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Topic: The Motorsport Thread

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TheJGG

Welcome to the general Motorsport thread. Here you can discuss in detail anything related even marginally to motorsport, including F1, IndyCar, Endurance Racing, racing video games and otherwise.

I've been a huge F1 fan for over three years, and have managed to study almost every single time period of racing in the sport's history, excluding the '50s, '60s and a bit of the '70s. My favourite drivers in the sport at the moment are Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz Jr, George Russell and Sergio Pérez in that order. I was very skeptical about Alexander Albon's early promotion to the team, and even from the second race of 2020 I felt that he wasn't going to impress me very much. That combined with Pérez' win in Bahrain meant his exit was inevitable.

I like both of Ferrari's drivers for 2021 (Sainz and Charles Leclerc) though I regard Ferrari as a congregation of fools. I hate their management, their questionable strategy calls, their awful pit crew that somehow make some weekends even worse, and their inability to own up and say they messed up. I also don't like Max Verstappen, not just because of his loyal sea of orange clad Dutch fans but also because even though he's been in the sport for six years he still can be hot-headed, mistake-prone, and a complete jerk in the media to reporters and his rivals. His foul mouth's betrayed him a lot, especially when he used a racial slur on another driver last year.

I'm super excited for the three rookies coming in this 2021 season, especially Yuki Tsunoda, because he looks like a serious Japanese talent. Mick Schumacher feels like he'll strike me as a quiet sensation rather than a headline grabber. Nikita Mazepin looks seriously quick but his tyre management could be better, and his raw aggression needs to be tamed.

I'm not a big fan of IndyCar but due to the mass exodus of former F1 talent to the series in recent years, I've started watching highlights. Where I live the timing is awful to watch most IndyCar races, but I did sit down and watch Takuma Sato's against-the-odds victory last year. The speeds are interesting but oval courses don't offer much in terms of true racing and challenge apart from turning left, really slipstreaming someone, and using push to pass. So I find the road courses more indicative of a driver's strengths, and Colton Herta, and Pato O'Ward really catch my eye. Can't wait to see how they do after placing so well in the championship. Plus, we have Grosjean for road and street races!

As for racing video games, I prefer simulation-type games instead of arcade-style games, because of my serious passion for racing. I have a GT wheel and a rig, and I've become very invested in Gran Turismo Sport due to the amount of circuits and cars that are available. I have DiRT 5 on the PS5, and it's really fun and accessible for new players, but more often than not I find it too easy to truly push me. The F1 games are also awesome, but I haven't tried it in detail with a wheel.

Edited on by TheJGG

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TheJGG

I have nearly achieved 100% on the campaign mode for GT Sport. Took a while but all that’s left is a 30-minute endurance race at Interlagos. Then all done, and I get a nice trophy!

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TheJGG

And it’s done. I hope I can get the silver trophy for reaching Lv40, but it takes so long to level up when you’re around the 30-40 bracket

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TheJGG

I started watching Formula E, and hope to see the Riyadh Round II race in just under forty minutes. Both Mercedes cars (De Vries and Vandoorne) got excluded, along with teammate Norman Nato in the Venturi, because of Edouardo Mortara's accident, and his having the Mercedes power unit. Shame, Mercedes is my favourite F1 team, and I really like De Vries, having seen his F2 campaign in person.

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WoomyNNYes

@TheJGG I don't like how all the drivers seem to be in a such a hurry.

I don't have the attention span to watch races, but I do dvr F1 because, I like to have it on for background. And, I always look forward to 24 hours of Le Mans.

Is there anything new/interesting with the F1 chassis this year? Maybe they haven't shown them yet? I haven't looked.

Did you ever watch the recent movie Ford vs Ferrari? I avoided it because I thought it would be hollywood fluff, but it's more serious about racing than I thought it would be, and it was very entertaining.

Edited on by WoomyNNYes

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TheJGG

@WoomyNNYes Well the regulations for F1 have remained pretty much the same for this year due to COVID, but all teams have been required to cut a specific amount of floor away from their car, which would cost around a second per lap.

This was primarily to reduce loads on the tyres. At last year’s British Grand Prix there were three tyre failures in the last three laps of the race, one of which hit leader Hamilton on the final lap. He managed to limp across the finish line on three wheels! But since everyone had ran the hard tyre for the same amount of time (38 laps when they were recommended 30) the tyres likely failed not due to bad management but because of the massive forces, especially on the two Mercedes, which both got punctures.

