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Drivers who will become excellent


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#1 Dunc

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 14:30

There are some drivers who, from the moment of their arrival in F1, are just excellent.  Alonso, Kimi, Hamilton and Vettel would all fall into this category.

 

However, there are also others who don't start out this way but then become like this.  Grosjean, if his performances at the end of last season are anything to go by, is a good example of this.  Arguably, so was James Hunt.

 

Who else do you think has the possibility to see their career go down this route?  

 

Personally, I see Maldonado as a possibility, if he can reign in his aggression I believe he is a potential WDC.  I'd be interested to hear other people's views.



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#2 Jon83

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 14:37

I can't see Madlonado doing this. I think he is extremely lucky to still be in F1 when you look at others who haven't been able to retain a seat or get in. Unless he gst a car which is comfortably quicker than anything else, I don't see him being a regular race winner never mind WDC.

 

Kubica would have been one I reckon.

 

Hulkenberg and Grosjean would be the ones on the grid at the moment who I'd have most confidence in but others could stand just as good a chance (on ability alone)



#3 sopa

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 14:41

Drivers always have their learning curve. For example Raikkonen was outperformed by Heidfeld in his first season, Vettel was outperformed by Liuzzi in his first few races. Hamilton was a rare exception of truly having one of his best seasons right already on his debut year.

 

Now the question may be who have had the steepest learning curves? Sometimes it may be due to entering F1 too early. Alguersuari was just 19 and nowhere in 2009. In the end we didn't see, how good he might have become. Or attitude also related to youth and immaturity (Button in 2001).



#4 sopa

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 14:48

 

However, there are also others who don't start out this way but then become like this.  Grosjean, if his performances at the end of last season are anything to go by, is a good example of this.  Arguably, so was James Hunt.

 

Grosjean is certainly a good example of a driver, who has improved a lot. Let's just recall his 2009, when he was thrown into deep end and was nowhere.

 

Hulkenberg was outperformed by Barrichello in 2010 and has improved quite a bit. I think in this era of testing ban and limited improvement opportunities for rookies we ended are seeing steeper learning curves than in the past. Of course some guys arre an exception, like Perez, who was 7th already on his debut.

 

But I think of modern-day drivers Grosjean is the best example. Maldonado I don't think has made such a significant progress nor is going to do it.



#5 helioseism

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 15:14

Other past examples in my opinion were Hakkinen and Mansell.



#6 FullThrottleF1

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 15:21

I feel there are currently 4 drivers on the grid who I think could be future WDC's

 

Grosjean, Perez, Hulkenberg, Bianchi.



#7 st99

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 15:40

I don't know, Rosberg, Hulk and Grosjean are the best drivers aside from the WDCs, but lately I don't recall a driver coming in and impress everyone from the start. The last I remember did this was Vettel, since his first outing in Friday practice in 2006 there were people already saying that he was a future WDC, I recall some people being dissapointed when it was announced that he was going to RB in 2009 because they thought he was taking a step backwards from Toro Rosso  :lol:



#8 pacificquay

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 16:06

Other past examples in my opinion were Hakkinen and Mansell.

 

Hakkinen was excellent from day 1



#9 scheivlak

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 16:45

Hakkinen was excellent from day 1

Just like Raikkonen, read e.g. the second part of this article http://atlasf1.autos.../ludvigsen.html

 

But as remarks like sopa's above about Raikkonen and Vettel show, it's all about perception.....



#10 DutchQuicksilver

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 17:02

The Lotus pair is the most interesting to watch I think. If they produce a car similar to 2012 and 2013, I think both Grosjean and Maldonado can grow to a higher level. But I wouldn't rate either of them in the A category which exists of Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen and Vettel. Those four definitely have an edge and you could see that extra bit of talent when these four made their debut.

 

I think a Grosjean, Hulkenberg or Maldonado can grow to the levels of a Montoya, Coulthard, Webber etc. Multiple race winners, but can't see them fighting for titles year in and year out.



#11 jonpollak

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 17:15

 it's all about perception.....

 

And in this day and age perception is readily accepted by the great unwashed as fact...unfortunately.

Jp
 



#12 Afterburner

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 17:20

And in this day and age perception is readily accepted by the great unwashed as fact...unfortunately.
Jp

Unfortunately, I'd say this is spot on.

