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Thread: F1 2021

  1. #581
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    Rumoured that Bottas has been told that he won't be driving for Mercedes in 2022.

    Which makes sense to me. Hamilton-Bottas is a great pairing, it's very rare to see a driver who combines that much one-lap pace (enough for a good number of pole positions) with that little aggression and aggravation. If Merc was confident Hamilton would be staying with them through 2025, I think they'd keep Bottas on too.

    However, in the case that Hamilton hangs up his driving gloves, you wouldn't want to be left with Bottas as your lead driver - he's proven time and again not to be on Hamilton's level, and with the Redbulls so close and cost cap in place, Merc just can't afford to be without a top level driver.

    Bringing in a newbie after Hamilton retires would probably lose Merc at least a year, given how hard it is to get up to speed with limited testing and the complexity of the cars. Therefore Merc need to bring in a top-level young driver now, alongside Hamilton, to learn the ropes and be ready to replace him when he retires. To fail to prepare for succession in the cockpit is to prepare to fail, and very likely to break the run of success.

    Since Hamilton seems to be enjoying the recent outbreak of competition at the head of the World Championship and leaning towards continuing next year, that means Bottas must vacate his seat, to allow a younger driver with more potential to be tested and to bed in, ready to win the next championship after Lewis retires. One assumes that will be Russell after his understudy performance last year.


    The Daily Wail actually suggested Russell could be brought in mid-season this year, which seems surprising. Only way I could see that making sense is if Hamilton said this year would be his last, in which case you might prioritise getting his replacement up to speed. But I don't think that's the case.
    While Bottas has had some weak performances, he's generally done ok over a season and is at a fairly high level, a new driver would need to get up to speed anyway so the upside is small in the constructors championship, and the downside big.
    So I think that's nonsense, but I do expect this year to be his last at Merc.

  2. #582
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    I was really hoping he could also convert that pole to a win and make this years championship even more exciting…

    However, if his current form continues, being dropped midseason wouldn’t be surprising…

    He’s really not a bad driver, just not a great one.

  3. #583
    Ask me about my bottom br FaultyMario's Avatar
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    Did the second Haas need a ride on the back of truck this weekend?
    acket.

  4. #584
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    If they place Russell in the car, who do they get to become the stable, secure, non-aggressive 2nd driver?

  5. #585
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    I think the only possible 'goal' left for Mercedes to achieve at this point is to win a championship with a German driver.

    Vettel is probably out of question at this point unless he shines brilliantly later on in the year? So perhaps they could steal Mick Schumacher from Ferrari few years down the road after he's gotten used to F1 more in a Haas? If the German remained loyal to Ferrari, then surely Sainz will become available... I think Sainz has became a very capable driver... capable of leading a team at McLaren with young Lando (Did a better job than Ricciardo) and also capable of being a very respectable #2 at Ferrari so far against Leclerc (Doing better than Vettel)...

  6. #586
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rare White Ape View Post
    If they place Russell in the car, who do they get to become the stable, secure, non-aggressive 2nd driver?
    In this storyline it's Hamilton / Russell for 2022, and possibly for 2023 as well if Lewis feels like continuing. The idea being to have at least one year where George can get used to the car etc without the team relying on him to win the championship. So the Bottas replacement job comes up in 2023 or 2024, whenever Hamilton retires. Hard to predict in advance who'll look suitable at that point, will depend how everyones' career progresses over the next couple of seasons. It is always tricky finding a good wingman, though.

  7. #587
    Ask me about my bottom br FaultyMario's Avatar
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    Yes, finding a Rubens/Bottas is pretty hard.

    They're either a Heikki/Heidfeld or they end up shitting on the team.
    acket.

  8. #588
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    Lando Norris should be under Toto Wolff's management, IIRC. Enough said.
    Vettel is on the way out, only other option for top driver for Mercedes is Max Verstappen... whom would leave Red Bull in a wink of an eye to join the germans.

  9. #589
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    Yes, Lando could be an option. O'Ward is a marketable figure who could take his place in McLaren if that was Martin's plan.
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  10. #590
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    acket.

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