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Where would you put Max in terms of talent after seeing him compete in his first championship battle?


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#1 Ultrav87

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 20:53

On a review of his season, what do you think of him?

 

First season in a championship battling car, how do you think he did?

 

Any surprises? Greatest strengths? Weaknesses? etc


Edited by Ultrav87, 13 December 2021 - 20:54.


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#2 jstrains

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:05

Alonso vs Schumacher

Edited by jstrains, 13 December 2021 - 21:06.


#3 Scaboo22

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:07

Fastest driver on the grid at the moment, same class as Senna and Schumacher, above Alonso, Vettel, Hakkinen types. Still some maturing to do but this championship will help a lot with that process.

Edited by Scaboo22, 13 December 2021 - 21:07.


#4 RPM40

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:08

Very talented driver. Very fast driver.

 

I think his racecraft in general leaves a lot to be desired, the way he pushes cars off track isn't the type of racing I like to see from a driver. 

 

I still think on balance Hamilton is the faster of the pair, especially when Red Bull lost their early season performance advantage. 



#5 Risil

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:12

I want to see him do it a couple more times but incredibly impressive both when racking up wins and playing defence against Hamilton. I don't really know if he had a faster or slower car than Hamilton, probably changed from race to race and depending on what they were asking the car to do.

Collisions aside, he seemed to maximize his results more than Lewis did over the year, with fewer off-days, but that might be because the Red Bull chassis gave him a more consistent platform to work from.

His main weakness is probably still his greatest strength, which is how totally caulked and waterproofed his mind is against self-doubt and restraint in pursuit of his goals. He shares this with a few other of the greats, most obviously Ayrton Senna, who I think matured as he became a leader in the sport and not an outsider. Hopefully this will be Max's trajectory too.

#6 cpbell

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:13

On a review of his season, what do you think of him?

 

First season in a championship battling car, how do you think he did?

 

Any surprises? Greatest strengths? Weaknesses? etc

Speed - 10/10 - the equal of Senna and Schumacher.  Quicker than Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Hamilton, Prost etc.

 

Potential - should win a minimum of 5 WDCs, but could easily be the first to 8.

 

Ethics - 7/10 - not dangerous, but has redefined acceptable levels of aggression just as Senna and Schumacher did.  Older drivers will have to adapt or accept being taken advantage of.



#7 jAnO76

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:13

 

I still think on balance Hamilton is the faster of the pair, especially when Red Bull lost their early season performance advantage. 

 

Ah, Lewis is a faster driver when in a faster car. Check!



#8 messy

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:16

Oh God, I dunno. One of the best two drivers on the grid right now. The best driver of 2021. Where he stands alongside peak Alonso, peak Schumacher, peak Senna etc, who knows. But out of all of them he reminds me the most of a young Schumacher, Benetton-spec. Whether he continues to develop like Schumacher did, we’ll see. He’s not perfect. His racecraft is overly aggressive and a bit clumsy. His relative speed against his team-mates is blown out of proportion by the fact the car has been designed around him (another Schumacher parallel) and in the days before that was the case, Sainz and Ricciardo weren’t a million miles off him.

I think he’s been the best driver of 2021, but I’m not 100% sure we saw the best of Lewis this year. He’s alluded a few times to the lingering affects of COVID, something I can sympathize with. He says he’s been back to his best for a couple of months, and since then he’s been winning everything again. Next year will be the test, then.

Edited by messy, 13 December 2021 - 21:17.


#9 MKSixer

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:17

It's hard to classify him.  

 

Positives:

Talented

Fast in a fast car in the right circumstances. 

Adamantium Plated Self Confidence

 

Negatives:

Race Craft:  Lunge and hope your opponent backs out or crashes isn't race craft.

One-Lap Speed:  Not many pole positions prior to this intergalactic starship.  Very telling.

Adamantium Plated Self Confidence.

RED MIST

 

I'd place him above VET but slightly below ALO. In overall skill, HAM is still the best in the business.



#10 jpm2019

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:18

By far the best, fastest and most complete driver at an age of 24. This guy is the biggest diamond we have ever seen in F1. It just needs to polish a bit more to become as good as peak schumacher and hamilton. The fact that he beat peak Hamilton fair and square over a whole season already says it all really. 