And as for the new cars themselves, McLaren, Alfa Romeo, Red Bull and AlphaTauri have all revealed their cars. Livery-wise my favourite is either the McLaren or the Alfa (the Red Bull’s had the same one for five years and the Alpha one’s just awful). Red Bull’s released a limited amount of pictures, and I assume this means they either have a really good aerodynamic trick, or their car sucks. We’ll see

And I did see Ford vs Ferrari last year. I’m not the biggest Le Mans fan but I absolutely keep an eye out for news there. I really liked how the two leads played off each other, both Damon and Bale are are superb actors by anyone’s metric. It was an interesting portrayal of Ferrari’s culture, and surely reminded new fans that Ferrari used to be feared, not laughed at. Granted with every racing film there’s a bit of Hollywood but the pure racing films I’ve seen are sublime. Rush is another pure film, that managed to portray Niki Laura with ‘80% accuracy’ which considering how metronomic and ruthless he was in real life, is outstanding.

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gcunit

I grew up watching Senna, Prost, Berger, Mansell, Patrese, Boutsen, Brundle et al on the BBC and stuck with F1 during the ITV Schumacher years. But the move to Pay-TV happened around the same time my kids turned up, and I've barely watched any of it ever since. I do really miss it if I think about it, it'd be nice to follow a whole season with my kids. Hate it when a sport leaves terrestrial TV.

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TheJGG

@gcunit I mean, I've only been into the sport at best for three years. It has become easier to follow it because of how open FORMULA 1 has become on social media, and on YouTube. Just a few hours after a race they'll post a seven minute highlights video. Shame that happened, because it seemed to really quell viewer numbers. The season's a month off so you have plenty of time to get stuck in!

On that note the Formula E race in Diriyah happened, and it was a wild race. Frijns and Bird were slugging it out at the front, but I really thought Bird had messed up his Attack Mode strategy. It was interesting to see the backmarker cars of NIO 333 and Dragon at the front, though it became painfully obvious who actually had the skill to keep that car in the points. Tom Blomqvist initially seemed to have the pace but just plummeted out of the points thereafter. And I didn't watch anything after the finish, and so didn't hear about any of the million penalties applied, that somehow managed to elevate Nyck De Vries into ninth place, despite finishing fourteenth. Happy for him of course but he had a pretty awful race. I didn't see Alex Lynn's massive crash until just now and I hope he's fine, Mitch Evans was nice enough to park up and help him. Gutted for Cassidy, he really made a serious impression. Nice comeback for Da Costa, and a really nice showing for Sergio Sette Camara, he's a wildly inconsistent driver but in the right setting he can be good.

I mean... during the fireworks display Yemen managed to send a frickin' MISSILE all the way to Saudi Arabia, trying to blow Riyadh into a million pieces. Jesus that was unsettling. Good thing Saudi intercepted it... but that could have been the end of the Formula E.

Edited on by TheJGG

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TheJGG

Mercedes and Alpine launched their cars yesterday, with Aston Martin today. Both cars looked beautiful, and though the Alpine launch livestream went as smoothly as a weekend for a typical Renault power unit, the car was awesome. Mercedes popped the hype balloon thirty minutes early by revealing what was, to me, the best livery of so far. Also the only thing I really care about when it comes to car launches, I have no skills that are needed to analyse floor parts.

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6thHorizon

@TheJGG
The social media aspect is fine if you just want gossip and a round up of the drama (both of which bore me personally) but not being able to see the full races live without paying a fair amount of money each month in subscriptions has arguably killed F1 unfortunately.
Still, there are plenty of other motorsport series with far less of the ego obsessed media madness of F1.

Edited on by 6thHorizon

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TheJGG

@6thHorizon I agree. Romain Grosjean gave a media interview after testing for IndyCar a few days ago, where he said that the atmosphere in Indy was much more open, with much less secrecy and entitled behaviour from drivers. He was able to chat up Sébastien Bourdais, and Takuma Sato. He was also able to visit other teams' garages, because the cars are all spec, and thus identical. He also described the cornering as "fruity", and described how you were able to take different lines through corners because of how less downforce the cars had.

