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Formula One - 2019

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May aswell start this one off.

Channel 4 will only have 1 live race this season.  The British GP.  Sky will be showing all races.

Rookie drivers for 2019

George Russell - Williams
Lando Norris - McLaren
Alex Albon - Toro Rosso
Antonio Giovinazzi - Alfa Romeo

OK, technically Antonio stood in for all of 2 races midway through 2017, but he's still effectively a rookie.  Two and a half of the other 3 are Brits, with British-born Albon driving under the flag of Thailand.

I have very high hopes for George Russell.  He seems to be coming into F1 extremely well prepared.  Consecutive GP3 & F2 champion.  OK he's coming into a team bottom of the heap, but with Kubica alongside him, they look to have the kind of line-up that could make waves if they're given a half decent car.  Hopefully he can do something akin to Leclerc in 2018.

Team changes

Bye bye Force India, hello Racing Point - and even that's potentially a placeholder for another name change before the start of the season.
Bye bye Sauber.  Hello Alfa Romeo Racing.  The Sauber name gets dropped and the title sponsor takes over
Red Bull join their development team by being powered by Honda.
All other engine suppliers remain the same.

Driver changes

Huge changes.  12 in total.  Only 2 teams retain their line-up from last year.  Mercedes & Haas.  4 teams have 2 new drivers.  McLaren, Alfa Romeo, Toro Rosso & Williams.  Whereas Ferrari, Red Bull, Renault & Racing Point have 1 new driver each.

Mercedes        Lewis Hamilton        Valtteri Bottas
Ferrari            Sebastian Vettel    Charles Leclerc
Red Bull        Max Verstappen        Pierre Gasly
Renault            Daniel Ricciardo    Nico Hülkenberg
Haas            Kevin Magnussen        Romain Grosjean
McLaren            Carlos Sainz Jr.    Lando Norris
Racing Point    Sergio Pérez        Lance Stroll
Alfa Romeo       Kimi Räikkönen        Antonio Giovinazzi
Toro Rosso        Daniil Kvyat        Alexander Albon
Williams        Robert Kubica        George Russell


Launch dates

Feb 7 Haas (livery only) (post)
Feb 11 Williams (livery only) (post)
Feb 11 Toro Rosso (post)
Feb 12 Renault (post)
Feb 13 Racing Point (post)
Feb 13 Mercedes (post)
Feb 13 Red Bull (post)
Feb 14 McLaren (post)
Feb 15 Ferrari (post)
Feb 18 Alfa Romeo

Testing dates

Feb 18-21 @ Barcelona
Feb 26-Mar 1 @ Barcelona

Design changes

New aerodynamic changes to the front and rear wings in an attempt to improve overtaking. Front wing endplates are reshaped to alter the airflow, but it's rumoured the teams have already found design solutions to counteract the reduction in downforce.  The rear-wing slot will be widened to increase the effectiveness of that wanky DRS system.  Smaller bargeboards and limited rear wing end plane development.  Fuel limits to be raised by 5kg to reduce requirement to fuel save.  Driver weight is no longer part of the weight of the car, so as not to disadvantage larger drivers.  Drivers must now weigh 80kg and anything less will get ballast added to the car around the driver cell.

Tyre changes

Simplification of the 3 designations each weekend.  No matter the actual compound, they will be designated soft, medium and hard.  These 3 compounds will be chosen from a set of 5 or 6 possibles (to be decided after pre-season testing).