#11 DW46

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:24

It's hard to classify him.

Positives:
Talented
Fast in a fast car in the right circumstances.
Adamantium Plated Self Confidence

Negatives:
Race Craft: Lunge and hope your opponent backs out or crashes isn't race craft.
One-Lap Speed: Not many pole positions prior to this intergalactic starship. Very telling.
Adamantium Plated Self Confidence.
RED MIST

I'd place him above VET but slightly below ALO. In overall skill, HAM is still the best in the business.


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#12 HerbieMcQueen

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:26

I don't know, these type of questions are always a bit premature I feel. I would like to speak to his confidence and mental strength though, he barely cracks at all which is far more than can be said of a few "next prodigy" types over the years who were a similar age.



#13 QdfV

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:33

Closer to the limit consistently in everything but when talking racecraft, natural speed, above Schumacher and Hamilton, on par with Senna. Race tactics for a full race below Hamilton still.

#14 rf90

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:35

 He says he’s been back to his best for a couple of months, and since then he’s been winning everything again.

Coincidentally when many started referring to the Merc as a rocketship.



#15 messy

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:39

Coincidentally when many started referring to the Merc as a rocketship.


I mean…..you can’t argue with those speed traps in Brazil, but I do think Lewis has hit top form again lately.

#16 Frank Tuesday

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:39

Talent? Very talented.  Maturity?  Not very mature.  Racing intelligence?  Average at best.  A smarter racer would have sewn the title up with a couple races to go, and wouldn't have needed Masi serving him the title on a silver platter.  


Edited by Frank Tuesday, 13 December 2021 - 21:42.


#17 cpbell

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:41

It's hard to classify him.  

 

Positives:

Talented

Fast in a fast car in the right circumstances. 

Adamantium Plated Self Confidence

 

Negatives:

Race Craft:  Lunge and hope your opponent backs out or crashes isn't race craft.

One-Lap Speed:  Not many pole positions prior to this intergalactic starship.  Very telling.

Adamantium Plated Self Confidence.

RED MIST

 

I'd place him above VET but slightly below ALO. In overall skill, HAM is still the best in the business.

It might not be traditional race craft, but it is the new race craft - Max has moved the goalposts and all other drivers who want to compete must adapt.



#18 jpm2019

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:43

Talent? Very talented.  Maturity?  Not very mature.  A smarter racer would have sewn the title up with a couple races to go, and wouldn't have needed Masi serving him the title on a silver platter.  

This is crazy Hamilton fanboy talk. Max barely made mistakes this year. There was no way Max couls have taken the title with a couple of races to go. I mean….really…?

 

if anyone should have taken the title earlier it would be lewis who lost amfair amount of points due his and or his team faults.



#19 rf90

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:43

I mean…..you can’t argue with those speed traps in Brazil, but I do think Lewis has hit top form again lately.

I truly believe his motivation increases as the car improves. He seems demotivated if he believes he hasn't the faster car. Max just gets on with it.



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#20 Tstag

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:46

He’s prone to seeing the red mist and making mistakes. At this stage in Ham’s career we saw fewer mistakes. Don’t fall for the argument he has the slower car. There’s no real evidence of it

#21 Dan333SP

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:48

It's hard to classify him.  

 

Positives:

Talented

Fast in a fast car in the right circumstances. 

Adamantium Plated Self Confidence

 

Negatives:

Race Craft:  Lunge and hope your opponent backs out or crashes isn't race craft.

One-Lap Speed:  Not many pole positions prior to this intergalactic starship.  Very telling.

Adamantium Plated Self Confidence.

RED MIST

 

I'd place him above VET but slightly below ALO. In overall skill, HAM is still the best in the business.

 

This tells me the RBR just hasn't been fast enough to take many poles until 2021, not that Max has any sort of weakness in qualifying. He's absolutely demolished every teammate including DR on one lap pace, who many regarded as one of the top qualifiers up until his struggles this year. Whether he'd outpace Lewis over one lap in the same car I'm not so sure, but he'd surely be closer than anyone else on the grid if not ahead. 



#22 rf90

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:50

To sort of answer the OP,  I wonder what the last 5 years would have been like if Max had signed for Merc instead of Bottas.


