Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 19th August 2014


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Previously on TJ13:

Voice of the #F1 fans: Lewis Hamilton – The Pioneer – Part I

Verstappen to become youngest ever F1 driver

The end is nigh for Vijay Mallya?

Where next for JEV?

Rumours tip Lotterer for Caterham race debut (GMM)

The Red Bull racing driver evolution

Smedley – don’t get caught in the middle

Caterham build for the future

Verstappen to become youngest ever F1 driver

The news broke late last night of a seismic shift in the Formula One world. Max Verstappen, son of Former F1 driver Jos, was announced as the successor to Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso for the 2015 season.

The 16 year old will line-up next to Daniil Kvyat next year, smashing the record for youngest driver in Formula One – a record which was previously held by another (former) Red Bull rookie, Jaime Alguersuari. In a shock announcement on the World Champion’s Servus TV, Verstappen was walked into the studio where his identity was revealed to a round of applause.

With so much speculation in the recent weeks and months, it can hardly be a surprise that Red Bull have snapped up the youngster into their ‘family’, but it would have taken a wild daydreamer to say he would be given the seat at such a tender age. While father Jos has commented of how mature his son is, 16 is surely too young to be considering entering the cut throat world of Formula One, isn’t it?

The Dutch driver has been racing in European Formula 3 this year, taking 8 wins from 27 races, drawing plaudits from ex-racers and experts alike. Having been heavily linked with Mercedes of late, Red Bull supervisor, Helmut Marko, has overseen his induction in the junior team with the deal breaker likely to have been the accelerated promotion into the premier series.

Traditionally, proteges have been guided via Formula Renault or GP2/3 before entering the main frame in F1, but Max has been entrusted to deliver with the metamorphic rise from karting to Formula One in just a year. The only similar story to this can be that of Kimi Raikkonen, when he took the Sauber seat in 2001. Within a year Kimi found himself driving at the front of the grid for McLaren; but lightening doesn’t strike twice…

On his appointment, Verstappen said, “ever since I was 7 years old, Formula One has been my career goal.” Understandable, yet tinted with a touch of irony in the way that Max still has to wait another month before his 17th birthday. He has been forced to wait 9 years, which is miniscule when compared to some of the drivers of yesteryear who debuted well into their 30s. Even fellow countryman Giedo van der Garde was forced into waiting until 27 years young to drive a back of the field Caterham.

With 2 teenage drivers set for Toro Rosso in 2015 the future does not look bright for Carlos Sainz Jr. and Antonio Felix da Costa. The former, who had been widely tipped to take Vergne’s seat, said this on his twitter last night, “Many people asking which way im going to take, and i say the same i took at the start of the year:hard work, perserverance and… WSR title!

Formula One will tough on young Max as he looks to continue the family name in the sport. For his sake, we can only hope that he doesn’t end up going the same way as his father and making the same mistakes…


The end is nigh for Vijay Mallya?

For months TJ13 has reported that the end could be near for Force India Team Principal (used in the loosest sense of the title) Vijay Mallya. The funds that were promised in 2013 never came to fruition which, coupled with the mid-season tyre change, saw the team slip back down the grid. A similar story is developing in 2014 as the team’s early season promise seems a far cry away as they battle for points alone, not podiums.

The Times of India reports that the UB group leader may soon be slapped with ‘Wilful defaulter’ tag, which see him forced to resign from his position at the helm of USL (United Spirits Ltd) and UBL (United Beverages Ltd). USL, which was sold to Diageo for $3 billion, are reported to be digging deep in the financial history of the company and not liking what they are finding.

The three lenders — State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and United Bank of India — who want to land Mallya with the ‘wilful defaulter’ tag are circling the powerless craft that is Vijay Mallya’s empire currently. United Bank of India’s claim is already being fought in court by Mallya, as he is expected to do with the other two claims.

The irregular financial history of UB Holdings Ltd, Mallya’s Bangalore based parent holding company is struggling to continue to carry the bankrupt Kingfisher Airlines. Indian law states that, ‘Any company with a wilful defaulter on board cannot access banks and even capital markets for funding needs.’ This would spell the end of Mallya’s involvement as a board member should a conviction be placed on him.

Where this will leave Force India is debatable, but with a returning Mexican GP just around the corner in 2015 it would be the ideal time for Carlos Slim Jr. to act on his infrequent interest in the team. Should Gutierrez’s place at Sauber come under fire, or challenged by another largely backed driver, there could be two drivers at Force India (or whatever they will be called) leading a Mexican superteam.