Calendar

1 - Australia - Melbourne - 17/03/2019
2 - Bahrain - Sakhir - 31/03/2019
3 - China - Shanghai - 14/04/2019
4 - Azerbaijan - Baku City Circuit - 28/04/2019
5 - Spain - Barcelona - 12/05/2019
6 - Monaco - Monte Carlo - 26/05/2019
7 - Canada - Montreal - 09/06/2019
8 - France - Paul Ricard - 23/06/2019
9 - Austria - Red Bull Ring - 30/06/2019
10 - Great Britain - Silverstone - 14/07/2019
11 - Germany - Hockenheim - 28/07/2019
12 - Hungary - Budapest - 04/08/2019
13 - Belgium - Spa-Francorchamps - 01/09/2019
14 - Italy - Monza - 08/09/2019
15 - Singapore - Marina Bay - 22/09/2019
16 - Russia - Sochi - 29/09/2019
17 - Japan - Suzuka - 13/10/2019
18 - Mexico - Mexico City - 27/10/2019
19 - USA - Austin - 03/11/2019
20 - Brazil - Interlagos - 17/11/2019
21 - Abu Dhabi - Yas Marina - 01/12/2019

 

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More changes at the top of McLaren as they attempt to get rid of everything/one that has been involved with them over the past 6 years since they won their last race.

Andreas Seidl has been appointed as their new Formula 1 managing director. Has worked in F1 before with BMW  but was also team principal for Porsche in the world endurance championship. As with anything McLaren these days it isn't quite as simple as it sounds as he is technically still in his role at Porsche and they haven't agreed a date he can leave and start with McLaren yet. May not even be done by the time the lights go green in Melbourne so not really sure how that works.

Add to this their other changes of Tim Goss & Matt Morris both leaving & Boullier being replaced by former indy driver Gil De Ferran, Pat Fry coming back & James Key as new technical director (again he can't actually start yet due to being on "gardening leave" from Toro rosso) it is a completely different set up at the top aswell as on the track.

Zak Brown is somehow still there though despite seemingly being completely clueless about anything & everything motorsport related

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@LakotaDakota I read a fairly positive Autosport article about that earlier.  It seems Siedl is quite the coup and comes with not only a great CV, but also glowing references re- how he deals with, and leads people and teams.  Hopefully he can get it all turned around, because they have everything at their disposal needed to succeed.  It'd be great to have them back.

Quote

Renowned as a perfectionist, who could operate with a serenity amid intense pressure, his input was viewed as essential in helping Porsche become a major force again.

The leadership skills, technical understanding and political savviness stood out as strong qualities, and those qualities will allow him to instantly slot in as a link between McLaren's senior management and the technical, operational and production sides.

Oh and while we're here.

66 days to go ...

cookie_monster_waiting.gif

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Ouch :)

 

 

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Hope leclerc does a job on Vettell, hope red bull massively fail with Honda so horner can storm off the pit wall blaming everyone else again

The pressure is massively on bottas this year with Ocon ridiculously out of a drive

Mclaren, I just want them not to be shit, I like sainz but is he the driver they need fight like alonso did? 

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Predictions.

Verstappen will absolutely destroy Gasly.  That doesn't mean I think Gasly is a poor driver.  I just think he's nowhere near the level Max got to this past year.  I think the maturing Max did during the season is a large part of why Ricciardo decided it was time to move on.

Speaking of Ricciardo.  I think his battle with the Hulk will be one of the more fascinating intra-team battles this year.  Hulkenberg has long been regarded as one of; if not the best driver outside the top tier, and with this season's regulations no longer penalising larger drivers, Hulk may become even stronger (pun intended).  With Renault now effectively being their own strongest team (with Red Bull gone to Honda), this pair of drivers will hopefully push them closer to the top 3.  If Honda drop the ball, Renault could be there to pick it up.

Leclerc vs Vettel.  Let's make no mistake.  Vettel was brilliant last season.  He just wasn't as brilliant as the imperious, flawless Hamilton.  In many other years what Vettel did would have won him a title.  So he is still very much top top class.  I hope against hope that Leclerc could come in and put manners on him, because it would be hilarious.  But odds are this is probably fanciful, especially at the start of the season.  If Leclerc can hang on to Vettel's coat-tails then he'll be doing a stellar job.  How they fare against Mercedes will depend on the car Ferrari manage to deliver.

