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Mercedes AMG F1 Team Thread (drivers, management, rumours and gossip!)


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#4951 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 20:49

Well, there is a big if. Hamilton challenged Alonso in his debut year, Perez is no Alonso. Verstappen challenged immidiately Ricciardo, Perez is no Ricciardo either. Button beat also Perez with clear margin. Ocon seems to be whiner too so I can´t see any reason, but bigger marketability to french speaking countries that would come with him. Young age of course is an advantage too...but Ocon following Hamilton as their leading driver seems utopistic, especially when there are guys like Verstappen available sooner or later

 

the other thing ignored is that the strong thing Perez had over Ocon was tyre management, so it seems that was not, at that time, Ocon's asset. His speed was great.

But Bottas has similar struggles. Why people assume Ocon will be better at tyre management vs Lewis than he was vs Perez is what puzzles me



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#4952 beachdrifter

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 22:29

All of Toto's comments suggest to me that the only point of them is to create some interest in Ocon from other teams, to say they're going to release him. I haven't seen a single comment from him that suggests they're honestly considering him for a Merc seat. 

 

It's disappointing from my view, since I know what to expect for the second half from Bottas, and then yet another year of that to follow, but it is what it is.

 

Enjoy another 30 Bottas races in the Merc. 



#4953 beachdrifter

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 22:35

It's just that the other F1 media have done a 360 these last few days and now think the decision is already made in favour of Ocon.

 

They really haven't. All they've done is quote some rather irrelevant figures who admit they don't know.



#4954 baddog

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 23:34

the other thing ignored is that the strong thing Perez had over Ocon was tyre management, so it seems that was not, at that time, Ocon's asset. His speed was great.

But Bottas has similar struggles. Why people assume Ocon will be better at tyre management vs Lewis than he was vs Perez is what puzzles me

 

They dont, but tyre management is not an inherent skill, it is something a driver can learn with experience if he is smart. 



#4955 teejay

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 02:37

Manage Tyres well 

 

Be fast 

 

Managing tyres and being fast - that is what the special ones can do above the rest of the pack. 

 

It's not an easy thing for most of the guys in the field. 



#4956 Boxerevo

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 03:40

Just stick Alonso in the other car.

tenor.gif



#4957 Piif

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 06:23

They dont, but tyre management is not an inherent skill, it is something a driver can learn with experience if he is smart. 

 

So: we know that Bottas has that inherent pace as demonstrated by his qualifyings. Shouldn't he be able to learn the management as well? 



#4958 Viryfan

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 07:06

the other thing ignored is that the strong thing Perez had over Ocon was tyre management, so it seems that was not, at that time, Ocon's asset. His speed was great.

But Bottas has similar struggles. Why people assume Ocon will be better at tyre management vs Lewis than he was vs Perez is what puzzles me

 

Ocon never ran out of tyres against Perez on the same tyre strategy.

 

Perez used to be faster early in stints while Ocon recovered some of the time lost at the end of the stint.



#4959 Sunnny

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 12:42

Sorry did you put Ferrari and successful driver pairing in the same sentence?

 

Clearly you never watched F1 when we had the following results

 

2000 - Schumacher & Barrichello WDC/WCC

2001 - Schumacher & Barrichello WDC/WCC

2002 - Schumacher & Barrichello WDC/WCC

2003 - Schumacher & Barrichello WDC/WCC

2004 - Schumacher & Barrichello WDC/WCC

 

Ferrari only decided to drop Rubens in 2005 when they lost WCC and he came 8th in the standings. It will be interesting to see Merc drop Bottas if they get another WDC/WCC and he comes 2nd in the standings. 



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#4960 Paco

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 12:57

As much as I want to see someone better in that seat, Mercedes will probably hold course but it may cost them the wcc next season. Highly doubt Ocon would get more points then Bottas. They need a better racer then a good qualifier... Botta’s would be ideal for RB but all these team tie ups make the grid worse IMO.

RB insisting on highering their own drivers, Mercedes doing the same vs getting the best talent into their seats is maddening...


