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For how long will RBR, Ferrari and McLaren remain as top3 teams?


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#1 sopa

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 15:37

So time to play some prediction game.:D

For three seasons since 2010 RBR, McLaren and Ferrari have been well above other teams in the constructors' championship. In 2012 Lotus got close, but it wasn't enough to make a change. For how long will this trio keep holding the stranglehold of F1, sharing race wins between them? In 2010 and 2011 those three teams won all races, 2012 was a messy year but no other team bar those three got more than a single win.

Let's recall the past and similar status quo's.
2007-2008 had Ferrari, McLaren and BMW Sauber at the front. 2009 rules changed it and BMW pulled out.
2005-2006 had Renault, McLaren and Ferrari in top3. But with the disappearance of Michelin Renault dropped backwards.
2000-2003 Ferrari, McLaren and Williams were consistently at the top. From 2000 to 2002 they shared all wins between them. It took 2004 and truly underwhelming cars from Williams and McLaren to finally see them dropping out of top3 in constructors.
1994-1997 Williams, Benetton and Ferrari were top3. From 1994 to 1996 they shared all race wins between them except the bizarre race at Monaco in 1996. It took 1998 rule changes and Newey-inspired design for McLaren to break this group decisively.

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#2 Tombstone

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 15:39

I think the only real question mark hangs over Red Bull.

Apart from the odd blip McLaren and ferrari have been there or thereabouts, and are likely to be so, for 'evermore'.

Edited by Tombstone, 10 December 2012 - 15:48.


#3 Rikhart

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 15:44

At least another year, although this coming year with the very stable regulations might tighten the field even more than last year. I´m tipping lotus to make another step too and be more consistent, they are on the verge of serious sponsorship cash. Also the new pirellis might throw some surprises our way, the team/driver that adapts quickest I think will win some early races at least.

#4 SpaMaster

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 16:03

So time to play some prediction game.:D

For three seasons since 2010 RBR, McLaren and Ferrari have been well above other teams in the constructors' championship. In 2012 Lotus got close, but it wasn't enough to make a change. For how long will this trio keep holding the stranglehold of F1, sharing race wins between them? In 2010 and 2011 those three teams won all races, 2012 was a messy year but no other team bar those three got more than a single win.

Very rarely it becomes a stretch of three teams. As you can see below, it was never really three teams that much.

Let's recall the past and similar status quo's.
2007-2008 had Ferrari, McLaren and BMW Sauber at the front. 2009 rules changed it and BMW pulled out. BMW was not really in the company of top 2.
2005-2006 had Renault, McLaren and Ferrari in top3. But with the disappearance of Michelin Renault dropped backwards. It was McLaren/Renault one year and Renault/Ferrari next, never three-team elite
2000-2003 Ferrari, McLaren and Williams were consistently at the top. From 2000 to 2002 they shared all wins between them. It took 2004 and truly underwhelming cars from Williams and McLaren to finally see them dropping out of top3 in constructors. Rare stretch, yes. But still, except for 2003, it was still two teams mainly.
1994-1997 Williams, Benetton and Ferrari were top3. From 1994 to 1996 they shared all race wins between them except the bizarre race at Monaco in 1996. It took 1998 rule changes and Newey-inspired design for McLaren to break this group decisively. I am not counting Ferrari for 94 and 95, and not counting Benetton for 96 and 97.

Really the past three years have been about Red Bull. McLaren and Ferrari haven't really been at Red Bull's level consistently. 2012 has been a close championship, and Vettel's reliability issues made 2010 a fight. Other than that, 2010 to 2012 has been about one team, rather than three teams, as the three consecutive constructors' and drivers titles show. Six titles in three years. How often does that happen? So, the situation is not really three teams. At this rate, one of the other two established teams is likely to go through a slump for few years, as a three team fight cannot sustain for long.

#5 Tombstone

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 16:34

For the last 40 years McLaren and ferrari have been in the top 3 teams for ~3/4 of that time.

Probably best to comment on Red Bull around the year 2045.

#6 Rybo

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 18:51

Ferrari are paid more than everyone just for being Ferrari, I doubt they will fall off the map. McLaren might get side tracked with their road car business, but they will always fight to the end. Like everyone else the elephant in the room is Red Bull. They might pull out, they might cement themselves for te next 20+ years. Only time will tell.

#7 eronrules

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 18:53

simple answer, as long as the money will flow for R&D, no money, no ****, look at WilliamsF1 or Lotus (original)

#8 Szoelloe

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 19:41

Ferrari has been top three, well, 'always'. McLaren falls in the same category by now. Red Bull will leave F1 as soon as they get a dry spell longer than 2 seasons. Red Bull will be competitive next year, that is safe to say. After that, there is still a strong possibility since the aero will still have a major impact. But, as long as the team stays together, they will be strong, why wouldn't they be? But again, I hardly think they (RB) are here to stay on the long term.

#9 SpartanChas

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 19:49

Until Adrian Newey decides to retire.

