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  1. #1
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    Formula One 2019

    With the close of the 2018 season and all next year's drivers practically confirmed, I think a new thread is in order.

    The Contenders:
    (movers in italics, newcomers to F1 underlined)

    Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton / Valtteri Bottas
    Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel / Charles Leclerc
    Red Bull Honda: Max Verstappen / Pierre Gasly
    Renault: Nico Hulkenberg / Daniel Ricciardo
    Haas Ferrari: Romain Grosjean / Kevin Magnussen
    McLaren Renault: Carlos Sainz / Lando Norris
    Force India Mercedes: Sergio Perez / Lance Stroll*
    Toro Rosso Honda: Daniil Kvyat / Alexander Albon
    Sauber Ferrari: Kimi Raikkonen / Antonio Giovinazzi
    Williams Mercedes: George Russell / Robert Kubica

    * presumed

    The Dates:
    Code:
    Date	   	Grand Prix	Venue
    ====	   	==========	=====
    17th March	Australia	Melbourne
    31st March  	Bahrain		Sakhir
    14th April	China		Shanghai
    28th April	Azerbaijan	Baku
    12th May	Spain		Barcelona
    26th May	Monaco		Monaco
    9th June	Canada		Montreal
    23rd June	France		Le Castellet
    30th June	Austria		Spielberg
    14th July	Great Britain	Silverstone
    28th July	Germany		Hockenheim
    4th August	Hungary		Budapest
    1st September	Belgium		Spa
    8th September	Italy	 	Monza
    22nd September	Singapore	Singapore
    29th September	Russia		Sochi
    13th October	Japan		Suzuka
    27th October	Mexico		Mexico City
    3rd November	USA		Austin
    17th November	Brazil	    	Sao Paulo
    1st December	Abu Dhabi	Yas Marina
    Predictions? Hopes and fears?

  2. #2
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    Okay, my Predictions:

    Overall I think the shape of F1 will look similar to this year; Merc and Ferrari will compete for the championships, Red Bull will compete for the odd race win, especially later in the year, while everyone else will finish a lap down.

    Starting from the back, I expect to find Williams and McLaren. Williams won’t find it easy to make a massive leap forwards in aerodynamics, and with engine performance becoming gradually more equal, I still expect them to bring up the rear. Having said that, I presume that they will improve over this year, and by no longer being saddled with the pay driver’s pay driver, at least the human element should be performing a bit better.

    Over at McLaren, for the first time in decades they start the year without a top-line driver. The absolute best-possible outcome is that Lando Norris turns out to be the next Lewis Hamilton, i.e. capable of matching the speed of the mighty Alonso in his first year in F1. In this highly unlikely, best-case scenario the team will be able to lose only one position in the standings (since Force India are unlikely to go bust again). If he is anything less than this, they’re going to be fighting it out with Williams.

    Ahead of these two sorry stories I would imagine we’ll find Toro Rosso, again mirroring their big brother team by being in the no-man’s land between the midfield and the truly hopeless. The Honda engine should be coming on well towards the end of the year, though.

    The next four teams form, in my view, the true midfield, and are where the most interesting, competitive and combative racing tends to be found. In 2019 the midfield race will be spiced up with two established stars, Ricciardo and Raikkonen, joining in and lifting Renault and Sauber respectively. It would be no surprise if Renault and Ricciardo pull out a clear ‘best of the rest’ status over the season, as their budget and manufacturer status would suggest. Both Sauber and Haas are likely to benefit from the trickle-down effect from a now-competitive parent team. Force India will probably find that not going bust mid-season is conducive to building a fast car, which should be put to good use by Sergio Perez at least. I’d tentatively order these as Renault, Force India, Haas, Sauber, although this is probably the hardest part of the field to call. In terms of drivers, I expect Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Perez to handily beat their team-mates, while Haas’ pairing will continue to be quite closely matched.