Lando Norris.  He was a higher profile than Russell for the early part of last season.  Lando has long been touted as the next big thing in British motorsport, but he had a relatively poor 2nd half of last season and only barely beat Albon to runner-up in F2 in the last race.  He only won 1 race all season and I just have a niggling doubt that he'll set the world alight in what will probably be a poor McLaren.

George Russell and Robert Kubica.  This is the story of the season for me for 3 reasons.  Firstly, Williams have decided to depart from the pay-driver model of an immature Lance Stroll and a mediocre Sergey Sirotkin and instead go with 2 drivers with pedigree.  Yes Kubica brings money, but he's here for his speed.  The money was a necessity for the team's survival having taken the hit on the other 2.  Russell comes in with a CV similar to Charles Leclerc.  2017 GP3 champion, 2018 F2 champion.  He is as thorough as they come and wise beyond his years.  I expect these 2 to make big strides with Williams this season.  Kubica has shown he has the speed.  The concern will be physical strength, particularly in the handful of races which are more physically demanding than the norm.  Who comes out on top?  I honestly haven't a clue but I'll be rooting for Williams this year.

Lance Stroll & Sergio Perez.  I haven't written Lance Stroll off.  Yes he has been underwhelming to date, but he was very young coming in to F1.  This will be his 3rd year and he's still the 2nd youngest driver on the grid.  Only the rookie Lando Norris is younger.  And this will be Stroll's first competitive machinery.  He has plenty to do to prove he's not just a pay driver, and yes he's joining Daddy's team. but he has a fast team-mate and he has had his teething phase elsewhere so this season is very much the litmus test for whether he belongs in F1.  He had an impressive junior CV.  He just skipped over the F2 bit and came straight to F1, so he's been making in public the mistakes others make in the relative low pressure of the lower formulas.  I still expect Perez to comfortably beat him in the WDC though.  After all, despite the hullabaloo over Ocon, Perez still beat him too.

Toro Rosso are a very odd one this year.  They've gone with 2 drivers who they previously dropped from their junior programme.  Alex Albon almost didn't happen, having signed for eDAMS only to manage to extricate himself from that contract once STR made their interest known.  Kvyat is on a 3rd or 4th chance at this stage (I've lost count).  The cynical thinking is that Kvyat; a known (and not stellar) entity; has been brought in so that Albon's benchmark can be assessed.  In other words if Albon can't beat a driver of Kvyat's 'calibre' then he's probably not for this series.  It's a strange line-up and a weak one for me.  The popular thinking is that if Dan Ticktum could have managed enough points to attain a super licence then he'd have jumped straight from F3 (and 2x Macau winner) into an F1 seat, a la Lance Stroll, but with Mick Schumacher taking the F3 title Dan is still a few points off and will need another year of development.  STR's hopes rest on a strong Honda powerplant because for me the drivers aren't great.

Champion?  Assuming no huge upheaval from the rule changes, you've got to go with Hamilton as champion and Vettel 2nd again.  I hope Honda acn give Max a car that is capable of wins, and if they do then I'd like to see him in the mix.

I'm hoping Williams and McLaren can start to make some inroads into becoming genuine midfielders again.

This pre-season has been interminable, and there's still 2 months to go.

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Ricciardo beats Hulkenberg quite comfortably for me. I think he left less out of fear of Max and more because he was definitely regarded as the 2nd driver, in terms of talent he probably is but he's still top level for me.

Hamilton probably wins the WDC with no pressure from his teammate you can really only see Seb pushing him.

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1 minute ago, AVFCDAN said:

Ricciardo beats Hulkenberg quite comfortably for me. I think he left less out of fear of Max and more because he was definitely regarded as the 2nd driver, in terms of talent he probably is but he's still top level for me.

Hamilton probably wins the WDC with no pressure from his teammate you can really only see Seb pushing him.