#10 Szoelloe

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 19:52

Until Adrian Newey decides to retire.


Not necessarily.


#11 sopa

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 20:14

@SpaMaster. Sure every year is different and the gaps between top3 teams and behind them vary. But I'd say that finishing consistently in the top3 in the championship and challenging for race wins (occasionally at least) each year shows some depth in the team. That they are able to design quality chassis on a consistent basis. Another aspect is to highlight the status quo factor with roughly the same teams staying at the front for an extensive period.

Now to the topic. Historically it doesn't last very long that we see same teams locking out top3. I checked that 4 years is indeed the maximum time-cycle for the same 3 constructors to stay at the front in whichever order. Next year is likely to stay as it is. So will we get a record period of 'status quo' or will 2014 bring a surprise?

People say that Red Bull is most likely to drop out, but it might still be years away. I can understand expecting Ferrari to remain in top3, but what about McLaren? They have a rich history, but could they suffer the fate of Williams? Or could McLaren itself suffer a slump like in 90's after losing the factory Honda support?

It is unclear, what will McLaren do in the future. There are rumours that Honda engines could return and unite with McLaren. If Honda flops, McLaren would turn into a modern BAR and a perennial underachiever.

#12 Spillage

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 20:24

Actually wouldn't be at all surprised to see Lotus win the WDC in either of the next two seasons.

#13 Szoelloe

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 20:38

Actually wouldn't be at all surprised to see Lotus win the WDC in either of the next two seasons.


Well, hope dies last, as the saying goes, but it would be a surprise for me, personally.

#14 garoidb

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 20:41

Very rarely it becomes a stretch of three teams. As you can see below, it was never really three teams that much.


Really the past three years have been about Red Bull. McLaren and Ferrari haven't really been at Red Bull's level consistently. 2012 has been a close championship, and Vettel's reliability issues made 2010 a fight. Other than that, 2010 to 2012 has been about one team, rather than three teams, as the three consecutive constructors' and drivers titles show. Six titles in three years. How often does that happen? So, the situation is not really three teams. At this rate, one of the other two established teams is likely to go through a slump for few years, as a three team fight cannot sustain for long.


Only Alonso in the Ferrari has come close to winning the WDC in anything other than a Red Bull for the last three years (2010 and 2012). No-one other than Red Bull has had a serious shout for the WCC. As I posted recently in another thread, Kimi was in third place nearly three race wins behind Vettel, so without Alonso/Ferrari it would have looked like another dominant Vettel season. Bernie should be happy with FA.

#15 onewingedangel

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 20:55

McLaren and Red Bull could both find themselves with uncompetitive engines over the next few years should Mercedes and Renault choose not to renew their current deals on expiry.

If Renault choose to focus on Caterham, Williams or Lotus as a works team, they may look to divorce themselves from Red Bull. They would win less initially, but Red Bull have a habit of putting the blame on Renault when they don't - whether reliability, or claiming it's due to lack of power - yet taking all the credit when winning and not acknowledging their aero package is facilitated by the compact Renault engine and it's cooling requirements. Renault can't be happy with this dynamic.

If Mercedes progress to the point where they challenge for race wins - week in, week out - against McLaren they would have to consider not renewing their partnership if just to disrupt a competitor. McLaren would either need to find a major new partner (Honda/VW/Toyota) or develop their own engines (and sell them to customers to recoup some costs). Either option would have a period of bedding in, and may never be as competitive a partnership. It's just as likely for Mercedes to withdraw it's works effort and back the customer McLaren again should the Brackley team fail to improve by 2015 when the current deal expires.

In regards to who could raise their game it's hard to know - Lotus still seem a bit hit and miss - 2010 was solid, 2011 disappointing, and 2012 pretty good - but I believe their engine supply might be in question longer term.

Williams could be a dark horse should they get full Renault works support in place of Red Bull.

Ferrari and Mercedes, by virtue of having true works teams and each being 1/3 (as far as we know) of post-2014 engine supply - could choose to supply only less developed teams to eek out an advantage.

#16 Szoelloe

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 21:02

McLaren and Red Bull could both find themselves with uncompetitive engines over the next few years should Mercedes and Renault choose not to renew their current deals on expiry.


AFAIk Mc has an contractual option on the Merc lumps as long as they want to. If they choose to give up on the Merc powertrain, I am sure it will be a very well calculated, long-term decision.


#17 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 21:03

Until Lotus and Merc get their **** together. Wouldn't be surprised if one of these are in the top three next year.

#18 onewingedangel

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 21:09

AFAIk Mc has an contractual option on the Merc lumps as long as they want to. If they choose to give up on the Merc powertrain, I am sure it will be a very well calculated, long-term decision.


If I recall correctly, and what has been talked about is accurate, McLaren had 3 years of free engines (10, 11, 12) and has an option for either 2 or 3 years (13, 14 - possibly 15) as paying customers.

Edited by onewingedangel, 10 December 2012 - 21:25.