The future for Force India looks uncertain, with the world’s largest liquor company already involved in prolonged talks with KPMG about USL’s financial history. The coming weeks could have a profound effect on many a driver up and down the grid as they jockey for a 2015 drive. For the fans, the fun is just beginning.


Where next for JEV?

With the news that Max Verstappen will be taking his seat for 2015, the Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne is to be left without a drive for next year currently. His options are seemingly limited…with only backmarker teams left for him to potentially move onto. Caterham look likely to field a very different line-up to this year, with rumours of Andre Lotterer replacing Kamui Kobayashi for the coming race in Spa. Giedo van der Garde looks likely to step into one of the 2015 seats for Sauber, leaving a handful of drivers fighting it out for the second seat there.

At least the Frenchman has been afforded the dignity of knowing when his final race will be in Toro Rosso colours, unlike Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastian Buemi in 2011.


Rumours tip Lotterer for Caterham race debut

The F1 rumour mill is alight with speculation Caterham is taking a new race driver to this weekend’s Belgian grand prix. After Kamui Kobayashi admitted recently his race seat may not be safe in the wake of the Leafield based team’s sale and subsequent shakeup, the big rumour now is that the Japanese is set to be replaced by 2014 Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer.

Lotterer, 32, currently drives for the works Audi team, but he made his debut at the fabled 24 hour race a few years ago for Colin Kolles, Caterham’s new advisor who appointed another former driver Christijan Albers as team boss.

Twitter is alight with the speculation about Lotterer’s supposed race debut at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend after being spotted at the team’s Leafield factory, reportedly for a seat fitting.

But the news is not yet official, even for Kobayashi who told his 150,000 Twitter followers mere hours ago that he is “Absolutely ready for Belgium GP this weekend“.

German Lotterer, who was a Jaguar test driver in 2002, is a former F3 and Formula Nippon champion and currently running second in the premier Japanese open wheeler series Super Formula.

TJ13 Comment:
At 33 Lotterer is not a young buck anymore. Considering how Webber was struggling to master the EBD of the Red Bull and how Raikkonen is struggling to get used to the Ferrari it is difficult to see how this will end in a positive way for either Lotterer or Caterham.

Of course the German has successful experience in Hybrid/Turbo cars having driven the Le Mans Audi R18 TDI and e-tron quattro to victory 3 times in the last 4 years. But Le Mans is not F1 so the logic is not very clear here unless…. no, that’s not possible!


The Red Bull racing driver evolution

So Max Verstappen has been signed (and will race) for Red Bull in F1 next year. But what is the perquisite for a Red Bull Racing driver?

Vettel the young


Vettel the older

Sebastian Vettel - Finger

Max the young

Max Verstappen

Max the older? We don’t know yet but will we see the finger again?


Smedley – don’t get caught in the middle

The Belgian Grand Prix is now just 5 days away, long-awaited after the summer break, many an expert will try and predict how the cars have developed over the break when the supposed shut down occurs. Williams Head of Vehicle Performance Rob Smedley has warned the team not to get caught out by the middle sector of the Spa-Francrchamps track.

The high stright line speed of the Williams should lend itself to track set in the Ardennes forest. However, the popular figure, thanks to infamous radio call of ‘Felipe baby’, said the team will have to make sure they are not losing out too much in the middle sector where there a number of high-speed corners.

He said, “Spa is a circuit that should suit us, there is very high drag and engine sensitivity and those features will benefit us. The middle sector is something we will have to work on throughout the weekend, and in qualifying we will need to have the tyres switched on for that sector. There is always a chance for rain in Spa, so we have to be conscious of this throughout the weekend.

Should the feared rain arrive there will be glum faces at Grove as their advantage will be significantly reduced. The high downforce of the RB cars will prove effective on slippery asphalt, also allowing for a greater speed through Eau Rouge which could prove pivotal in defending position against faster Mercedes powered cars.

A quick look back to races of recent times will show in the rain Eau Rouge required a downshift, compared to being flat out in the dry – a testament to modern Formula One cars downforce. Smedley continues, “We have had a really good start to the 2014 campaign, everyone is living and learning how to race back at the top again. The objectives within the team are clear, we want to finish as high up in the constructors table as possible.

It’s interesting to see that all at Williams are keeping their cards close to their chest in terms of expectation this year. As Red Bull and Ferrari have both spoken of targeting second in the Constructors’ title this year, the Grove outfit seems content just to fighting at the ‘sharp’ end of the grid. Perhaps, merely an adage to how far they come since this time last year where they qualified 17th and 20th, finishing 15th and 17th.