I think regarding Ricciardo he probably felt with all things being equal he'd lose in a straight fight with Max so he'd never be champion as Max's teammate, so the only hope is to jump to Renault and hope Honda have a stinker, making it not a straight fight.  Danny Rick is top drawer for me too but Max is special.

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36 minutes ago, BOF said:

  Danny Rick is top drawer for me too but Max is special.

Agreed, Max will be champion soon. You do wonder if he can’t get a move to Merc and Ferrari how that’s going to be possible though, talent only takes you so far in this game.

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5 minutes ago, AVFCDAN said:

Agreed, Max will be champion soon. You do wonder if he can’t get a move to Merc and Ferrari how that’s going to be possible though, talent only takes you so far in this game.

Red Bull had the best chassis and aero last year, as evidenced by them winning races that were not dependent upon horsepower.  If Honda can bridge the horsepower gap from the Renault engine to the Merc/Ferrari figure (and there are those who think the Honda is already more powerful than the Renault) then Max could very well be in the mix.

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I have a bad feeling Ferrari will have **** up the car this year and be uncompetitive with Merc, leading them to waltz away, especially as Ferrari will be dragged into a war of attrition with red bull. Hope I'm wrong though. Big props to them but I'm starting to get to the point of 'anyone but Merc' 

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With only one race on national TV and that one on the same date as the final of Wimbledon and the final of the Cricket World Cup, Formula one is well on its way to booming a minority sport in the UK. That's a pity in my opinion..

 

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11 hours ago, OutByEaster? said:

With only one race on national TV and that one on the same date as the final of Wimbledon and the final of the Cricket World Cup, Formula one is well on its way to booming a minority sport in the UK. That's a pity in my opinion..

 

Yes... assuming that C4 have a highlights package, it will be a case of trying not to hear the result of the GP and watching the highlights in the evening. Suits me, because some of the build up on race day is needlessly drawn out.

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10 minutes ago, Raver50032 said:

Yes... assuming that C4 have a highlights package, it will be a case of trying not to hear the result of the GP and watching the highlights in the evening. Suits me, because some of the build up on race day is needlessly drawn out.

The couple of times I saw the C4 highlights program last season they had just as much build up on that. 

The highlights show was about 2 and a half hours long!

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21 minutes ago, Stevo985 said:

The couple of times I saw the C4 highlights program last season they had just as much build up on that. 

The highlights show was about 2 and a half hours long!

Yes, there is a lot of build on that as well to be fair. What I got into the habit of doing was recording the highlights show and delaying my viewing by 30 minutes so I could skip adverts and most of the build up. I don't mind the grid walk per se, but the rest of it is needless gunk. I'm not an engineer or anything, or have any particular interest in cars... but the start of a GP is always worth a watch... :)

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I think that's a legacy of the Bernie era a little.  It makes no sense.

"How can we expand our viewership?"

"Here Sky, have a monopoly in your subscription model"

:bang:

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Got tickets for Silverstone this year, very much looking forward to it. Decided to go with the full weekend. So excited. 😁

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On 16/01/2019 at 14:50, kurtsimonw said:

Got tickets for Silverstone this year, very much looking forward to it. Decided to go with the full weekend. So excited. 😁

I went 2 years ago, it’s a good day. Miles and miles of walking so be prepared for that.

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Not really sure how I feel about the coming season as my dislike for Lewis Hamilton is growing and growing.

I want to get into it but I know he’ll either 1) dominate everything or 2) act like a horrible spoilt brat throwing his toys out when he doesn’t win.

I absolutely hate how he tweets and posts about how much he loves his fans yet his actions say otherwise.

Cant stand him.

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I quite fancy paul ricard but it's in the middle of nowhere meaning a 20 mile trip or so and the roads in/out are absolutely shite and many people missed loads of the weekend last year trying to get in & out stuck in traffic for hours.

Some proper horror stories on trip advisor from last year https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g1596637-d7015106-Reviews-Circuit_Paul_Ricard-Le_Castellet_Var_Provence_Alpes_Cote_d_Azur.html

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