I've followed Indy for the last year and if I lived in the United States, I'd watch all the races. But because I live in a GMT+3 time zone if I want to watch a race I'd have to stay up very late and in some cases wake up at 1am. Luckily IndyCar are very generous with race highlights, and for me the Fast Forward series, which run thirty minutes each, really help capture the main points of the race without too much detail sacrificed.

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gcunit

6thHorizon wrote:

@TheJGG
The social media aspect is fine if you just want gossip and a round up of the drama (both of which bore me personally) but not being able to see the full races live without paying a fair amount of money each month in subscriptions has arguably killed F1 unfortunately.
Still, there are plenty of other motorsport series with far less of the ego obsessed media madness of F1.

Trouble is, for me at least, F1 is the only one I'm interested in. It's the one with the most history and cultural significance, from my perspective, as well as being the most glamorous.

The other thing, on top of the move to Pay-TV, that has weakened my relationship to it, is the expansion of the race calendar. Maybe as a kid I'd have embraced it, but as a parent and employee, I just don't have the time to dedicate to qualifying and live race 20 (or however many the current number is) times a year. It's going the same way as football, where Saturday afternoon 3pm used to be an event because of all the matches, but now there's a match every few hours pretty much every day of the week. Over-saturation.

Plus, some of the new race venues are very uninspiring to look at for 2 hours of a Sunday #notbeingracistbut

Edited on by gcunit

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TheJGG

@gcunit I was glad the normal F1 calendar got torn apart last year, because it gave chances for new and old circuits, that all unequivocally hosted better races than the ones that were standard at Tikedromes like Sochi, Abu Dhabi, Spain, Singapore and China. Mugello was fantastic with their terrifying high-speed Arrabiatta corners, and was a joy to see cars go around. Portugal was undulating and really low-grip, meaning the drivers who took care of tyres best did well. Nürburgring was really fun, and a nice blast to the past. And the Bahrain Outer Circuit was a really nice twist on things.

On the other hand we have tracks that are uninspiring and boring, yet still find their way back every year. Spain has been tested at so many times that any element of unpredictability has been thrown out the window. Abu Dhabi is nothing more than a glorified Monaco, and has as much good racing as Monaco. The pit-exit is garbage and the tarmac is so smooth that you can run qualifying tyres for thirty laps. Same applies to Sochi, you can one stop the race so easily that Valtteri Bottas, one of the worst tyre managers on the grid, managed 28 laps on the qualifying tyre in 2017. The scenery's also garbage and the track itself comprises nothing more than 90 degree squiggly corners. Singapore has this same tyre issue, and is little better than Monaco and Abu Dhabi in that you can't pass anywhere because of how tight it is. And China... god it's silly. It's a ripoff of Sepang, which was the first Tilkedrome.

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TheJGG

Pre-season testing's rolling around the corner, and we've seen all ten cars for the first time. All in all almost every car looks either decent, or just absolutely phenomenal. Oh, and Alpha Tauri. Bloody awful. The ones I'd say are phenomenal are the Mercedes, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, McLaren and Alpine liveries. The Mercedes black is extremely sleek, and for me is their best livery yet. The clutter of AMG logos on the engine cover is, in my opinion, a very nice design choice. The Aston Martin is very original and uses an offshoot of the traditional British Racing Green that fans of the brand will recognise. It also retains BWT sponsorship meaning that a thankfully minimal pink stripe slivers around the car. It contrasts strangely with the main colours but doesn't look horrible. The Alfa one is an inversion of last year's livery, and I suspect it also matches the colours of the Polish flag because of the immense sponsorship from ORLEN, the Polish petrol company that backs reserve driver Robert Kubica. It's incorporated the logo very well, and the red is a really nice shade. McLaren has some really bright colours, and the rainbow was always a really nice touch.The grey near the rear wing is extremely nice. And the Alpine one, one of my personal favourites. It has such a nice shade of blue, combined with the thin tricolore stripes... it's beautiful. It was also designed by Sean Bull, who has a reputation for striking liveries.

Liveries that fall in between; the Red Bull livery has been the same generally speaking since 2016, and it's far from the worst-looking design. If it ain't broke don't fix it I guess. The Alpha Tauri livery was very good last year, and inverting the colours has really hurt it. It looks just awful. The white was much nicer, and now it looks... muddy and swamped. The Williams livery looks so good at the front, and also at the back, even though there's a bit of inconsistency with the design itself. It's almost as if three designs were built and then layered, and cropped. Ferrari? We haven't seen theirs yet but I doubt it'll be striking.