#13 george1981

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 17:45

I think Maldonado does have a certain quality that might help him stay in F1 for a while. He did manage to win given the opportunity when a lot of people thought he wouldn't.

IMO Perez had as good an opportunity at Malaysia 2012 and he bottled it.



#14 noikeee

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 17:47

I agree the learning curve is steeper than ever but would still be a little wary of confirming Grosjean is going to get there. Perhaps yes, perhaps he'll be another Felipe Massa who is a surprising beast of a driver for 1 or 2 seasons then fades. Likewise I'm confident Hulk would have the measure of anyone in F1 bar the actual champions and maybe Rosberg, but I'm not sure he's actually as good or better than them yet - only when he's given the chance to do it on a head-to-head basis we'll know, albeit his performance vs Pérez next year will be very valuable info.

 

My money from the guys already in F1 is on Hulk to be champion, but I'm not 100% confident. Perhaps it'll be him, perhaps it'll be someone new like Kvyat, Magnussen, or someone further in the future. The guys already in F1, I'm not seeing any other huge stars. If Grosjean can hang on to this form for long, maybe him. Bottas and Bianchi are still within a shot if the learning curve proves to be as steep as it was for Hulkenberg. But they all have a lot to prove yet.

 

Maldonado is not a total lost cause but he does need a major mental reset. The speed is there but he's got a long way to go to emulate the transformation Grosjean went under way this last season. As for Pérez, again, long way to go. His career at the very top level is almost killed given what happened in McLaren and he did not show enough potential in terms of raw speed there, perhaps he'll still become a good #2, at very best a Button-level #1.5 driver, but needs a mental reset AND luck in his career such as next year's Force India being a surprising race winning car or something like that. An established top team isn't going to hire him.


Edited by noikeee, 27 December 2013 - 17:53.


#15 Spillage

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 18:08

Other past examples in my opinion were Hakkinen and Mansell.

Button is another good one. These are drivers who didn't quite look like champions, but really stepped up when they were given a WDC-challenging car. 

 

Not sure who out of the current grid might fit into this category; really, we'll only know if/when they get a car that can challenge. It's possible even somebody like Sutil might be able to display something beyond anything we have seen from him previously if he suddenly found himself with a chance to be WDC.



#16 sopa

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 18:20

I think Mansell is a very good example. And the best example of 2000s is probably Felipe Massa. Of course his peak form didn't last long, but it is still impressive he got there, because during 2002-2005 he was viewed as a solid midfielder only. A driver worthy of F1 seat, but in the list of best drivers many other guys were put ahead. Then he got the Ferrari seat and gradually grew into his own. Of course, helped by perfect conditions. Mentor Michael Schumacher, perhaps the fastest car of 2006-2008, very good team and support.

 

The likes of Perez, Kobayashi, di Resta, Maldonado, etc have been in F1 for three years just like Massa after his Sauber years. And all of them were/are viewed not too dissimilarly to how Massa was viewed after his first three seasons - sort of an average midfield driver in F1 context and you wouldn't expect any more from him. Do we believe that any of the above can replicate what Massa did, provided they got excellent conditions? This means a very fast and good car, a good mentor and the team behind him.

 

I am starting to think that perhaps Grosjean is indeed the "Massa example". Because in the second half of 2013 he indeed had those conditions - team behind him and a very good car. And he excelled. Maldonado was certainly fast in 2012, when the car was fast and he was confident. Confident largely due to large paycheck from PDVSA, so he didn't need to worry about his seat, but the source of confidence doesn't matter - what matters is that confidence exists. The main problem was that he was making lots of mistakes, so he didn't really properly capitalize on an excellent opportunity, and it is still unclear if he can cut them out. Perhaps Perez and Maldonado can also qualify into the "Massa/Grosjean" group. Look average most of the time, but can come to the fore in perfect conditions.

 

Then again I believe many drivers can excel in so-called perfect conditions. The only problem is that "perfect conditions" happen quite rarely and even then they usually "happen" to brilliant drivers, like Michael Schumacher and dream team of Ferrari in 2000s. It is hard to get the stars align for you and it can happen only to a few drivers at once. But IF they happen, a big if, you can look pretty impressive.


Edited by sopa, 27 December 2013 - 18:26.