Caterham build for the future

The overhaul at Caterham of recent times has seen the team that languishes at the back of the field as it builds for the future. Sean Walkinshaw Racing has been appointed its driver development team in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship as the reshuffle continues.

Team Principal and former Formula One driver, Christian Albers, has commented on how he feels this reaffirms the teams long-term commitment to the sport. He said, “A junior formula like BRDC F4 is the perfect scenario to start a racing career and we are very happy with this collaboration with Sean Walkinshaw Racing.

If indeed the Formula 4 Championship is the perfect feeder series to link up with what does this say about paddock opinion of GP2/3? There is a growing trend of late where teams have looked away from the traditional route to Formula One, in favour of other lesser known series (Daniil Kvyat excluded).

Albers continued, “If the talent is there, it should be supported and with the SWR – CaterhamF1 Driver Development Programme we are assuring this happens, as well as confirming Caterham F1 Team’s interest for young drivers and offering them a development programme from the very start of their careers. We will be watching the drivers of tomorrow closely.” In a similar train of thought to a certain Helmut Marko, Albers pays homage to young drivers being given their chance in the sport – not forcing them to wait for their chance.

The part that Albers has missed out in his statement is how much cheaper it is to run a Formula 4 team, when compared to GP2 and GP3. Speaking to the press last year, Helmut Marko said, “GP2 is far too expensive. It costs €5 million per driver, while in GP3 is €600,000.” Caterham’s preferred route will cost a much more conservative £50-60,000 a year.

The BRDC Formula 4 Championship is held around the United Kingdom and has eight, three in-a-row events. The winner of the series earns a prize test with the Arden Motorsport GP3 team, held in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina Circuit. The prize for the winner is to feed the driver on a plate to Mark Webber’s Red Bull backed GP3 team, ready for the RB programme to poach if desired.

When the gloss wears off the team’s new takeover it will soon become apparent how much they are depending on Red Bull for their continued existence. One question that remains is as Red Bull line the team up as number two, what is the future for Toro Rosso?

Having tried to sell the team before, Dietrich Mateschitz could finally get rid of the sister team which does not pay for itself independently. As shown in 2011, Red Bull can buy a drive for a young hopeful, when they seated Daniel Ricciardo in an HRT to gain experience.


55 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 19th August 2014

  1. Given the known risks of signing a driver who is not mature enough there must be something extraordinary about Max. Or there must be something extraordinary about the methods and processes TR and RB will use to cultivate Max’s abilities.

    • There are some signs that Max is an extraordinary driver and he is a lot more mature than his age tells us. In his first season he won races by tire saving and attacking in the last few laps, overtook at corners that nobody expected, exceptional bravery with some overtakes, etc. But having said that I too have my doubts.

      He does have the advantage that the current F1 cars are easier to drive physically and because there is still half a season left there is enough time to test with FR3.5 cars and the simulator.

  2. Sincere best wishes Max. I hope you can prove the sceptics wrong and in turn win a lot of fans.

  3. anyway, last month I gave a shot at the former Vijay owned Whyte and Mackay whisky, and quite liked it

    also, I am on the day 2 of a huge bender, drowning myself in lots of Stella, whiskies, plenty of other stuff, and then I got caught with a blissful memory of The Libertines “Last Post On The Bugle” from the already distant 2005, with that “the end is nigh” quote above

  4. RE: Verstappen to become youngest ever F1 driver

    I think it’s great. I think Red Bull / Marko know what they are doing in this instance. They’ll give him a two or three year incubation probably. Gradually increasing the expectation and pressure. At 19, he’ll have 3 seasons and about 60 gp’s under his belt, lots of race craft, etc and will be placed in the top RBR team. Good luck Kyvat.

    If it goes pear shaped, he is still only 19!!! There are lots of seats around the globe for a 19 year old who dominated junior categories during his puberty and has 60 f1 races under his belt. He could easily Grosjean it, go away win GP2 or the like, and come back at 20! It’s actually minimal career risk due to the time he has. If it pays off, well he’s well placed to leave a BIG mark.

    RE: JEV

    “At least the Frenchman has been afforded the dignity of knowing when his final race will be in Toro Rosso colours, unlike Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastian Buemi in 2011.”

    I agree totally. JEV had a chance, was given more time than normal to get on top of things and ultimately more time when they called it quits. He has half a season to pump in something remarkable and sneak into another team. It’s still on him now.