And the elephant in the room, Haas. They went with a livery with Russian colours, supposedly due to the fact that not only are they sponsored by Russian company Uralkali (headed by Dmitry Mazepin, father of Nikita, who drives for the team), but because the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) imposed sanctions on Russian athletes, and banned them from competing under the Russian flag for two years. As a result we get a car that looks disgusting from the front, and nice and retro from the side. The inconsistency is jarring.

Ah well. We'll see how fast these cars can go come testing in Bahrain. I actually live five minutes from the track, so I'll be able to hear the cars. I got tickets for the Grand Prix... but I can't get vaccinated legally. Therefore I can't go. Shame but I have television anyhow. And the rest of my family can wave at me from the grandstands, posing with a cardboard cutout of JGG.

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WoomyNNYes

@TheJGG I see the Gran Turismo Sport uploads on your youtube. Does Gran Turismo Sport have the license tests like previous Gran Turismos? I loved playing the license tests with a friend, taking turns, to see who can get the gold time first, or the best time. It's so much fun playing that way.

Man, that game taught me a good bit about car handling that I never would have learned otherwise. And I still usually beat my brother when we race Forza 2 against each other, because of the knowledge & handling skill I gained in Gran Turismo license tests.

Edited on by WoomyNNYes

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TheJGG

@WoomyNNYes To play online there's a small video to watch, to get your license, but there's nothing like that in Sport. The single-player updates lately have added a significant amount of new content, and the Driving School, Mission Challenge, and Circuit Experience modes all have gold, silver, and bronze times. DS and Missions were very easy and I cleared almost all of them first try on gold. There were some Missions like a 30-lap endurance race, or a 30-minute Interlagos race, that gave me enough time to win the race by half a minute. For Circuit Experience missions (one mission would be a sector) I'd get the gold on the first attempt usually. The challenges weren't that difficult, and the game really doesn't take into account the nature of slow-speed corners, which basically comprise the entire "Streets of Willow Springs" track. During the 1-lap time attack I cleared the gold by five seconds.

The AI in Gran Turismo is very easy, unfortunately, even on the highest difficulty settings. Whenever I play a spec race (everyone has identical cars) I have a significant pace advantage, strangely even down the straights. So I've started some online races, which have helped my wheel-to-wheel skills and overtaking.

I find I'm a much calmer racer than I thought. Sometimes both against AI and actual humans I brake so late normally that I end up forcing myself into an early pass. AI isn't dirty though, and humans are. In about fifteen races I'd say I've had two or three victories taken away from me as early as the first corner, because the guy I'm passing can't accept their lead is lost. I'd get pushed straight off the track and from the lead I'm down to sixth.

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TheJGG

Pre-Season Testing is nearly over here in Bahrain, and it seems that Mercedes have been very quiet. They topped Day 2, with Bottas setting the fastest time, but they haven't had the best of times this year so far. Whether Mercedes really are sandbagging or not, it can't be denied that they've had a really bad start to the year. Bottas suffered a gearbox issue on the first day, ruling him out for the entire morning, and Hamilton had an unusually rare spin, that left him beached in the gravel. Hamilton was also struggling for grip, and never seemed to have the rear dialled in that well. I'm not going to jump to any conclusions now but I suspect the Mercedes has lost a decent amount of rear downforce.

Conversely it was Red Bull which had the best start to the season out of the front-running teams, they've clocked so many laps in, and have had no reliability issues throughout the whole test. They've been putting in some solid laps, with Verstappen topping the first day of practice. Their car looks very stable, and Pérez also looks very comfortable in the new car, thank goodness.

As pointed out by The Race Red Bull have traditionally had a performance advantage compared to Mercedes when the track temperature is very high, specifically in races in the summer season. They also tend to run better on the softer tyre compounds compared to the Mercedes, meaning in races like the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, a race with high track temperatures and very soft tyres, Red Bull were strong enough to win the race by a decent margin.

