driver

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:45 am 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
1. Red Bull
2. Mercedes
3. Mclaren
4. Force India
5. Ferrari
6. Renault
7. Haas
8. Sauber
9. STR
10. Williams

I would say overall this is a weaker driver field than we have been used to in recent years. A lot of fairly uninspiring line ups.

Yes the bottom 4 teams have poor line ups.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:48 am 
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Lotus49 wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
Lotus49 wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
1. Red Bull
2. Mercedes
3. Mclaren
4. Force India
5. Ferrari
6. Renault
7. Haas
8. Sauber
9. STR
10. Williams

I would say overall this is a weaker driver field than we have been used to in recent years. A lot of fairly uninspiring line ups.


I think that stems from a few unknowns or drivers still with question marks. Sirotkin,Stroll,Gasly and Hartley could turn into at least decent F1 midfield level and change that perception a bit or fall on their face and confirm your initial impression on the field. My gut instinct is Gasly and Sirotkin will be looked on as pretty decent midfield drivers by years end.

(Leclerc looks legit and I still rate Vandoorne but I don't think you were meaning them anyway).


Trouble is most of the drivers you mention are partnered with drivers who I would say aren't a good benchmark. So i'm less excited than I would normally be. I think the rid currently comprises of a few unproved and a few proven to be nothing special. I'm sure in years to come we will see Vandoorne, Ocon and Leclerc doing well so it's not all negative.


Yeah good point, it will be a bit tricky working out if Stroll has improved or Sirotkin faltering if it's close and the STR boys will be hard to read too.

Still possible to impress I think, like Max and Carlos did in their rookie year, but it's more difficult to pick up on if there's no benchmark, yeah.

Drivers like Massa and Wehrlein are better than some of the drivers at the back there is a certain level of money over talent.

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

2017: 9th Place
2018: 7th place

Wins: Canada 2018, Abu Dhabi 2017
Podiums: (6)


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