    I am sure Jaime Alguesuari would have loved that opportunity. RBR driver development / Helmet Marko obviously has learned along the way. Personally I never really rated JEV. It was clear Ricciardo was faster in both seasons and as Ricciardo polished up, the results matched his native quali pace. Now Kyvat is building to do something similar. JEV would look very bad in a second year against Kyvat.

    • Vergne has quality in the rain. For some strange reason he doesn’t have the same in the dry. ..

      • He clearly has a great feel for the car when it’s way beyond the grip limit. Open Wheel racing is about finding the limit, and hovering ever so slightly over it. Just subtly slipping and sliding into and our of corners ala Hamilton. Maybe he could stay in the Red Bull family and go rallying? He might be like another Frenchman, Sebastian Loeb?

        • Interesting, I thought it was when grip was lower in the wet, and that the 2014 driving style would suit him better. But he is good in karts in particular, so that sounds more accurate.

      • Hah! Oh Verstappen you are so emotionally heavily invested in this youngster… Great to see. I was like that with Schumacher bringing Ferrari the title in the late 1990’s and 2000.

        I simply thought of it as if he were my son. The risk reasoning in my original post is based on that, so I won’t repeat that post except to say that I can’t see the real career damaging risk here. In a way, he has two bites at this cherry. If I were Jos I’d also have suggested he sign the contract and then commit like nothing else. Eat, sleep, dream, live, breath f1. But I bet he’s doing that already.

        • Max is going to have or do something very stupid for me not to be a fan of his. I would feel plain mean, to not root for the kid. I hope they go carefully on publicity.

          As I understand it, the mind is most responsive and malleable up until one’s early to mid twenties, when adaptability, relatively speaking, falls off a cliff. I’m not saying learning stops, I mean the ability to ingrain processes deeper than conscious behavior fundamentally changes. I forget the mechanism, despite it has been explained to me plenty enough, but it is a mechanism of a change in way the brain is organizing itself.

          I don’t have any good back up for that, save a few friends in education who threw my way tons of anecdotes and psychiatric journal papers, one of whom was deep into handling kids growing up with striking emotional and behavioral problems, learning difficulty and combinations of such hindrances, that he turned around a whole school he ran to focus on beyond handing out pills, with notable success. A source I’ll believe, but I want to verify nonetheless. There appear to be ways of affecting brain development in adults also, that can reverse the effects of trauma, depression and abnormal development, but it’s a whole area I keep picking up on, and putting to one side, knowing how little I’ll truly benefit from reading expensive journals and papers.

          If Max V can get to grips with his drive, it will be fascinating to watch his development.

          By contrast, Vettel has entered or crossed the steep dip in assimilation and brain function adaptation, compared with his most naturally developable years.

          I’d like to see someone grasp at a take on the literature, as a mix of psychological, motor, intellectual, cognitive v. assimilative aptitudes.

          Having someone so young in a top flight sport is always gratifying to see, I think everyone gets hopeful, quite naturally.

          It’s a first, by a distinct margin, and the sheer youth of the man, simply begs a structured look.

          In fact, if the change in brain development is as sharp as I think it can be, and I was told that mid twenties is a bit late to hit the cliff, twenty is about it… this really is a first, because Max V. will have several very important years ahead of that cliff.

          I’m sure the usual suspects will spew forth platitude after banal balderdash upon indigestible impersonations of informed opinion, but reckon we might do a bit better than that. Probably will, by the by, but would be good to structure it. Anyone in a relevant profession, or with a strong background appreciation?

          • I’ve heard this argument before…. So then we must analyse why certain sporting figures remain at the top after this time….

            EG Tennis… Maybe once you’ve hit the groove incremental learning is more marginal for performance…

            What about F1….

            Could this mean having mastered driving a wacky races car during his prime years….Vettel is finished?

          • Hi Judge,

            Well in general, the spurt or streak of learning during the most apt time is not lost thereafter,

            Tennis hasn’t undergone any significant changes in rules or play, though you can argue the modern racquets are a different game…

            Is Vettel finished?

            Obviously I don’t know.

            But with the competition around him, I think unless he picks up his game fast, and gets a boost with his car, and MB and others drop it next year, it could be he has had his lion’s share of WDCs.

            But the question is intriguing, just because it’s provocative… Vettel… finished?

            Such a long career ahead to predict…

            I would feel better saying this after the season is over, but I do think Vettel is finished, for a while. Thing is, he’s years enough ahead of him, that only a steep and dramatic decline would push him out of a decent seat. Yet again, there’s few options, plenty of up and comers, and that’s why I’m inclined to think he’s thought of a move with a long contract, at least once this year. As with all things not tip top in F1, backwards gets precarious quickly.. two years thoroughly outshone and his allure for top teams will be much diminished, and a fall to a lesser drive could send him tumbling down the grid.