In Silverstone the normal tyre compounds are C1, C2 and C3, and it's usually a one stop, with the C2 lasting twenty laps at good pace, and the C1 thirty. For the second race a step softer tyres were used. The C4 tyre which was used for the 70th Anniversary race, was so poor that it was at times slower than the usually-slower C3, despite theoretically being grippier. In fact the tyre started losing grip after just a minute of qualifying lap. Red Bull took care of tyres better and won.

As for third place I'm not sure that the margins are big enough to provide a good picture but McLaren have had a very good start to testing, putting in fast laps, and putting in good mileage. Alpine (formerly Renault) similarly, but Aston Martin have had a more rocky start. Vettel was on the pace but had multiple reliability issues, especially with their Mercedes-issued gearbox.

Ferrari look alright but I highly doubt there'll be much change pace-wise from them, but I expect they'll pick up more points. If their engine is as fast as it needs to be it'll mean they'll have a chance of points in races like Spa or Monza, where they were too slow to do anything other than sit there waiting to get passed. Plus, I rate Sainz as a genuine talent and I think he'll at the very least push Leclerc, and make them both get more points. Alpha Tauri will likely be around their pace, they seem to be extremely confident.

Alfa Romeo feels like the top car in the bottom pack, followed closely by Williams, then at the bottom Haas. Haas have already committed to not developing their car all year so they're going to do really badly, that much is already guaranteed. Williams look like they've made a solid step, not quite to McLaren, Aston Martin or Alpine levels, but knowing Russell's improved racecraft and qualifying pace he might be the difference.

A note on Mazepin. He's controversial all right. I don't condone any of the things he's done at all, but the level of hate he's gotten on the Internet is quite awful, even for him. I'm not going to make any serious judgement until after this season, where we'll see what he's like and if he's learnt from his mistakes. Mick Schumacher looks like he's gonna have a slow first year, and a solid second year. He's that kind of driver that really relies on momentum and learning.

A small tribute to Murray Walker, who died last night aged 97. He was a true figurehead of popularising F1 and he was extremely memorable, bringing encyclopaedic knowledge and incredible, inimitable passion to the viewers. I didn't grow up listening to him but he exudes so much energy and power that it's impossible not to love him. He lived so, so long and had a long, storied career. Rest in peace.

Edited on by TheJGG

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TheJGG

Anyone up for F1 2021 Predictions? 'Cos I sure am!

My 2021 F1 predictions; extremely subjective and opinionated. Some may be right and some may be wrong. But in the pursuit of knowledge and in an attempt to make a mockery of myself I may as well have a go at it since I haven’t done it before for an upcoming season.

Red Bull and Mercedes will be relatively equal on pace. There are obvious qualms about Mercedes sandbagging and they may well be true. When you look at every pre-season test since 2015 you’ll notice that Mercedes tend to sandbag during the odd-numbered years; in 2015, 2017 and 2019 Ferrari topped the timesheets, and Hamilton even went on record suggesting that Ferrari might have been as much as half a second quicker than them. Naturally, that aged rather poorly. But regardless of how much Mercedes are hiding their pace, it is undeniably clear that this test was at the very least below their expectations. They logged the smallest amount of laps of any team due to gearbox problems for Bottas on the first day, and a spin for Hamilton on the second day. Whether that did anything to stop them will have to be seen. But if they are equal on pace…

Bottas will be the reason Mercedes don’t win the Constructor’s Championship, and he will leave the team after 2021. In a straight fight between Verstappen and Bottas I’d put all my money on Verstappen because he has more natural speed, he has better tyre management, he has better starts (well, pretty much half the grid have better starts anyhow), and has a much better wheel to wheel control. Bottas is such a wimp when it comes to defence and attack that it’s almost pitiful. I don’t aim to detract from his wins but out of the four times he finished ahead of Hamilton in 2020, three of them came while his teammate got penalised. And of course, there’ll be valid arguments that dilute this number. In Austria Hamilton finished second behind Bottas but got a penalty for taking out Albon, a move that to this day I describe as a racing incident (Albon states that he had stopped focusing on Hamilton when he got his nose ahead, a fatal error. And Hamilton has next to no extra grip to turn further into the track anyhow. But Brazil? Entirely Hamilton’s fault). In Monza Hamilton was 23 seconds behind the pack after a ten-second stop-go penalty for the pit lane violation. He finished seventh after passing every single car ahead of him without fail, just ten seconds behind Bottas, who ran fifth behind a Racing Point, two McLarens, and an AlphaTauri, for the entire second half of the race. In Russia, Bottas may have won anyway without Hamilton’s penalties because of the tyre advantage but he still had it given to him on a platter. And Abu Dhabi, arguably the only race where he clearly outperformed Hamilton; who had dealt with COVID a week prior. Of course, it’s good for Bottas’ morale but… come on. Russell must be desperate to have a go at that Mercedes again, and speaking of Russell…

