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Nick Fry's book “Survive. Drive. Win”


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#1 Rodaknee

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 18:52

Nick Fry, late of Honda, Brawn & Mercedes, has written a book “Survive. Drive. Win” . Not surprisingly, he needed the help of Ed Gorman to put it together.  I don't expect to hear much of interest coming from it.

 

The only titbit so far is that Mercedes preferred Nick Heidfeld to Lewis Hamilton when they were replacing MS.

 



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#2 Marklar

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 19:41

I like that they didnt quoted the funniest bit of that Heidfeld one in the racefans article

So we kept coming back to Lewis. Yet we never got a particulary positive reaction whenever we sent our recommendation to Dieter Zetsche, although we would not hear it directly from him. Our go-between was Norbert, who never seemed to want to discuss Lewis. I think he was afraid to go to his bosses and ask for the amount of money we would need for Hamilton, which we all knew was going to be around the £30 million a year mark. Perhaps there was stuff that happened in the past that we didn't know about but, whatever it was, Norbert seemed relucant to make a strong proposal for Lewis.
It was extremely frustrating, given the amount of time and effort I had put into cultivating first Lewis and Anthony and then Simon. On top of that the alternatives were so poor by comparison that I could not bring myself to take any other candidate seriously. Comparing Nick Heidfeld to Lewis was like comparing someone down the local gym to Mohammad Ali.



#3 SonGoku

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 19:58

The money was the problem with getting Hamilton. Zetsche once said he was surprised in a negative way how much they had to pay Hamilton and Rosberg.

Edited by SonGoku, 12 September 2019 - 19:59.


#4 garoidb

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 20:20

The money was the problem with getting Hamilton. Zetsche once said he was surprised in a negative way how much they had to pay Hamilton and Rosberg.

 

Especially considering they would have won all those championships* with lesser drivers anyway. 

 

*2014-2016 for sure, 2017-2019 you could argue but I doubt they would lose more than one. 



#5 as65p

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 20:23

Only shows that people in high positions don't always have a clue. Sometimes the obvious has to be forced upon them. They usually still get all the credit when it works out though. :p

 

And it has to be said Zetsche tried hard to make up for it in public later. Some of his footage with Hamilton looks like he's genuinely in love.  ;)



#6 Marklar

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 20:30

To be fair I kinda get that. We are all all over Renault for spending 25m per year on Ricciardo while building a shitbox that could need that money instead. Hindsight is always 20/20  :p



#7 TomNokoe

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 20:35

Totally unrelated, but if you read Jenson's book, he talks about Nick Fry going absolutely crazy when he tells him he's moving to McLaren, effing and jeffing etc. ... I wonder if Dr. Z took a "frying" after these Hamilton refusals :lol:

Edited by TomNokoe, 12 September 2019 - 20:36.


#8 as65p

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 20:43

To be fair I kinda get that. We are all all over Renault for spending 25m per year on Ricciardo while building a shitbox that could need that money instead. Hindsight is always 20/20  :p

 

I agree insofar as obviously Ricciardo is wasted in that car. The bolded part, I never bought that entirely. If you hire a star driver, you get a lot of what you pay him back through exposure and publicity, Renault wouldn't have 23m more to spend if they'd hired another guy for only 2m. And with Hamilton I believe that effect is even greater. Hard to put in numbers for us maybe, but just imagine if Mercedes had won all they did with two Rosbergs (sorry Nico) fighting eachother. The negative vibes about their cars unhealthy domination would be much, much worse, especially with the immensely popular (so I'm told   ;)  ) Hamilton in another car, winning nothing.



#9 ensign14

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 21:03

Fun fact: Heidfeld hasn't finished first in a race this millennium.



#10 Risil

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 21:05

I don't think I'll ever truly accept that Nick Heidfeld is retired



#11 screamingV16

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 21:14

I don't think I'll ever truly accept that Nick Heidfeld is retired

 

I thought he still drove for Renault  ;)



#12 screamingV16

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 21:15

Especially considering they would have won all those championships* with lesser drivers anyway. 