Edited by Paco, 09 August 2019 - 15:59.


#4961 Paco

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 13:00

All this talk of Ocon potentially hitting Lewis is just plain silly. I’m sure he’s been humbled and taken down several notches having been forced to sit out this season and watching a far lesser driver race his seat. Plus, he’s watched and learned from Mercedes how engagement rules are done and would not want to punished for them losing a race or a 1-2 etc. Al this guessing he’d be the same guy he was against Perez is just plain off imo.

#4962 robefc

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 14:36

Clearly you never watched F1 when we had the following results
 
2000 - Schumacher & Barrichello WDC/WCC
2001 - Schumacher & Barrichello WDC/WCC
2002 - Schumacher & Barrichello WDC/WCC
2003 - Schumacher & Barrichello WDC/WCC
2004 - Schumacher & Barrichello WDC/WCC
 
Ferrari only decided to drop Rubens in 2005 when they lost WCC and he came 8th in the standings. It will be interesting to see Merc drop Bottas if they get another WDC/WCC and he comes 2nd in the standings.


Sorry, I assumed we were taking about the current team, or at least recent history.

#4963 Ickx

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 15:58

All this talk of Ocon potentially hitting Lewis is just plain silly. I’m sure he’s been humbled and taken down several notches having been forced to sit out this season and watching a far lesser driver race his seat. Plus, he’s watched and learned from Mercedes how engagement rules are done and would not want to punished for them losing a race or a 1-2 etc. Al this guessing he’d be the same guy he was against Perez is just plain off imo.


Regardless of who will drive next year the pressure will be on to show good result as most everything points towards Russell for 2021. Ocon would not have any time to ease in to it as he would have to prove that he deserve a seat in a good car and I don't think he would hesitate to defend harder against Lewis to prove his point. Not like with Perez but not as safe as Bottas. This could be a good thing but as I don't think he would perform better than Bottas anyway I don't see the logic in putting him in the Mercedes. Better to let him go, it is not as Mercedes has to give him a seat, they have already carried him to F1 and given him a lot of experience. Bottas Russell would be an interesting combination in Williams though.

#4964 SonGoku

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 16:02

Another strange thing, why has Ocon not driven a FP1 in the car if he is so close to replace Bottas? Bottas isn't going to win the championship anyway and if you want to replace him why not give Ocon a chance to drive a car again and collect some useful data about him? Strange.

Edited by SonGoku, 09 August 2019 - 16:03.


#4965 Piif

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 16:08

All this talk of Ocon potentially hitting Lewis is just plain silly. I’m sure he’s been humbled and taken down several notches having been forced to sit out this season and watching a far lesser driver race his seat. Plus, he’s watched and learned from Mercedes how engagement rules are done and would not want to punished for them losing a race or a 1-2 etc. Al this guessing he’d be the same guy he was against Perez is just plain off imo.

 

Far lesser driver? The only thing I can say to that is: lol. Bottas is a proven race winner, with 10 pole positions. What is Ocon? Just a whim and a wish of a possible future champion - one that was trounced by Perez twice. It's one thing to be fast when the pressure isn't on and another to deliver week in week out when everything you do is under scrutiny.


Edited by Piif, 09 August 2019 - 16:10.


#4966 motorhead

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 18:52

https://youtu.be/xH1qD9qyzUk

 

:smoking:



#4967 RECKLESS

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 18:59

Far lesser driver? The only thing I can say to that is: lol. Bottas is a proven race winner, with 10 pole positions. What is Ocon? Just a whim and a wish of a possible future champion - one that was trounced by Perez twice. It's one thing to be fast when the pressure isn't on and another to deliver week in week out when everything you do is under scrutiny.

Exactly.

The current Ocon overhype around here is getting just silly.

#4968 Nathan

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 19:05

i can't believe I never realized this before, but Mercedes can easily have signed Verstappen for 2021.  If they do so - and why wouldn't they - Bottas for one more year makes complete sense.