#17 demet06

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 19:10

Pastor Maldonado certainly has the potential as he demonstrated in Barcelona in 2012. A very disciplined drive to manage the tyres and beat Alonso on merit and we all know how good Fernando is. The trouble starts when he's under pressure and reverts to type and for whatever reason, he can't concede a corner, whatever position he might put himself into. He's got to sort that out in his head before the potential can be realised. His new team mate, Grosjean, appears to be starting to sort that out going off the latter stages of 2013. He was brilliant in GP2 but its taken him a couple of go's in F1 to make his mark. If Lotus can deliver a car then he certainly has the potential to be a top driver.

Nico Rosberg is still underrated in my book, not naturally as quick as Lewis but seems to understand the car better, works hard and more often than not, gets more out of it. That might be essential attributes next season, managing the cars with fuel and tyres. If Mercedes produces the power unit and a car to match, it could well be Nico who rises to the top.

Then there's the Hulk. Why oh why has a top team not signed him. There must be a reason but nobody seems to know why. His career is just going sideways between the midfield runners and he always impresses. I hope we do see him break into a top team, then perhaps we'll see how good he can be.



#18 noikeee

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 19:20

By the way it's funny that we're all forgetting the young driver that got promoted to a top seat this year, Daniel Ricciardo. He's quick, but it's really hard to imagine any scenario where he doesn't settle into a #2 to Vettel, isn't it?



#19 sopa

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 19:57

By the way it's funny that we're all forgetting the young driver that got promoted to a top seat this year, Daniel Ricciardo. He's quick, but it's really hard to imagine any scenario where he doesn't settle into a #2 to Vettel, isn't it?

 

Yeah, would be funny though if he takes the Massa role though. Looks okayish midfield driver, gets a top team seat many people doubt he really deserves. Learns alongside multiple champion master and perhaps after a few years Vettel goes to Ferrari, Ricciardo's great chance to shine comes.



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#20 bourbon

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 20:34

Only Perez.

 

Kevin and Daniil are hyped as potential young guns, so maybe they will come in and blast us away or show that kind of potential.

 

I'm not sold on the Hulk and Grosjean is going to have to complete a season without crashing.  He improved at the end of the season because he qualified higher and didn't have much passing to do - even then he tossed it a bit with the Red Bulls and his own teammate at the front - so the jury is still out on that one.  Both of these guys are quick, but that is only part of the equation.

 

 

And in this day and age perception is readily accepted by the great unwashed as fact...unfortunately.

Jp
 

 

Our perception shapes our view of the facts - that's okay.  Sharing ideas is both the solution and the problem.


Edited by bourbon, 27 December 2013 - 20:39.


#21 st99

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 21:08

By the way it's funny that we're all forgetting the young driver that got promoted to a top seat this year, Daniel Ricciardo. He's quick, but it's really hard to imagine any scenario where he doesn't settle into a #2 to Vettel, isn't it?

 

I like Ricciardo, he seems superfast on qualy and this year he upped his game in the races but I still haven't seen a performance where I'd say 'whoa, he's a future WDC'. He's still young though, he can improve a lot and learn from his teammate next year, even if SV is only two years older than him   :drunk:


Edited by st99, 27 December 2013 - 21:14.


#22 MikeV1987

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 21:11

Ricciardo will give Vettel a run for his money, I also think Bianchi is a driver to watch out for in the future.


Edited by MikeV1987, 27 December 2013 - 21:12.


#23 Velocifer

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 21:19

Rosberg, Grosjean and di Resta.



#24 helioseism

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 21:59

Hakkinen was excellent from day 1

 

 

Six years to his first victory..... :drunk:



#25 apoka

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 23:25

I think there are a number of drivers having the chance to become excellent:

 

- Ricciardo: If RB success continues, he has a good chance to impress - if not, he can learn and potentially impress against his next team mate after Vettel.

- Rosberg: He already is "kind of" excellent and just lacks the stats and a real WDC fight.

- Grosjean: Looked better end of this season. I still have doubts, but if he becomes the undisputed lead driver at Lotus, he can still build up an excellent career.

- Magnussen: Potential star driver at the beginning of his F1 career. I think he will get enough time at McLaren to show his worth even if he won't have a Hamilton/Vettel like start into F1.

