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Which driver will win the McLaren TMW vote in 2020?
Poll runs till Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:11 pm
Carlos Sainz 25%  25%  [ 4 ]
Lando Norris 75%  75%  [ 12 ]
Total votes : 16
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:11 pm 
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The last of the TMW prediction threads before we reach the 'big 3' could be the most hotly contested of the lot, as two drivers who enjoyed positive years go head to head once again at McLaren.

As we all know, 2019 was McLaren's best season for a number of years. While it might not yet be a return to regularly fighting for podiums or even race wins - something the team will no doubt be hoping to use the regulation changes for 2021 to capitalise on - it did see them record their highest WCC finish since 2012. It also saw them return to the podium for the first time in over five years, and generally gave us a more positive, upbeat McLaren. Without a huge change in the regulations for 2020, there has got to be a lot of belief amongst them that they can at least repeat that in 2020. The really intrigue surrounds their two drivers.

It was a strong 2019 for Carlos Sainz, many people's pick as the driver with the best performances outside the top three teams. Having been passed up for a seat at Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen, Sainz found refuge with McLaren and had his best season in F1 to date, cumulating with a first podium in F1 in Brazil and a last-lap overtake to secure seventh in the WDC. He also appeared to win some fans with his entertaining team radio exchanges, as well as his ongoing (and I hate this word) bromance with teammate Lando Norris. Talking of Lando, his 2019 was none too shabby either. While he may have finished behind his teammate in terms of points and podiums, he won the quali head to head and put in enough good races of his own to show that he already belongs in F1, even though some of us (myself included) felt he would've benefitted from an extra year in F2. With that year of experience the expectation will be that 2020 will be even stronger, suggesting he and Sainz might be even closer matched this year than they were last year.

Can Norris build on his rookie season to really take the fight to Sainz in 2020, or will Sainz's experience coupled with a strong 2019 season see him again outshine his young British teammate?

2019 TMW Result
Carlos Sainz over Lando Norris (13-8, 54%)
73% of votes pre-season votes correctly predicted Sainz would triumph

2020 Prediction Results
Renault: Daniel Ricciardo 82% - 18% Esteban Ocon
AlphaTauri: Pierre Gasly 82% - 18% Daniil Kvyat
Racing Point: Sergio Perez 88% - 13% Lance Stroll
Alfa Romeo: Kimi Raikkonen 86% - 14% Antonio Giovinazzi
Haas: Kevin Magnussen 71% - 29% Romain Grosjean
Williams: George Russell 95% - 5% Nicholas Latifi

We are nothing if not decisive this year! Another driver gets 80%+ of our votes as we've widely tipped Daniel Ricciardo to demonstrate his class and see off his new Renault teammate. So far only the Haas vote has seen less than 3/4 of the vote go to one driver, but will that change as we get closer to the sharp end of the grid?

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2019: 11th | 2018: 5th | 2017: 6th | 2016: 8th | 2015: 2nd | 2014: 15th | 2013: 17th | 2012: 11th


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:16 pm 
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I think this could be an exciting battle to watch!

I’ve always rated Sainz and I think we’ll see some improvement from Norris, who has a lot of potential - this year. I’d still edge with Sainz over the season but could easily be wrong.

If they are as close as I expect then their friendly relationship might not survive the season :twisted:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:04 pm 
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Big season for Norris coming up, I think Sainz still edges it but closer than last year as long as both get a better run of luck.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:48 pm 
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Norris was already as fast as Sainz last year and some terrible luck made the points gap look bigger than it really should have. I expect Norris to come out on top in 2020.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:43 pm 
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This might well be the closest one for 2020. I see Norris coming out ahead. Drivers tend to improve dramatically in their second season, and in terms of pure pace he was already there with Sainz. As long as his luck runs at least average and he picks up a bit of tyre management, he should be able to shade the head-to-head this time.

But I still expect it to be pretty close. I rate Carlos higher than most people do.

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TOP THREE CHAMPIONSHIP (No Limit Excedrin Racing): Champions in 2015 & 2018 | 2nd in 2017 & 2019
AUTOSPORT GP PREDICTOR: 2017 USA & P-F1 Champion


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:19 pm 
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I think Sainz is a decent enough driver but when he came up against a tier 2 driver he got beat and his only scalp really is Kvyat.

There's quite a few people thought that Norris wasn't ready for F1 despite finishing 2nd in F2, his form was somewhat patchy and his high position perhaps fortunate due to reliability problems for some of his rivals.

So his form in F1 was a bit surprising, almost matching Sainz in qualifying although giving second best in the races this perhaps a mix of inexperience and bad luck.

I'm sceptical about how good Sainz is and how much a part having the 4th best car raised his profile, I'm thinking given how close Norris was last season and this being his first season continuing in the same racing series that Norris maybe has a higher ceiling than Sainz and will beat him, It's a bit of an open book just how good Norris might be?

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