#4969 paipa

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 20:09

Bottas does what any decent midfield driver could do, win 1-3 races a year with the best car.

Team player this, team player that... Since when is following team orders some rare skill? It's not like he's so careful around Hamilton anyway, in fact Lewis takes way more caution I'd say, see Baku or Silverstone. Just last week Bottas had two aggressive defensive lockups on his inside, clipped him too, WTF was that?

Ocon can't be much worse, but at least has a chance of being better.

#4970 MasterOfCoin

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 20:21

Far lesser driver? The only thing I can say to that is: lol. Bottas is a proven race winner, with 10 pole positions. What is Ocon? Just a whim and a wish of a possible future champion - one that was trounced by Perez twice. It's one thing to be fast when the pressure isn't on and another to deliver week in week out when everything you do is under scrutiny.

I think he may be referring to Stroll..... :p



#4971 zibby43

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 20:28

Far lesser driver? The only thing I can say to that is: lol. Bottas is a proven race winner, with 10 pole positions. What is Ocon? Just a whim and a wish of a possible future champion - one that was trounced by Perez twice. It's one thing to be fast when the pressure isn't on and another to deliver week in week out when everything you do is under scrutiny.

 

Bottas is definitely more experienced.  But Ocon was never trounced by Perez twice.

 

In 2018, Ocon qualified ahead of Perez at every single race after the summer break.

 

At the end of year, Ocon's average race finishing position was 9.27, compared to 9.84 for Perez.

 

Qualifying?  Ocon (10.19), on average, finished a full position above Perez (11.19).  It baffles me that people still use points alone as the metric for head-to-head performance against a teammate.  Like mechanical DNFs and DSQ's don't exist lol.



#4972 uraharakisuke

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 21:36

i can't believe I never realized this before, but Mercedes can easily have signed Verstappen for 2021.  If they do so - and why wouldn't they - Bottas for one more year makes complete sense.

This could be the case.

 

Also, and this can easily be ignored as nonsense, Horner was saying how Max was the best driver yada yada and recently when asked he corrected himself and said he was the best in form driver, not the outright best. This means, in my little fantasy world, that Horner knows Max is on his way out and Vettel is joining soonish.

 

That's how you read too much into things lads. But I still like to think I'm right about it.

 

On a side note, I don't think Merc is the best option going forward anyway; they simply can't keep this level of form up for too long, no team has ever done so. If Hamilton plays another one of his ace team switches for 2021 I think he's already looking at the other two teams.



#4973 baddog

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 00:37

So: we know that Bottas has that inherent pace as demonstrated by his qualifyings. Shouldn't he be able to learn the management as well? 

 

Can be does not equal will be. 



#4974 Huffer

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 08:06

So: we know that Bottas has that inherent pace as demonstrated by his qualifyings. Shouldn't he be able to learn the management as well? 

 

The problem is that Bottas' one-lap pace may be partially down to how he sets up the car - leaning more towards qualy than race.



#4975 monolulu

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 08:49

Another strange thing, why has Ocon not driven a FP1 in the car if he is so close to replace Bottas? Bottas isn't going to win the championship anyway and if you want to replace him why not give Ocon a chance to drive a car again and collect some useful data about him? Strange.


Don’t think Ocon can drive in practice as he’s not classed as a “young driver”. Same goes for testing.

#4976 Marklar

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 09:00

Don’t think Ocon can drive in practice as he’s not classed as a “young driver”. Same goes for testing.

This rule doesnt apply for practice obviously.

As for why Ocon isnt driving practice sessions: considering that Mercedes pretends that both are fighting for the championship (and until recently it looked mathematically like it) it would seem odd to give one a advantage over more practice time. Ever so tiny it might be and sometimes it can affect a driver.

Far more interesting that they didnt put him in one of the two testing days for experienced drivers. I guess current drivers have priority, but you would assume that if they wanted to prepare him for 2020 they would give him as much track time as possible, especially since Hamilton hates testing.