- Hulk: Already impressive for a while, but obviously lacks a car to fight for podiums and wins.

- Perez: Still very young and could still improve and come back to a top team.

- Kvyat: Potential star driver at the beginning of his F1 career. The ingredients for a high rise over the next years are pretty much there, but lots of things can still happen.

- Bottas: Great talent and if he beats Massa his stock will rise.

- Bianchi: Has shown quite some potential early in the season, but still very early for a verdict.

 

The other drivers already have a WDC or are not on top of my personal list of future stars. Looking for the new stars is one thing which makes F1 interesting.

 



#26 charly0418

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 23:55

Maldonado is already 28, why are we comparing him to real potential young drivers like Bianchi, Bottas, Perez, Kvyat, etc. (all under 23)



#27 ZionLH

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 00:12

I think there are a number of drivers having the chance to become excellent:

 

- Ricciardo: If RB success continues, he has a good chance to impress - if not, he can learn and potentially impress against his next team mate after Vettel.

- Rosberg: He already is "kind of" excellent and just lacks the stats and a real WDC fight.

- Grosjean: Looked better end of this season. I still have doubts, but if he becomes the undisputed lead driver at Lotus, he can still build up an excellent career.

- Magnussen: Potential star driver at the beginning of his F1 career. I think he will get enough time at McLaren to show his worth even if he won't have a Hamilton/Vettel like start into F1.

- Hulk: Already impressive for a while, but obviously lacks a car to fight for podiums and wins.

- Perez: Still very young and could still improve and come back to a top team.

- Kvyat: Potential star driver at the beginning of his F1 career. The ingredients for a high rise over the next years are pretty much there, but lots of things can still happen.

- Bottas: Great talent and if he beats Massa his stock will rise.

- Bianchi: Has shown quite some potential early in the season, but still very early for a verdict.

 

The other drivers already have a WDC or are not on top of my personal list of future stars. Looking for the new stars is one thing which makes F1 interesting.

:up:  great post mimics my thoughts exactly.



#28 DutchQuicksilver

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 11:09

Maldonado is already 28, why are we comparing him to real potential young drivers like Bianchi, Bottas, Perez, Kvyat, etc. (all under 23)

Webber was heading for 33 when he got first taste of winning races back in 2009 and fighting for the championship a year later.



#29 Clatter

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 11:12

Think I need to go to specsavers. I read the title as "Drivers who will become extinct".



#30 Beamer

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 11:45

I really truly don't understand what some people see in maldonado and perez. ?... been following f1 for over 20 years now, and i hardly ever truly felt drivers being so over valued as these two..

#31 Brandz07

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 11:49

Ricciardo & Hulkenberg, possibly Grosjean.



#32 Rob

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 14:34

Six years to his first victory..... :drunk:

 

He was never going to win in the Lotus and he had some masterful performances in some terrible McLarens - look at his 1995 season for example.



#33 motorhead

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 14:47

Bottas did great job in his first season, hopefully this will continue with a better Williams next year



#34 FullThrottleF1

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 16:00

What the above comments demonstrate is that everybody moans about 'pay drivers' and all that when actually, we have one of the most talented grid lineup in the history of the sport.



#35 emmanuelrubi

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 16:06

Webber was heading for 33 when he got first taste of winning races back in 2009 and fighting for the championship a year later.

 

Even this is true, in terms of probabilities the guys under 24 have a higher chance of becoming Excellent. 



#36 Mauseri

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 16:19

I like Ricciardo, he seems superfast on qualy and this year he upped his game in the races but I still haven't seen a performance where I'd say 'whoa, he's a future WDC'. He's still young though, he can improve a lot and learn from his teammate next year, even if SV is only two years older than him   :drunk:

 

Well at least a driver has to be fast in Q to stand a chance against Vettel. Will be interesting where he stands, but if he was 5 places behind already at the start he would never have a chance of beating Vettel. It will be interesting to see if he has any chance. A lot of drivers who were promising in mid pack appeared to be nothing special in a top team. Even for Kimi it almost took a year to really start matching Coulthard's race pace. And then after a few lucky results managed to take the neckloop.