            I don’t know, and I’m equanimous about Seb, I’ve no passion to see him win or fail, anyhow, but my guess is he will struggle mid pack of the front racers for possibly too long.

    • Yes, well JEV never made the mistake of holding up not the #1 driver on the Papa team. Plus he *is* exquisitely fast in the rain.

      Frankly, his race finishes held up well to RIC’s for most of last year, even though he lacked the speed in the dry. Reminiscent of BUT and HAM in 2011 minus all the crashing LOL.

      • I think the comparisons with Ham and But are very valid for Ric and Ver… so if Vergne is now falling by the wayside, will the same happen to Jenson?

        • Yes, IMO and what’s worse is his having been WDC which brings a completely different line of expectations than he would otherwise have had to shoulder.

          Had he come home to McLaren minus the WDC he would simply have been the canny veteran without the great expectations. Frankly, and not taking anything away from his actually winning a WDC, it was clear when Lewis left McLaren that the brains of that duo (at least development and set up wise) had left the building. And thus Jense was saddled with the burden of developing the car and was spectacularly ill-suited to it. The only thing that saved him was Whitmarsh and the change to pull rods which gave him an out last year.

          This year with Magnussen has highlighted how remarkably ill-equipped Button is to lead a team at that level and it will unfortunately reflect poorly on him in the long run.

  5. @still i surprise, I always felt that RIC was faster over one lap whereas JEV will make it up for the lack of speed in the races with his race craft. Gutted that he may not have an F1 future at a top team like RIC has.

    • He may not, but he has half a season make a claim and he is not on the outer with RBR and Marko like Algusuari was. With a bit of manoeuvring, and some outstanding good performances, they may assist him into another seat somehow. Don’t underestimate what a string of 3 or 4 great races does. It’s still all in Vergne’s hands.

      • I had presumed JEV would survive this season for next, but it’s tough when you underperform and your immediate contemporaries drive like RIC has. The sorry state of financial affairs is most likely the sole reason, if any, he’ll nit be afforded a drive for next year. The stinking sordid solipsistic self serving stupocrasy (sorry to stretch that so far..) of it all beggars Belief. Belief in the viability of a decent grid of teams able to do their thing without trickster troubadours, oleaginous opportunistic oligarch ‘opefuls (sorry… really I am..) and petulant prang prone pay drivers.

        Since nothing is likely ever going to make a fair distribution of income in the offing, and frankly I’m not sure some teams, or rather who would benefit from such a infusion, actually deserve redistribution income for just making up the numbers, I’d suggest this instead: a fund set for buying a drive for someone otherwise promising but squeezed out.

        Kimi seems to have disproved that absence makes return too hard, well arguably, but no matter we’d all question whether anyone is deserving truly of a wildcard reinstatement, I think it would be a popular move, in mind of the money situation’s harm to the sport.

        • @JoJ

          “I’d suggest this instead: a fund set for buying a drive for someone otherwise promising but squeezed out.”

          But who decides what ‘promising’ means and who qualifies. By some methodology I can quickly think of, JEV wouldn’t get that funding anyway? He has been comprehensively out qualified by a contemporary for two years straight, a driver with only a small handful of HRT drives extra prior. Whilst being matched in the first year, he was out raced I think well and truly by the same driver in the second year. Now in his third full year, a rookie has surprisingly matched him often and beaten him occasionally this year. You see where this is heading.

          Don’t get me wrong, he seems a nice enough bloke. But why he’d get funding I don’t know. There is just something about JEV that seems to be struggling to string together a whole weekend to another whole weekend. And after 2.5 years, I believe the correct call has been made here. And he enjoys another 0.5 season as a last ditch effort to move himself to another team. A luxury others are rarely afforded and not just in RBR’s family.

  6. Can’t help but feel for Jev, obviously if he was better than Riciardo he would have got the RB drive, but bear in mind that Ricciardo had an extra season on him.
    Just goes to show how fine the line is between becoming a superstar or finding yourself in the local landfill site!
    It’s mad to think a lad who can’t legally own a driving license yet will be throwing around a car that can go 200 + mph. Good luck to the lad, but I think he is a tad young. If things don’t go well it could be a case of a massively wasted talent.
    If this was Red Bull’s only way of getting his signature it smacks of some serious desperation. The kid must be good!