He will score points in a Williams’ car. I believe they’ve made a good step this year, whether they beat the impressive Alfa Romeo team remains to be seen. Russell is an excellent qualifier, getting out of Q1 on several occasions while his teammate, Nicholas Latifi, made it out once. And this guy, as the vice-champion of F2 2019, is no slouch. His race pace is closer to that of Latifi’s so he’ll need to improve his race pace to match his lightning qualifying pace. He was very unlucky in Mugello because he had a very bad start to drop him down the field immediately despite running eighth before the second red flag. Imola was completely his fault (though his team did tell him “maximum brake warming) so that was very unfortunate. His Sakhir Mercedes outing still gives me nightmares, I was so gutted for him because he had owned Bottas like the man he was replacing and had such mature and calm race-craft. Speaking of replacing…

Yuki Tsunoda will be a massive shock to F1 fans all over. Four years ago this guy had never sat in a single-seater car and he’s now in Formula One, which says a lot about his skill. He spent three years in Japanese F4, then went to F3 in 2019, and while he struggled he won a race come season’s end. I thought it’d be more of the same when he drove for Carlin in F2 2020 but he was a positive surprise. He was instantly on the pace and showed his skill in the wet, recovering from a late pitstop to second place behind Shwartzman, who I rate rather well. He won after the two Premas collided in Silverstone (still remember Pete Windsor’s godawful commentary), and put up with Mazepin’s antics long enough to win in Spa. He had an incredible Sakhir weekend, winning the first race and finishing second to Daruvala in the next. He has a serious pace and has all the right ingredients to shine…

Mick Schumacher will have a quiet debut. He’s the son of one of the greats but he’s never been traditionally that good during the first season. He comes good in the second and uses the first as a testbed. As a team boss that’s not good, but when he comes good his consistency is champion-worthy. He didn’t even win a race until Monza in F2, and the double podiums were fantastic. His starts were also good, so more of the same means he’ll flatter his car. I rate Mazepin as a racer, less so as a human. He did some bad things so he’ll hope to put things right. I’m sick of the internet hate, and I’m by no means a fan of what he’s done. But he’s a quick guy so he’ll adapt at his pace.

Daniel Ricciardo will beat Lando Norris at McLaren. Another unpopular opinion; I don’t rate Norris as highly as I rate Russell. At the moment he seems to put too much stock in humour and laughter and while it doesn’t seem to affect his racing we will see his true colours if McLaren improves enough to challenge for race wins. The Mercedes power unit is second to none so that may be the ingredient they’re missing. Andreas Seidl is a fantastic leader, with a lot of energy and passion, plus a great resumé. And Zak Brown… I love him. He’s such a funny, ambitious, down-to-earth racer, and that’s a perfect quality to have in a CEO. He was perfect for McLaren back when Alonso was so toxic. You’ll guess my next one quite easily…

Alpine will become F1’s new toxic environment. I hate 2010s Fernando Alonso. He’s stuck-up, arrogant, vindictive, dismissive, and has such a massive ego that it seems he can never go wrong. He was unfairly critical of Honda while they powered McLaren, and made so many distasteful jokes that Honda refused to power him for the 2017 and 2020 Indianapolis 500 races. What a joke indeed. Yes, it was funny, and that he was having a laugh for the first few times, but it was ugly seeing a grown man insult Honda, no matter how bad it got. With his recent media comments that say he’s better than Hamilton and Verstappen despite two years out of the sport, I feel like it’ll be more of the same. I wish that accident broke some of his teeth, so he could have shut up a bit more! Ocon has been out of the sport for a year and has made a reasonable return to racing, though he's still way off what he's capable of. He was the lead car of a small group of people who one-stopped the Sakhir Grand Prix and got outclassed by Pérez, who pulled off a miraculous comeback drive. He has work to do but only time will tell how much homework he's done over the winter.