 

*2014-2016 for sure, 2017-2019 you could argue but I doubt they would lose more than one

 

 A crashy Vettel still finished 2nd in the WDC in 17 and 18.



#13 shure

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 21:23

I agree insofar as obviously Ricciardo is wasted in that car. The bolded part, I never bought that entirely. If you hire a star driver, you get a lot of what you pay him back through exposure and publicity, Renault wouldn't have 23m more to spend if they'd hired another guy for only 2m. And with Hamilton I believe that effect is even greater. Hard to put in numbers for us maybe, but just imagine if Mercedes had won all they did with two Rosbergs (sorry Nico) fighting eachother. The negative vibes about their cars unhealthy domination would be much, much worse, especially with the immensely popular (so I'm told   ;)  ) Hamilton in another car, winning nothing.

between 2014-2016 Hamilton wouldn't have been winning anything if he hadn't been in a Merc.  And another driver would have set the world alight and people would be talking about the amazing triple WDC, most likely.  Hamilton would still be considered an excellent driver but he wouldn't be considered a shoe-in for a GOAT the way he is now.  This isn't a reflection on him, but of the fact that people's perceptions of drivers are heavily coloured by the cars they drive



#14 screamingV16

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 21:32

between 2014-2016 Hamilton wouldn't have been winning anything if he hadn't been in a Merc.  And another driver would have set the world alight and people would be talking about the amazing triple WDC, most likely.  Hamilton would still be considered an excellent driver but he wouldn't be considered a shoe-in for a GOAT the way he is now.  This isn't a reflection on him, but of the fact that people's perceptions of drivers are heavily coloured by the cars they drive

 

Well that would have been Rosberg as he would have more than likely smashed Heidfeld and been a multiple WDC taking at least 13-14 wins in a season. I suppose that's all assuming Heidfeld would have kept his seat at the end of 2013, which I doubt he would. Mercedes may well have got their hands on the 'Lotus' departing Raikkonen or even Vettel or Alonso for 2014...



#15 shure

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 21:37

Well that would have been Rosberg as he would have more than likely smashed Heidfeld and been a multiple WDC taking at least 13-14 wins in a season. I suppose that's all assuming Heidfeld would have kept his seat at the end of 2013, which I doubt he would. Mercedes may well have got their hands on the 'Lotus' departing Raikkonen or even Vettel or Alonso for 2014...

I don't know, I don't think Heidfield would have bombed that badly in 2013 tbh.  And if he did make it to another year then he would have been safe for a good while as Mercedes have shown they're not too picky about the second seat as long as the car is strong enough to win.

 

I do think Vettel may have been a possibility for 2014 or 2015, though.  Maybe even Alonso.  Would have changed the driver landscape, that's for sure



#16 P123

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 21:39

I like that they didnt quoted the funniest bit of that Heidfeld one in the racefans article



"Lewis is not a new guy for us. We learnt Lewis via our partner McLaren," said Haug.

"We financed him 50/50 with McLaren in his junior career. In Formula 3 Lewis won 15 of his 20 races [in the 2005 Euro Series], all with Mercedes engines.

"All his Formula 1 victories were with Mercedes engines. And we have been paying for his retainer with McLaren. That's common knowledge from the past.

"He's already a member of the Mercedes family. He knows us, he trusts us. We have signed him now and now we need to present ourselves on the racetrack.


Was it really Norbert's fault there was board resistance? Perhaps he was butting heads with the negativity flowing from Ron. :)

#17 P123

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 21:43

Only shows that people in high positions don't always have a clue. Sometimes the obvious has to be forced upon them. They usually still get all the credit when it works out though. :p
 
And it has to be said Zetsche tried hard to make up for it in public later. Some of his footage with Hamilton looks like he's genuinely in love.  ;)


He was definitely loved up during the McLaren days too.

#18 screamingV16

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 21:49

I don't know, I don't think Heidfield would have bombed that badly in 2013 tbh.  And if he did make it to another year then he would have been safe for a good while as Mercedes have shown they're not too picky about the second seat as long as the car is strong enough to win.