Edited by Marklar, 10 August 2019 - 09:01.


#4977 peroa

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 09:34

HAM does hate testing but fixing the problems merc had was no1 priority.
IMHO BOT will stay for 2020 an Ocon will probably get KUB seat with some engine discount thrown in.

That way they can evaluate both young drivers.

#4978 SonGoku

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 09:49

My point is the same, it's strange to give your future new driver zero tracktime. Simulator is not enough, otherwise some old timers on the grid would look a lot worse than they really are in real life.

#4979 uraharakisuke

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 15:58

HAM does hate testing but fixing the problems merc had was no1 priority.
IMHO BOT will stay for 2020 an Ocon will probably get KUB seat with some engine discount thrown in.

That way they can evaluate both young drivers.

Ocon vs Russell head to head to see who gets the 2021 seat sounds good actually.



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#4980 peroa

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 16:37

Ocon vs Russell head to head to see who gets the 2021 seat sounds good actually.

That's what I would do, problem is that there is a high possibility that neither will drive a merc in 2021 as Toto is clearly trying to get VER for 2021 and i don't see HAM quitting or running away, except he receives an offer he can't refuse....



#4981 Hezekiah

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 16:46

That's what I would do, problem is that there is a high possibility that neither will drive a merc in 2021 as Toto is clearly trying to get VER for 2021 and i don't see HAM quitting or running away, except he receives an offer he can't refuse....


I dont see Verstappen accepting an offer even if it comes. Jos doesnt want it, and it's seen as Hamilton's team. This could benefit Ocon or Russell.

#4982 peroa

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 16:57

I dont see Verstappen accepting an offer even if it comes. Jos doesnt want it, and it's seen as Hamilton's team. This could benefit Ocon or Russell.

IMHO that will highly depend how competitive RBR will be at the beginning of 2020, if they again have a slow start (like every year since 2013) then I could see Team VER jumping ship.



#4983 Mercstar

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 20:29

Just catching up with the Hungarian GP after a busy couple of weeks;

 

Lewis has been mega on race days this year, he looked to be quite a bit faster than Max, and may well have had him before if Max didn't get DRS assistance from the back markers,

 

As for VB, 2 nightmare races on the bounce, things not looking rosy for him, I would still keep him over Ocon, but its hanging in the balance for him now. 

 

So were midway through the season, as expected VB started strong then faded away, whilst Lewis went the opposite direction. Lewis has been at his best on race days this year, but a bit underwhelming on Saturdays, any theories why?? IMHO, its a case of the tyre warm up characteristics falling more towards Bottas' driving style, aside from that I can't really think of a reason his one lap pace hasn't been all too great this year. 

 

Anyway, going into the 2nd half of the season, Lewis should have the title in the bag barring a dreadful run of form/reliability, looking forward to Lewis turning it up a notch in the battle vs Max. Lewis as we all know needs competition to hit full flight, Max no doubt will be pushing him hard in the up and coming races.  


Edited by Mercstar, 10 August 2019 - 20:30.


#4984 Nathan

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 00:49

They dont, but tyre management is not an inherent skill.

 

The problem is you often have to overcome inherent skill to become good with tire management. Karting and junior formulae don't really reward the finesse. Then boom, you're in F1 or now F2 and you have to sand your edges off in a hurry.



#4985 Nathan

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 00:56

I dont see Verstappen accepting an offer even if it comes. Jos doesnt want it, and it's seen as Hamilton's team. This could benefit Ocon or Russell.

 

I think we are past the days of Max' direction being decided by Jos.  In the post-Hungary top 3 press conference Max pointed out Merc is basically playing with the field.  At the moment you can only hope to win a championship with any other team.  Even with Hamilton next to him it is his greatest chance.  I think only the Newey mystique can keep him for 2021 when the aero game gets flipped on its head.  I suspect Merc need to know now. If Verstappen will come in 2021 they can let Ocon free.  If he doesn't then Merc need to keep Ocon and have Russell ready for Hamilton's departure which surely must only be a few seasons away.