Edited by rf90, 13 December 2021 - 21:52.


#23 Requiem84

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:54

Max demolishes his last 3 team mates with something like 55-5. He’s an animal in qualifying.

The pole positions started coming after the ban of special Q modes…

#24 Nemo1965

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 21:55

This is always a tricky question, because what is talent? Were The Beatles more innately talented than The Rolling Stones? Or was the difference that The Beatles were just a little bit earlier and had the incredible fortune of not only having each other but also Brian Epstein, George Martin, Geoff Emmerich and a host of other very talented technicians who just happen to work at EMI? (Amongst others Alan Parsons). And they could spend so much time in the studio, because EMI just gave them the key to the door, always!

Take Max’ father, Jos. If I would ask who was more talented, he or his son, all of us would answer in heartbeat: Max! But then, if you look at much opportunities to train and improve Max had vis a vis his father… Jos grew up on a used car-dump. His first laps in a race car was in a four year old Formula Ford that had been gathering dust in a garage at Zandvoort, with flat tires. Jos immediately drove it around Zandvoort faster than any Formula Ford had ever driven there.

The amount of training and practice Max has had in karts and cars and in sims (which in quality and in quantity) were not available to his father, not even available to Lewis, I reckon. You know how Max relaxes at home? By driving in the sim. The dude is a freak in, for lack of a better word, training to race.

So how talented he is, I could only say after he is 40 or so. If he would still drive then and beat all others, yeah, then perhaps alll that training was superfluous.

Until then I will place nobody (not Prost, not Senna, not Schumacher, not Hamilton) above Jim Clark. The level that man reached with so little chance to prepare and practice (and to survive that practice!) will never be bested. Unless, of course tomorrow Mercedes hires a totally untrained sheep farmer from Botswana who blows everybody out of the water.

PS: Such a scenario is playing out in running, in the Netherlands. Nienke Brinkman started running two years ago (!) and she is now the third fastest Dutch mararthonrunner ever… Out of nowhere…

Edited by Nemo1965, 13 December 2021 - 21:56.


#25 PlatenGlass

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:04

This is always a tricky question, because what is talent?


I've posted about this in other threads - you can't measure it really. All drivers have different backgrounds and had different opportunities growing up, started at different ages etc. It's likely to be no coincidence that the two top drivers are also the two drivers with the dads best known for being hands on and pushing them to be the best.

That said, in terms of how good he has become as a driver, I said in the aliens thread that I consider the "modern" aliens to be Senna, Schumacher, Alonso, Hamilton and Verstappen. So he's right up there. He wouldn't be out of place in an all-time top 10 already.

#26 Frank Tuesday

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:07

This is crazy Hamilton fanboy talk. Max barely made mistakes this year. There was no way Max couls have taken the title with a couple of races to go. I mean….really…?

if anyone should have taken the title earlier it would be lewis who lost amfair amount of points due his and or his team faults.


Not a Hamilton fan at all. And Max made mistakes, but you don't want to see them.

#27 rf90

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:08

This is always a tricky question, because what is talent? Were The Beatles more innately talented than The Rolling Stones? Or was the difference that The Beatles were just a little bit earlier and had the incredible fortune of not only having each other but also Brian Epstein, George Martin, Geoff Emmerich and a host of other very talented technicians who just happen to work at EMI? (Amongst others Alan Parsons). And they could spend so much time in the studio, because EMI just gave them the key to the door, always!

Take Max’ father, Jos. If I would ask who was more talented, he or his son, all of us would answer in heartbeat: Max! But then, if you look at much opportunities to train and improve Max had vis a vis his father… Jos grew up on a used car-dump. His first laps in a race car was in a four year old Formula Ford that had been gathering dust in a garage at Zandvoort, with flat tires. Jos immediately drove it around Zandvoort faster than any Formula Ford had ever driven there.

The amount of training and practice Max has had in karts and cars and in sims (which in quality and in quantity) were not available to his father, not even available to Lewis, I reckon. You know how Max relaxes at home? By driving in the sim. The dude is a freak in, for lack of a better word, training to race.

So how talented he is, I could only say after he is 40 or so. If he would still drive then and beat all others, yeah, then perhaps alll that training was superfluous.