#37 Ferrari_F1_fan_2001

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 16:42

Grosjean but only if he is in the right frame of mind. Mentally, he seems a bit soft and like it or not, 2012 got to him. Kimi also dusted him this year too even though Grosjean was very strong.

 

Hulkenberg has a lot of potential but we will only know if/when he steps out of the Williams-Force-India-Sauber type of teams,

 

Bianchi could end up being another Alonso I think.



#38 Farhannn15

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 16:51

Personally I believe the top 4 as they're associated as are the elite. However I still think drivers like Rosberg, Button, Webber even though he's retired are still excellent. Grosjean and Hulkenburg and Bottas for me are the drivers who currently stand out 



#39 alframsey

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 17:24

Pastor Maldonado certainly has the potential as he demonstrated in Barcelona in 2012. A very disciplined drive to manage the tyres and beat Alonso on merit and we all know how good Fernando is. The trouble starts when he's under pressure and reverts to type and for whatever reason, he can't concede a corner, whatever position he might put himself into. He's got to sort that out in his head before the potential can be realised. His new team mate, Grosjean, appears to be starting to sort that out going off the latter stages of 2013. He was brilliant in GP2 but its taken him a couple of go's in F1 to make his mark. If Lotus can deliver a car then he certainly has the potential to be a top driver.

Nico Rosberg is still underrated in my book, not naturally as quick as Lewis but seems to understand the car better, works hard and more often than not, gets more out of it. That might be essential attributes next season, managing the cars with fuel and tyres. If Mercedes produces the power unit and a car to match, it could well be Nico who rises to the top.

Then there's the Hulk. Why oh why has a top team not signed him. There must be a reason but nobody seems to know why. His career is just going sideways between the midfield runners and he always impresses. I hope we do see him break into a top team, then perhaps we'll see how good he can be.

Sorry mate that just isn't how I see it.



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#40 M2B

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 18:31

I have very high hopes for Magnussen.



#41 Jackmancer

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 19:09

Grosjean started the same as Irvine or Hakkinen. I think Magnussen will be good as well, and Bianchi. Hulkenberg has more potential as well.

 

EDIT: How could I forget. Bottas might win a GP in the future as well. I hope so.


Edited by Jackmancer, 28 December 2013 - 19:10.


#42 OvDrone

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 20:04

Out of the current unproven crop, I dearly hope: Bottas, Magnussen, Bianchi and Ricciardo.



#43 George Costanza

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 20:21

Six years to his first victory..... :drunk:

 
Mika beat Ayrton in qualifying and was very fast in 1994 in a poor McLaren and did great in 1995 and 1996.

 

Had Mika been in the Williams in 1994-1997, he and Schumacher would have been neck and neck. Thankfully, Mika got a great car from 1998-2000 season and he made great use of that.



#44 aditya-now

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 20:56

Hülkenberg, Bottas and Grosjean



#45 aditya-now

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 21:01

Rosberg, Grosjean and di Resta.

 

 

Yes, Rosberg has been in F1 only for - seven years? But you are right, he is becoming a Hamilton beater, after having been a Schumi beater....



#46 Farhannn15

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 21:17

Yes, Rosberg has been in F1 only for - seven years? But you are right, he is becoming a Hamilton beater, after having been a Schumi beater....

Didn't really have a car to win a race for 6 years apart from that one perfect weekend in China.



#47 helioseism

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 23:07

So hindsight as usual is 20-20, the car is always a good excuse, and none of us are able to predict the future. Carry on!



#48 LB

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 02:51

Hakkinen was excellent from day 1

Dunno about that he went a little bit under the radar at Lotus (though not to you I know what you are like), people tend to think of his debut was when he outpaced Senna at McLaren!



#49 LB

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 03:02

Six years to his first victory..... :drunk:

 

I love stuff like this, Car, car, car, car, car, car car car car car car car

 

Get it.... F1 is and always has been about what you are driving and i say this as someone who genuinely likes Vettel who seems to get crapped on because his car is good. well doh... There is not 1 world champion out there that wasn't in either the best car or the second best car with the best car driven by two eejits or retirement prone.

 

The only thing a F1 driver can actually do is beat his teammate. everyone else isn't on a level playing field... Hakkinen did that all the time



#50 helioseism

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 16:01

I love stuff like this, Car, car, car, car, car, car car car car car car car

 

 

Please reread post 47.