 

I do think Vettel may have been a possibility for 2014 or 2015, though.  Maybe even Alonso.  Would have changed the driver landscape, that's for sure

 

Heidfeld didn't look bad against Kubica, but we never really knew how good Kubica was, personally I don't think he was 'top tier'. Regardless, Hedifeld was outqualified/outscored by Kobayashi when he returned to Sauber and outqualified 8/3 by Petrov, only outscoring Petrov by 1 point in their time together. Bear in mind he then had a year and half out of racing F1 cars, I doubt would have fared that well in 2013 against a fast and somewhat ruthless Rosberg and in my opinion would have been Gasly-esque. Maybe he would have made more than one season, but I can't believe he would have been kept with three other world champions on the market at points.



#19 potmotr

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 22:03

Nick Heidlfeld would have been a more than suitable lead driver for Mercedes in 2013 and beyond.

 

His speed and consistency are beyond question.

 

In the right car he'd be a race and championship winner, and would have smoked Rosberg.

 

Don't forget, Quick Nick out-scored the following team mates over a season: Raikkonen, Massa, Webber, Kubica (06, 07, 08, 09)

 

Nick was fast and extremely reliable.

He'd have retired a triple world champion if Mercedes had held their nerve.


Edited by potmotr, 12 September 2019 - 22:04.


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#20 Fastcake

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 22:17

I don't think I'll ever truly accept that Nick Heidfeld is retired

 

I'm not even sure Nick Heidfeld ever existed.



#21 Rodaknee

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 22:59

Especially considering they would have won all those championships* with lesser drivers anyway. 

 

*2014-2016 for sure, 2017-2019 you could argue but I doubt they would lose more than one. 

 

Not a problem, had Mercedes known they had a world beating car before it hit the track.  I know, because I've got perfect hindsight, Ferrari could have won last year if they'd had a reliable driver, instead of the panicking Vettel and dreadful strategy team.  To be honest, I've a stack of similar observations about past F1 seasons.



#22 Rodaknee

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 23:01

Nick Heidlfeld would have been a more than suitable lead driver for Mercedes in 2013 and beyond.

 

His speed and consistency are beyond question.

 

In the right car he'd be a race and championship winner, and would have smoked Rosberg.

 

Don't forget, Quick Nick out-scored the following team mates over a season: Raikkonen, Massa, Webber, Kubica (06, 07, 08, 09)

 

Nick was fast and extremely reliable.

He'd have retired a triple world champion if Mercedes had held their nerve.

 

What happened to him in Formula E, it's not like the competition was that great?



#23 AustinF1

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 02:42

Only shows that people in high positions don't always have a clue. 

One only needs to watch the NFL to see that evidenced in spades.



#24 goldenboy

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 03:30

I always remember quite a bit of dislike for Nick Fry, but wasn't really paying attention as to why.

Sounds like the book may be interesting though.

#25 Jovanotti

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 04:57

Pretty harsh (and unfair) towards Heidfeld.

#26 Baddoer

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 05:25

I'm surprised that Nick fry was making any difference at mercedes.


Edited by Baddoer, 13 September 2019 - 05:26.


#27 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 05:28

Nick Heidlfeld would have been a more than suitable lead driver for Mercedes in 2013 and beyond.

His speed and consistency are beyond question.

In the right car he'd be a race and championship winner, and would have smoked Rosberg.

Don't forget, Quick Nick out-scored the following team mates over a season: Raikkonen, Massa, Webber, Kubica (06, 07, 08, 09)

Nick was fast and extremely reliable.
He'd have retired a triple world champion if Mercedes had held their nerve.

Totally disagree. Sure a 'reliable' driver when your not expecting too much, however the cut and thrust of a World Championship fight against a Nico Rosberg hitting prime form? Nick would have been smoked. Mercedes always needed someone of the calibre of Hamilton and thank god Niki Lauda had the balls and common sense to get it done.

Heidfeld was beaten 7-5 by an (apparantly) washed up but certainly past his prime Villeneuve in qualifying during the 2006 season before he was removed for Kubica.