Until then I will place nobody (not Prost, not Senna, not Schumacher, not Hamilton) above Jim Clark. The level that man reached with so little chance to prepare and practice (and to survive that practice!) will never be bested. Unless, of course tomorrow Mercedes hires a totally untrained sheep farmer from Botswana who blows everybody out of the water.

PS: Such a scenario is playing out in running, in the Netherlands. Nienke Brinkman started running two years ago (!) and she is now the third fastest Dutch mararthonrunner ever… Out of nowhere…

I get what you say and can certainly agree in many ways but give Max a break, when he entered F1 he had barely any single-seater experience, unlike ALL other drivers, plus, unlimited testing of a F1 car wasn't available to him (or drivers since).

But regards to Clark, I'm with you, sort of. The true greats of F1 operated in a time of serious risk to life. I'm not saying drivers now should driver circuits with sheer drops if they go over the white line but they aren't tested in the same way as drivers once were. Fine detail, fitness, telemetry, working with engineers, are the main components now, but realisticly, to just beat your team-mate... after that it's what car you have if you want to win.



#28 Clrnc

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:08

Absolute Alien. F1 was compiling the youngest first WDC and actually Max stats is pretty incredible. 



#29 cpbell

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:10

To sort of answer the OP,  I wonder what the last 5 years would have been like if Max had signed for Merc instead of Bottas.

I think Lewis would have won the WDC in 2017, but Max would now have four consecutively.



#30 rf90

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:10

Not a Hamilton fan at all. And Max made mistakes, but you don't want to see them.

Pick any season ever in F1, pick any driver ever in F1, show me one who didn't make a mistake. The point being made is that Max didn't make 'howler' mistakes this year, unlike... well



#31 rf90

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:11

I think Lewis would have won the WDC in 2017, but Max would now have four consecutively.

I think you are right.



#32 thuGG

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:13

Fastest currently of them all, needs a bit of work on racecraft.



#33 Gareth

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:13

Always felt he had the potential to be one of the greatest of all time. Still feel like he has the potential to be one of the greatest of all time.

 

The last driver I thought this about arrived in the sport in 2007. The one before that in 1991.



#34 Spillage

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:14

For me he is the most exciting driver since Michael Schumacher. Whether he's comparatively talented remains to be seen, but the indications so far are that he may very well be. Right now I think he's a tiny bit better than Hamilton and deserves to be world champion. I suppose we'll find out in a few years exactly how good he becomes - the scarything is he's probably 5 years or more away from his peak!



#35 alframsey

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:16

He is every bit as fast as all the names mentioned. His self confidence is both an asset and a liability; his wheel to wheel abilities are actually not that impressive imo, he just runs off the track.

 

Imo Lewis is still the best around but Max is more or less there. We are lucky to be witnessing this birth of what I am sure will be an amazing career.



#36 Nemo1965

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:16

To clarify my point: I can’t say how talented Max is. But I can tell he is NOW driving at the level of Prost, Senna, Hamilton at their best. (Which Lewis was last three races, btw).

#37 sniper80

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:16

He performed on a very high level. The problem is you can't compare Verstappen with Hamilton. Both have a generation difference. Max is more agressive, Lewis is more experienced. In that hindsight, Max won it over Lewis, he made less mistakes, had the slower car for the second half of the season bar Mexico, yet he still came out on top.
What Max also has is pure honesty. You might not agree, but he's always dead honest and eats pressure for breakfast. He hasn't cracked bar the Saudia Q3.



#38 GentlemanDriver091

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:21

He’s prone to seeing the red mist and making mistakes. At this stage in Ham’s career we saw fewer mistakes. Don’t fall for the argument he has the slower car. There’s no real evidence of it

So, how do you explain the number of mistakes Lewis made this season? Is it his age?

#39 rf90

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:24

Fastest currently of them all, needs a bit of work on racecraft.

Racecraft??? Really?. No one can teach him racecraft...I would say maybe he should be more circumspect at times and pick the 'right fight', but, to be fair, when up against a Merc for as long as he has he knows chances don't come up very often. I bet something risky to bet that one has to be less circumspect if driving a Merc since 2014



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#40 Ultrav87

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:31

To clarify my point: I can’t say how talented Max is. But I can tell he is NOW driving at the level of Prost, Senna, Hamilton at their best. (Which Lewis was last three races, btw).