#19 sopa

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 22:42

Only Alonso in the Ferrari has come close to winning the WDC in anything other than a Red Bull for the last three years (2010 and 2012). No-one other than Red Bull has had a serious shout for the WCC.


I don't think this is exactly true. In 2010 Hamilton lost to Vettel only by 16 points. McLaren was leading 1-2 in mid-season, they were real contenders. After Monza they were within a couple of points of Red Bull. Also in 2012 McLaren was within 30 points of Red Bull after Monza with great momentum at the time, but threw the chance away with unreliability and inconsistency.

I disagree that 2010-2012 has been solely about Red Bull. 2011 was, but not 2010 and 2012. Red Bull has won the titles, but in both of those years three teams had a realistic chance at the championship. Hence they are the big three teams.

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#20 MrFondue

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 22:53

If Renault choose to focus on Caterham, Williams or Lotus as a works team, they may look to divorce themselves from Red Bull. They would win less initially, but Red Bull have a habit of putting the blame on Renault when they don't - whether reliability, or claiming it's due to lack of power - yet taking all the credit when winning and not acknowledging their aero package is facilitated by the compact Renault engine and it's cooling requirements. Renault can't be happy with this dynamic.


Would Nissan-Renault really put all those Infiniti millions into RB if they'd be planning to cut them off?

#21 Shiroo

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 23:23

If Titular sponsorship from Honeywell will happen for Lotus, I believe they would break these 3 top teams before Mercedes. They have brilliant engineer team but lacked cash a bit this season.

#22 ViMaMo

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:12

Its a very sad thing to see Williams not there. Im going bit on a tangent here, but they truly deserve to be in the top 3, time and again they came back to being race winners or championship winners.

As far as Mclaren and Ferrari are concerned, unless they take their eyes off the ball, I dont know why you have any doubts over their capabilities.

#23 Spillage

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:48

Well, hope dies last, as the saying goes, but it would be a surprise for me, personally.

Just looking at the dynamics of the team I think they're overdue a WDC. The Enstone team has a long history of putting together strong 'best-of-the-rest' seasons and nicking a win towards the end of the year in the seasons before they win Championships. They did it in 1992, 1993, 2003 and 2008; I've heard quite a few people suggest that they would have put together a real title challenge had the rule changes not shaken up the order in 2009.

EDIT: So basically I think we may see a break in the current top 3 next year, particularly if Mclaren struggle with what seems to be the weakest driver line-up they've had for a while.

Edited by Spillage, 11 December 2012 - 01:49.


#24 packapoo

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:09

Until Adrian Newey decides to retire.


There'll be another designer come along who'll out-rate Newey; whether he's with Red Bull is anyone's guess.
Maybe he'll lift the new HRT..................and maybe not.

#25 Jovanotti

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:42

If Lotus get the big sponsorship from Honeywell with 30M/year they'll be right there in the mix with this group in the near future.

#26 aditya-now

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:06

Until Lotus and Merc get their **** together. Wouldn't be surprised if one of these are in the top three next year.


+1

:up:

Until Lotus and Merc get their act together. Wouldn't be surprised if one of these are in the top three next year.


#27 Jimisgod

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 21:48

Well, every so often a team makes a car that is good enough to run for the title for exactly 1 season:

2009: Brawn GP - 8 wins - 1st in WDC for Button

1999: Jordan - 2 wins - 3rd in WDC for Heinz-Harald Frentzen

1977: Wolf - 3 wins - 2nd in WDC for Jody Scheckter

Then you have the stalwarts, Williams, McLaren, Ferrari and now RBR who have won most things for the last 30 years. "Lotus" is the same teams as Renault and Benetton from the mid 90s, so they aren't "new" at all.

By that token, Mercedes is just Brawn GP, but if we ignore that... the only wins that have come from teams outside those top 5 in the last 20 years are:

1. CHN '12 - Mercedes
2. AUS '09 - Brawn GP
3. MAL '09 - Brawn GP
4. BAH '09 - Brawn GP
5. ESP '09 - Brawn GP
6. MON '09 - Brawn GP
7. TUR '09 - Brawn GP
8. EUR '09 - Brawn GP
9. ITA '09 - Brawn GP

10. ITA '08 - Toro Rosso
10. CAN '08 - BMW Sauber
11. HUN '06 - Honda (essentially became Brawn GP, then Mercedes)
12. BRA '03 - Jordan
13. EUR '99 - Stewart (would become RBR)
14. ITA '99 - Jordan
15. FRA '99 - Jordan
16. MON '96 - Ligier

Ignore the amazing run of Brawn GP, and you have 9 wins. 16 if you count Brawn. From 300+ races.

Lotus come Renault come Benetton will be back for sure, just give them the cash. Same is likely true of Williams. The only anomaly in the last 20 years has been RBR who, after joining in 2005, were able to turn a good year in 2009 into a good half decade thanks to Newey.

Edited by Jimisgod, 13 December 2012 - 02:06.