That says alot of things, such as the 'perception' of Jacques and F1s reaction to him at the time. But it says even more about Nick Heidfeld.

Edited by PlayboyRacer, 13 September 2019 - 05:31.


#28 PiperPa42

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 07:00

What happened to him in Formula E, it's not like the competition was that great?

Nico Prost happened.

In China, the first ever Formula E race, Heidfeld was leading the race. On the last lap, in the last corner, Prost drove into Heidfeld and sent him flying into the barrier.

https://youtube.com/...h?v=vG1VPss4LKI

Edited by PiperPa42, 13 September 2019 - 07:01.


#29 as65p

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 07:04

Mercedes always needed someone of the calibre of Hamilton and thank god Niki Lauda had the balls and common sense to get it done.
 

 

For marketing purposes, yes, any day. Driving-wise, it paid to have Hamilton in 2017 and 2018. Not every driver would have taken advantage of Vettel and Ferraris blunders like he did (but neither do I think Hamilton was the only driver capable of it).

 

But 2014 - 16, quite a number of drivers could have taken those titles for Mercedes. I mean, Rosberg did, didn't he? :D



#30 as65p

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 07:06

Nico Prost happened.

In China, the first ever Formula E race, Heidfeld was leading the race. On the last lap, in the last corner, Prost drove into Heidfeld and sent him flying into the barrier.

https://youtube.com/...h?v=vG1VPss4LKI

 

Ah, guess it's in the genes.

 

<duck>

 

 ;)



#31 DogEarred

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 07:22

Anyway, a book on which I won't waste what precious few brain cells I have left.

Flapped around limp wristedly, made money but no real contribution to anything...

#32 Rodaknee

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 07:24

I always remember quite a bit of dislike for Nick Fry, but wasn't really paying attention as to why.

Sounds like the book may be interesting though.

 

There were several unusual business deals during Fry's time in F1, such as Dave Richards being sacked by Honda.  Every time Fry came out smelling of roses.  Joe Saward wrote an article about Fry around the time when he left Mercedes and F1.  I'm sure there are some 'between the lines' stories in the replies Saward received.  

 

 

https://joesaward.wo...n-for-nick-fry/

https://www.f1techni...opic.php?t=7747



#33 SonGoku

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 07:28

Anyway, a book on which I won't waste what precious few brain cells I have left.

Flapped around limp wristedly, made money but no real contribution to anything...

Agreed and the quality of the book is always a question ( Button's book ).

Edited by SonGoku, 13 September 2019 - 07:28.


#34 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:05

For marketing purposes, yes, any day. Driving-wise, it paid to have Hamilton in 2017 and 2018. Not every driver would have taken advantage of Vettel and Ferraris blunders like he did (but neither do I think Hamilton was the only driver capable of it).

But 2014 - 16, quite a number of drivers could have taken those titles for Mercedes. I mean, Rosberg did, didn't he? :D

I am sceptical whether Mercedes would have quite hit the highs they did (very, very high) without someone of Lewis' calibre driving that team, pushing Nico Rosberg so far out of his comfort zone it almost broke him (hence the retirement) and yes, the car was dominant, but so was Hamilton. In 2016 despite not winning the title, he still won more races and poles than Rosberg. Across 3 seasons he was peerless and, onto 17/18, elevated that level again. It's been crazy the heights Lewis has hit.

Are they THAT dominant if you pair Rosberg with a lesser driver? I'm not totally convinced. Certainly not with Heidfeld lol

#35 sopa

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:11

Wait, Heidfeld was considered for a 2013 race seat? He was out of F1 during 2011 already. Sounds like BS.

 

I thought Heidfeld was close getting the 2010 Merc seat before M.Schumacher showed up and was interested in coming out of retirement. Hard to believe the 2013 part. Surely at least Hulkenberg was available if they were looking for an alternative to Hamilton in negotiations.