Ferrari will have a better year, but still bad for their standards. I rate Sainz and Leclerc, though Leclerc will edge it in my predictions. Sainz is a well-rounded racer; he has good qualifying and race pace, he has some superb tyre management skills, his passes are clean, and at times daring, like a matador. Leclerc is very fast but at this point in his career, he’ll have to calm down a bit, because as the Bahrain adverts said, Power is Nothing Without Control. The engine may be better but I don’t see things improving that much, plus Ferrari was very anonymous during testing. Their reliability was good but the single chink in their armour came when Leclerc stopped on track with a number of minutes to go. Sainz also seemed to struggle with the car, and never quite looked at ease. This is his fourth team in five seasons, so adapting to the car, while difficult, is something he is used to. He'll have his work cut out to beat Leclerc though.

Vettel will be wildly inconsistent at Aston Martin. We saw the Vettel of old rarely in 2019 and 2020, if at all. As cliché as it may sound, crashing out of the lead of his 2018 home race must have damaged him badly because his form for the next two and a half years indicated as much. There were only a handful of moments in the two and a half seasons that followed that Vettel can be happy with on a personal level; USA 2018, with a very good recovery despite his amateurish spin, Mexico 2018 with good tyre management, Germany 2019, coming from last to second (though he was eighth for forty laps), Singapore 2019 for cutting through traffic well, and Turkey 2020 for gaining eleven places on the first lap and making minimal errors. It's this inconsistency that could hurt him at Aston Martin and though he looks like a happier man I wonder if he'll be smiling come season's end. And of course, it won't be very good for his reputation if he gets outscored by his teammate, Lance Stroll.

Alfa Romeo will finish eighth in the championship and take double-digit points. Likely the riskiest of my predictions but I may as well say it, they looked very strong during testing, putting in a massive amount of laps and setting some good times. If the car is as fast as it looks, and it is a truly beautiful car, the main midfield of McLaren, AlphaTauri, Aston Martin, Alpine, and Ferrari, may have to look in their mirrors. Giovinazzi's form has improved drastically, and on occasion has been much better than Raikkonen, so they could be one of the more evenly matched driver lineups this year.

Red Bull will have trouble on their hands. In a good way of course; with their most recent signing, 31-year old Sergio Pérez, who ended 2020 in superb form, taking a commanding second place in Turkey, and of course his win in Sakhir. He would have finished third if his engine didn't let go in Bahrain, and that error cost Racing Point third in the Constructor's Championship. His drive in Abu Dhabi was going very smoothly until an oil leak forced him out, so who knows how many points he could have salvaged. Nonetheless, Pérez triumphed in the face of adversity, despite numerous Racing Point strategic errors, like pitting him under the safety car in Imola, giving him medium tyres in the opening race, and leaving him out on soft tyres in Belgium. His consistency, his superb tyre management, and his excellent racecraft will benefit Red Bull handsomely, and he's already described his new car with positive detail. Of course, he may be talking it up for the cameras, and indeed he looked a little unhappy on the first day of testing, but he was in good form on the final day.

It's going to be a very good year for motorsport because the teams this year are massively close. But either way, only a few days remain until the first race.

Edited on by TheJGG

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F = Formula, and 1 means one.🤔

And a few years ago I thought Hamilton was a jerk. I like Vettel & Nico Rosberg because they seemed like the nice guys. Verstappen was brand new.

That's the extent of my F1 opinions, since I usually only turn it on for background.

I watched a bit of 12 Hours of Sebring the other day, since I wanted to see what prototype cars might be running in 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Otherwise, I've been watching the tail end of FIS World Cup Skiing giant slalom & downhill races. I never want ski racing season to end. I used to ski a lot myself, so I like seeing other people tuck down hills.

Edited on by WoomyNNYes

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WoomyNNYes

@TheJGG and anyone else,
Amusing, entertaining Porsche videos of Bill Nye explaining Porsche's electric Taycan. There are five 1-2 minute vids in this playlist. It's also the first time I've heard of an electric car using gears. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Abq-ZjJZ4oo&list=PLKduzfE...

(The playlist wouldn't work if the video was embedded. So, that's why I didn't embed it. This was the easiest way to access the playlist.)

Edited on by WoomyNNYes

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