#4986 Celloman

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 01:36

I dont see Verstappen accepting an offer even if it comes. Jos doesnt want it, and it's seen as Hamilton's team. This could benefit Ocon or Russell.

It looks that way right now, but in 2021 Hamilton will be 36 years old. It's the same age minus one when Schumacher chose to retire instead of having to race as team-mates with Raikkonen in 2007 season. If Red Bull can't fight with Mercedes evenly at start of next season, I can see Max wanting to move from there.



#4987 baddog

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 01:44

The problem is you often have to overcome inherent skill to become good with tire management. Karting and junior formulae don't really reward the finesse. Then boom, you're in F1 or now F2 and you have to sand your edges off in a hurry.

 

Absolutely, and if after 3 seasons in F1 you are not mastering tyres then it looks bad. Hell some megastars were not good at it early on. 



#4988 MinardiCrashDummy

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 07:38

That's what I would do, problem is that there is a high possibility that neither will drive a merc in 2021 as Toto is clearly trying to get VER for 2021 and i don't see HAM quitting or running away, except he receives an offer he can't refuse....

 

Unless Mercedes decides to be ruthless and ease Hamilton out the door in favour of Verstappen ala Schumacher in 06.



#4989 Pimpwerx

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 07:44

The old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it" should be applied here. There aren't many reasons to ditch Bottas. He's still 2nd in the WDC, he's shown very good qualifying pace versus the all-time pole leader, he's won a few races, and the development of the car certainly doesn't seem to be negatively impacted during his tenure (the engine development is what might be "struggling," and that's not helped much by driver feedback). Add to that that he doesn't cause any waves in the team, and gets on cordially with Lewis both on and off the track. Lewis has been in a positive mindset the entire time he's teamed with Bottas, which we can't really say for him against Alonso, Button, or Nico. So it's best the best teammate the lead driver has ever had.

 

The only reasons I can see how making a change would be:

 

1. If Merc anticipates a major shakeup in the driver market, such as Lewis retiring. That seems years away still.

 

2. Bottas' performance compromises their ability to secure a championship. This has not been the case, nor does it threaten to be. Bottas isn't Gasly.

 

3. Bottas asks for too much money. That would require another team making a top-shelf offer for him, which I don't see. Stacking wins builds his value, and there is no better place to win at the moment. So this seems to be years away still.

 

I just don't see the point. The Bottas rumors are just fantasy league wishlist fodder. Nothing more, IMO.



#4990 Piif

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 07:47

I'm still betting Lewis wants a go at Ferrari before calling it a day. Will be very surprised if he's in Merc in '21.

#4991 MinardiCrashDummy

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 07:52

I'm still betting Lewis wants a go at Ferrari before calling it a day. Will be very surprised if he's in Merc in '21.

 

I don't see it, if Ferrari wanted him I think they would made a strong push and i don't think they ever have.

 

If they didn't do it before i don't see them suddenly doing it for a 36 year old Hamilton.



#4992 Piif

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 07:57

But think it from Hamiltons side: he could do something that Scumacher did, something that Vettel and Alonso both failed at - to deliver a championship in the red car. It would also mean a championship in three different teams which is no mean feat.

In '21, Lewis is 36 so he still would have those couple of years to do it. For Ferrari this would only help Leclerc as all of the pressure would not be on him.

#4993 w1Y

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 08:44

I don't see it, if Ferrari wanted him I think they would made a strong push and i don't think they ever have.

If they didn't do it before i don't see them suddenly doing it for a 36 year old Hamilton.


I disagree. Although i am not sure he would make the move I think Ferrari would want him if they had an available spot. But i would also think they may want max too even though they have le clerc. It would be a good way to secure future championships.

If Lewis wins this year and also next year (although not a given) then i would be surprised if he doesn't at least have talks with ferrari for 2021. I'd love him to stay at merc and keep winning but i imagine being the one to win ferrari a title would be a lot of drivers dreams.

However i think honestly this only happens if merc get max.