#36 Anuity

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:12

Interesting how people make fun of Heidfels but praise Kubica even though they were pretty much on part, I would say that Nick was even better in 2007 and 2009. He also looked better than Webber in Williams. The latter then won multiple races though

#37 sopa

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:18

Fun fact: Heidfeld hasn't finished first in a race this millennium.

 

Most podiums without a win in both Formula 1 and Formula E. Tough luck.

 

But it appears he has won a race in ALMS in 2013.



#38 Marklar

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:24

Wait, Heidfeld was considered for a 2013 race seat? He was out of F1 during 2011 already. Sounds like BS.

I thought Heidfeld was close getting the 2010 Merc seat before M.Schumacher showed up and was interested in coming out of retirement. Hard to believe the 2013 part. Surely at least Hulkenberg was available if they were looking for an alternative to Hamilton in negotiations.

Interestingly he also claims that they signed Hamilton "long after we had concluded that Schumacher would not be in either of our cars"

Seems all a bit off from the official story.

#39 monolulu

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:32

For marketing purposes, yes, any day. Driving-wise, it paid to have Hamilton in 2017 and 2018. Not every driver would have taken advantage of Vettel and Ferraris blunders like he did (but neither do I think Hamilton was the only driver capable of it).
 
But 2014 - 16, quite a number of drivers could have taken those titles for Mercedes. I mean, Rosberg did, didn't he? :D

So if Lewis hadn’t gone to Merc would he have stayed at Mclaren? I don’t think so! Merc may of had Lewis in a Ferrari to contend with in 2017/18.

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#40 shure

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:36

I am sceptical whether Mercedes would have quite hit the highs they did (very, very high) without someone of Lewis' calibre driving that team, pushing Nico Rosberg so far out of his comfort zone it almost broke him (hence the retirement) and yes, the car was dominant, but so was Hamilton. In 2016 despite not winning the title, he still won more races and poles than Rosberg. Across 3 seasons he was peerless and, onto 17/18, elevated that level again. It's been crazy the heights Lewis has hit.

Are they THAT dominant if you pair Rosberg with a lesser driver? I'm not totally convinced. Certainly not with Heidfeld lol

I think between 2014-2016 they were unquestionably dominant.  Other cars simply weren't in the same formula and the only time anybody else even had a look in was when it rained (when Nico was quite poor).  They would have been dominant with any driver.  In Bahrain, the first time it was actually dry in 2014, Nico qualified nearly one second quicker than Ricciardo and over a second quicker than anyone else.

 

I do agree Nico was forced to up his race game because he was paired with Hamilton, but he was the only person he had to worry about beating.  Heidfeld would have been guaranteed 2nd at worst if he had been in the Merc, same as any other F1 driver.

 

2017 was the first time that they needed a top driver and that's where Hamilton proved his worth.  But even there in all honesty I think they only needed a top driver because Ferrari had one - if they had been facing two Kimis it would have been another walk in the park.  Mercedes weren't weak by any means but it's the first time that the rest of the field didn't look like F2 cars.



#41 Tsarwash

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:48

So if Lewis hadn’t gone to Merc would he have stayed at Mclaren? I don’t think so! Merc may of had Lewis in a Ferrari to contend with in 2017/18.

This is what I was thinking. If Lewis hadn't gone to Mercedes, then there is a fair chance that he would have ended up at either Red Bull or Ferrari. Depending on which team in which year he was present, I think he would have been winning some races, and possibly challenging for the titles on occasion. 



#42 jjcale

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:52

between 2014-2016 Hamilton wouldn't have been winning anything if he hadn't been in a Merc.  And another driver would have set the world alight and people would be talking about the amazing triple WDC, most likely.  Hamilton would still be considered an excellent driver but he wouldn't be considered a shoe-in for a GOAT the way he is now.  This isn't a reflection on him, but of the fact that people's perceptions of drivers are heavily coloured by the cars they drive

 

I've considered him the GOAT since 2006 ... and I backed him to beat Alonso in 2007. 

 

...I also expected him to go to Merc once his contract with Macca expired

 

.... and I expect him to end up at Ferrari eventually (... but I am getting less convinced by the last one as time goes on as Ferrari are a shower and are best avoided ... but at some point they will offer him at least £50m a year). 