 

If not for circumstance outside his control, we may have had 22 podiums and 22 top 2 finishes from him this season. His stats are 18 podium top 2 finishes with;

 

Baku - running P1 until crash

 

Hungary - running P2 until crash

 

Monza - running P2 until pitstop ruined his race and then crash

 

Silverstone - running P1 until crash (fine if you disagree and say it was within his control but point stands, it was going to be a P1/P2 finish if not for contact)

 

Every single time he finished the race, he was top 2 and most of those times, he was P1


Edited by Ultrav87, 13 December 2021 - 22:32.


#41 thuGG

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:34

Racecraft??? Really?. No one can teach him racecraft...I would say maybe he should be more circumspect at times and pick the 'right fight', but, to be fair, when up against a Merc for as long as he has he knows chances don't come up very often. I bet something risky to bet that one has to be less circumspect if driving a Merc since 2014

 

Yes, I personally think he could race cleaner. Leaving space, less divebombs etc.

I know that sometiems he needs to be agressive especially when the car is not as fast as competitors.


Edited by thuGG, 13 December 2021 - 22:34.


#42 MattPete

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:34

By far the best, fastest and most complete driver at an age of 24. This guy is the biggest diamond we have ever seen in F1. It just needs to polish a bit more to become as good as peak schumacher and hamilton. The fact that he beat peak Hamilton fair and square over a whole season already says it all really. 

 

Alex Palou, also age 24, seems lightyears ahead of Max in terms of racecraft.



#43 rf90

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:39

Yes, I personally think he could race cleaner. Leaving space, less divebombs etc.

I know that sometiems he needs to be agressive especially when the car is not as fast as competitors.

Well then we disagree with each other, no problem.



#44 baku

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:41

He is by far the best of his generation. He was unbeatable in karts and his first year in single seaters was one of the best i have ever seen. He was not in a top team and he had a subpar engine. But he won 10 races and would have easily won the championship if it wasnt for some bad luck with reliability.

His first year in F1 he beat sainz quite easily, sainz likes to think differently, but Sainz had 4+ years of single seater experience, but after 4 races he stood no chance over a race distance and after 7 races he could not outqualify Max anymore.

Hamilton is the most complete driver i have ever seen, better then senna, Schumacher etc. But on pure talent Max is up there and now that he is a champ, he will loose the last few rough edges and will definitely be up there with Lewis.

Edited by baku, 13 December 2021 - 22:42.


#45 Cliff

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:43

Beat the GOAT at the peak of his powers in the slightly lesser car if you look at the whole season. Made less mistakes and finished 1st or 2nd every race he finished. Insanely consistent, more even than Hamilton. And all of this at an age where most other greats had just entered the sport and were nowhere near their peak. He's got a 4/5 year head start on all of them and time will tell how much better he can get, but his ceiling just seems to get higher and higher.



#46 McLaren

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:47

I truly believe his motivation increases as the car improves. He seems demotivated if he believes he hasn't the faster car. Max just gets on with it.

 

Nah, I think he just gets better towards crunch time (except for his first couple of seasons really). He was arguably better in the second half of every season from 2014 until 2021. With maybe 2019 being the only exception.



#47 Nemo1965

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:49

Alex Palou, also age 24, seems lightyears ahead of Max in terms of racecraft.


Okay. Let’s for the sake of argument say this true. What if Max is just that tiny bit faster? You can’t pass someone if you can not reach him…;)

#48 cpbell

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:50

Okay. Let’s for the sake of argument say this true. What if Max is just that tiny bit faster? You can’t pass someone if you can not reach him…;)

Indycar is antediluvian anyway.



#49 alframsey

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:51

I'm not sure where this narrative has emerged from that the RB was the slower car, it seems I was watching a different season. The two cars were extremely close in performance and, although the final four races Merc were clearly quicker, I think the speed came easier from the RB than the W12. Anyway, I don't know if that is for this thread.



#50 SenorSjon

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 22:59

Alex Palou, also age 24, seems lightyears ahead of Max in terms of racecraft.

 

Really? Looking at his track record, Indycar is the outlier, not the norm.