    Red Bull will repeat their usual pattern of starting off the pace and catching up during the year, competing for races but not titles, given that Honda aren’t even claiming they will be on-par at the start of 2019, but I back them to out-develop Renault, power-wise, over the next year or three.

    I have no idea which of Mercedes or Ferrari will come out on top in car terms; either could turn up at Melbourne with a clear advantage, which could easily set the pattern for the year. In 12 months will we be talking about a surprise WDC for rookie Charles Leclerc? Vettel’s Fangio-equalling fifth championship? Or marvelling/moaning about Hamilton’s continued dominance? Any of these three outcomes seem possible, either of the latter two would be fairly unsurprising to me. If pushed, I’d predict another Hamilton victory, but a close one with Vettel and Leclerc both claiming wins along the way.

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    I wonder if Ferrari will implode like Mclaren did with Alonso and Hamilton... I canít imagine Vettel taking it well if Leclerc push him too hard and refusing to be #2...

    If Honda can up its power and reliability more, at least more than current Renault PU, it looks like Max could regularly challenge for wins... , but I wonder how will they call themselves. Aston Martin Red Bull Honda Racing? Or will Honda agree to remain nameless like Renault?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed_Insanity View Post
    I wonder if Ferrari will implode like Mclaren did with Alonso and Hamilton... I can’t imagine Vettel taking it well if Leclerc push him too hard and refusing to be #2...
    The possibility has occurred to me. So far Leclerc has seemed to show respect to his seniors rather than challenge them too hard, although that could change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed_Insanity View Post
    If Honda can up its power and reliability more, at least more than current Renault PU, it looks like Max could regularly challenge for wins...
    I do see Honda outpacing Renault over time, but I don't see them turning up in Australia with Merc- or Ferrari-matching power and reliability, so they won't be in contention for the title next year I don't think - by the time they're competitive they'll have lost too much ground. Possibly 2020 or 2021 I could see Max in an RB-Honda challenging for the title.

  5. #5
    Dead Brand Ambassador dodint's Avatar
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    This was the least engaging F1 seasons in a while, next year projects to be more of the same. Will tune in to see Bob a bit.

  6. #6
    We All Live in a Yellow BRZ The359's Avatar
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    Racing Force has already stated the Force India name will not be used in 2019, they just haven't announced what the new name will be yet. They simply retained the Force India name last season because it was required of them.
    Nulla Tenaci Invia Est Via

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    four races in September, eh?

    Predict Mercedes wins the Constructors' yet again (best driver line-up), but Vettel and Max finish much closer to Hamilton, all scoring 300-something points (maybe Max ahead of Vettel).
    Red Bull will still finish third and be much closer to the top two (reliability issues much more so than pace).

    Renault will still finish fourth, but about half of the 500 point deficit to the top team
    Force India will still finish fifth (they scored 11 points less than Renault over the 21 races in 2018), but will be further behind despite a better car.
    Sauber will continue to improve and finish 6th
    Haas in lonely 7th
    bit of a gap to McLaren, Williams and STR (in that order with about 100 points between the three teams combined)

    Overall the new front wing will mix things up much more than my predictions (1-5 are unchanged)
    Inter-team gaps will be closer for teams 1-7 but more large intra-team gaps (Kubica, Max, Kimi, and maybe Kvyat and Vettel all grossly outscoring their teammates).

  8. #8
    Severed Member JoeW's Avatar
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    If the wing changes really do make a difference then look to the young aggressive drivers to make waves next year.

  9. #9
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    Interesting, Austin has moved back, after Mexico. Could be a good thing, with a bit cooler temps, and I think the rainy season ends in October? More of a chance of a championship decider too.

  10. #10
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    "Renault Sport Formula One Team" has been renamed "Renault F1 Team" and its logo has been changed a bit.
    Nicholas Latifi will be Williams F1 new reserve driver. He will have six Free Practice 1 sessions to drive.
    Mclaren will field a Chevrolet-powered car for Fernando Alonso to race in the 2019 Indianapolis 500.

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