 

As for Nick Fry, I dont believe him... Merc wanted LH from the moment they set up their own team. And convincing Dr Z to add £30m to the crazy budget they were running at that time would not have been a problem.... Dr Z has been LH fan #1 since at least 2008.... I think Fry was more likely to be a problem for LH coming over than Dr Z (probably because of what JB would probably have been telling him about LH ... their relationship was not the best). 

 

Fry is revising history IMHO .... they were seriously considering Heidfeld in 2013 ....GTFOH!!! 



#43 Marklar

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:55

This is what I was thinking. If Lewis hadn't gone to Mercedes, then there is a fair chance that he would have ended up at either Red Bull or Ferrari. Depending on which team in which year he was present, I think he would have been winning some races, and possibly challenging for the titles on occasion.

I actually think he would have ended at Mercedes anyway. Hamilton used to have a exit clause at McLaren which was tied to them finishing in the top 3 in the WCC. They wouldnt have achieved that in 2013 and if Mercedes really was going to get a driver like di Resta/Heidfeld chances are that they were dropable after 1-2 years.

#44 noikeee

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:57

I've considered him the GOAT since 2006 ...

 

You considered Lewis Hamilton the greatest driver of all time in Formula 1 before he drove Formula 1?



#45 Jovanotti

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:57

I've considered him the GOAT since 2006 ...

Ok



#46 garoidb

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:59

Where does Michael Schumacher fit into all of this? Would they really have eased him out just for Heidfeld or someone similar? 

 

I think I am going to have to buy this book. 



#47 Tsarwash

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:00

I actually think he would have ended at Mercedes anyway. Hamilton used to have a exit clause at McLaren which was tied to them finishing in the top 3 in the WCC. They wouldnt have achieved that in 2013 and if Mercedes really was going to get a driver like di Resta/Heidfeld chances are that they were dropable after 1-2 years.

I think that you are probably correct, but if I apply that to what I said, it essentially reads, 'If Lewis hadn't gone to Mercedes, then he would have ended up at Mercedes at some point, one way or another.'  :drunk: Perhaps I shall try using this form of debate here in the future, it might well confuse people enough that I win every argument. 



#48 garoidb

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:01

.... and I expect him to end up at Ferrari eventually (... but I am getting less convinced by the last one as time goes on as Ferrari are a shower and are best avoided ... but at some point they will offer him at least £50m a year). 

 

It would really have to be at the next contract renewal. If he extends at Mercedes, I don't think he will then have enough career time left for Ferrari to invest in him. They won't want someone for just a year or two. It is the same situation Alonso is in now.



#49 screamingV16

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:03

Totally disagree. Sure a 'reliable' driver when your not expecting too much, however the cut and thrust of a World Championship fight against a Nico Rosberg hitting prime form? Nick would have been smoked. Mercedes always needed someone of the calibre of Hamilton and thank god Niki Lauda had the balls and common sense to get it done.

Heidfeld was beaten 7-5 by an (apparantly) washed up but certainly past his prime Villeneuve in qualifying during the 2006 season before he was removed for Kubica.

That says alot of things, such as the 'perception' of Jacques and F1s reaction to him at the time. But it says even more about Nick Heidfeld.

 

Yeah, I don't think potmotr was being entirely serious. The fact that Heidfeld was beaten 11/3 in qualifying and only scored 1 more point than Petrov in 2011 is even more damning. To believe the Heidfeld that delivered that performance could have come back, having not raced an F1 car for 1.5 years, and smoked Rosberg is optimistic to say the least.



#50 screamingV16

screamingV16
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Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:06

I always remember quite a bit of dislike for Nick Fry, but wasn't really paying attention as to why.

Sounds like the book may be interesting though.

 

Have to say I always had a (proabably irrational) dislike for him. Always struck me as a bit of grinning fool always spouting PR guff and then there his irritating bromance with Button, really (and with hindsight) he was a proto Whitmarsh  :lol:  .