The next few years we are going to see the young crop start taking over and the older drivers retire. I would love to see lewis get 8 titles before retiring but that is a very tall order.

In terms of Bottas. I don't see any reason to dump him. There is more value in providing some support to Williams and getting both Ocon and Russel drives in the same team. Red Bull have accelerated their young driver programme too quickly and now they have 1 superstar and 1 driver who is hurting them in the WCC. Albon and Kryvat are talent but Red bull are really vulnerable to Max going elsewhere.

#4994 Marklar

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 09:49

There is not much of a point to go at that age at Ferrari. If he will happen to have success there the usual suspects would just use the same arguments as with his Mercedes move: he didnt failed 5 years longsorry, "build up the team". It would of course create a great narrative of him managing to do what Alonso and Vettel failed to do, but how likely is that? We dont know. And is it worth to give up his very unique All-Mercedes status? Hamilton doesnt really have anything to prove, so he can do what he likes. Though I assume beating the new generation before he retires (especially Verstappen in a similar good car) would probably do more for his legacy than anything else at this point, and it's easier to achieve that in a team you know for so long in all likehood. Hamilton also doesnt strikes me as somebody who is desperate to drive for Ferrari.

#4995 SonGoku

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 10:08

Hamilton will keep an eye on PU development and if Mercedes keeps losing ground (another 20HP extra in Spa for SF), then the choice will be made after 2020.

#4996 Garndell

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 10:59

But think it from Hamiltons side: he could do something that Scumacher did, something that Vettel and Alonso both failed at - to deliver a championship in the red car. It would also mean a championship in three different teams which is no mean feat.

In '21, Lewis is 36 so he still would have those couple of years to do it. For Ferrari this would only help Leclerc as all of the pressure would not be on him.

 

Lewis should steer well clear of the toxic political environment at the red team.  At Merc he has worth, at that lot he's a cog in the broken machine.



#4997 Viryfan

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 11:36

New Daimler CEO is putting pressure on Wolff in order to put Ocon in the Mercedes instead of Bottas

 

https://ch-it.motors...bottas/4511990/

 

 

Ocon has cost too much money in order to let him go or be on the sidelines.



#4998 Hezekiah

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 11:45

I think we are past the days of Max' direction being decided by Jos. In the post-Hungary top 3 press conference Max pointed out Merc is basically playing with the field. At the moment you can only hope to win a championship with any other team. Even with Hamilton next to him it is his greatest chance. I think only the Newey mystique can keep him for 2021 when the aero game gets flipped on its head. I suspect Merc need to know now. If Verstappen will come in 2021 they can let Ocon free. If he doesn't then Merc need to keep Ocon and have Russell ready for Hamilton's departure which surely must only be a few seasons away.


He didnt say Mercedes were playing with the field because that would be ridiculous. What he said was that they have had a margin outside of Austria and Germany because of the conditions. And even then Bahrain and Canada dont fit that narrative.

I dont see Mercedes wanting Verstappen as a teammate to Hamilton.

#4999 Marklar

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 11:46

New Daimler CEO is putting pressure on Wolff in order to put Ocon in the Mercedes instead of Bottas

https://ch-it.motors...bottas/4511990/


Ocon has cost too much money in order to let him go or be on the sidelines.

If the article is right and the engineers prefer Bottas clearly over Ocon then it should be a clear decision.

Where is it mentioned that the new CEO is putting pressure on Wolff btw? All I can see is them speculating that it's unknown whether he would give Wolff as much freedom as Zetsche did and thus he could argue with cost reasons.

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#5000 Viryfan

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 11:50

If the article is right and the engineers prefer Bottas clearly over Ocon then it should be a clear decision.

Where is it mentioned that the new CEO is putting pressure on Wolff btw? All I can see is them speculating that it's unknown whether he would give Wolff as much freedom as Zetsche did and thus he could argue with cost reasons.

 

if that's the clear decision , if it's dragging it's that someebody is putting pressure into putting ocon in the equation.