      • I advise you to go to the verstappen.nl page and read about his history (it’s available in English). His dad, Jos ‘The Boss’ Verstappen, did had a big part in his career but it was not like he was pushing him, more like holding him back because it all went so fast. Red Bull approached Verstappen 2.0 when he won about every karting championship he could enter and at that point his father was the one that refused to sign because he wasn’t sure his son would be as good in a car as in a kart. They had a plan to go from karting to FR2.0 but because the F3 car was more his driving style they chose F3 (they discovered at a F3 test at Aragon Motorpark that he was so fast that not a single mechanic present believed the times this ‘rookie’ was posting in his first time in a F3 car, he even broke the track record for F3 cars!)

        I agree that it might be too soon for him but it’s not really a case of a pushy dad.

        • i really hope it goea well for him, the F1 drivers scrapheap is always welcoming to new residents.

    • Not strictly true. He had an extra half season in a back of the field HRT, which frequently broke down and failed to be anywhere near the pace.

      • Still better than not being in an f1 car though surely. Even if it did have the pace of a gp2 car.

        • Yes it’s better to have had the HRT races, no doubt, but does it account for the consistent quali gap over the two full years together and the emerging racing gap over the final year in particular?

      • It just wouldn’t be a race weekend with a LH news report. At least if the race is boring, he’s always there to divert attention

    • It’s just so clear from this video that Lewis has terrible tyre management. I think it’s down to his lack of intelligence and ultimately he doesn’t deserve the WDC from 2008, or now, or at any time in the future.

      He’s just lucky Nico has set up the Mercedes so well, so as to be easy on its tyres and Lewis just steals the set up data. This was admited as much when Lewis said in a recent interview with SuperFast SuperSmart magazine, “yes, I do indeed benefit from Nico’s data. If it wasn’t for him, I’d be nowhere on a GP weekend. If I’m honest, Nico deserves the title this year. He’s just so much quicker than I will ever be… and quicker in an intelligent way.”

      Wow. He’s very honest. Kudos Lewis.

      I suppose there is only one question left for us to answer…. Hodor?


        • That’s racist fort|s!


          You’d never say that if Lewis was WHITE!

          But nooooooooo, because he’s black, you judge him by his looks.


          (Oh I am having fun today… I think that’s enough. Tomorrow is another day. I know this because someone told me. LOL)

      • Lewis is probably trying to ramp up the pressure on Nico “You deserve to win the title this year” then not slowing down to let him pass. As for 2008 ? You could say Vettel was lucky to win the title in 2010 (I think, memory is a bit dim) after Ferrari messed up Alonso’s race and that Vettel was lucky to even finish that Brazilian Grand Prix after panicking at the start and damaging his car.
        What Lewis lacks in his ability to set up a car, he makes up for it with his speed and overtaking ability. He’ll go where other drivers would think twice about. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes Lewis spins off into a barrier, and it’s part of why his tyre management can sometimes be utterly dire. He’s constantly on the edge, Nico is more calculating and only seems to get upset when things don’t go his way. Anyway it’s easy to say Lewis was lucky to win a title, we don’t have to race and battle through the murky forest that is F1. That takes intelligence and determination.

        And for the record I think Nico is underestimated as a driver, liked him from his days at Williams. As for Lewis ? He’s broken a glass ceiling in terms of a black driver getting into F1, winning races and becoming a World Champion, I don’t think it really matters if he wins another title or not (matters to him obviously). Yes he’s immature, possibly because he was utterly focused on getting into F1 through his childhood and teenage years, so he’s having his rebellious stage now. He’ll either grow out of it and mature or he won’t.

        (as for my Vettel comments that the fat hippo took offence to, my tongue was firmly in my cheek).

        • Lol SIS wasn’t being serious when he said that lewis said that nico deserves the championship this year, you know that right haha?

          • @SIS
            Oh yeah i know you weren’t being serious for any of it lol, just pointing out the subject on which taperoo2k made a comment on

          • Yep. I was going to reply as an outraged Lewis fan but I went off on a tangent instead.

  7. All these so-called feeder series could do a much better job would there be more cars on the grid. Three cars per team would be a nice solution for more racing and overtaking on track and also more change in drivers. But it has it’s down sides too, like the cost of running an extra car for the smaller teams. More pitboxes and the list can go on 🙂 .

  8. “Verstappen to become youngest ever F1 driver”

    And what was the hurry? He will be under a lot of pressure and no matter how good he is at 17 he won’t be tough/mature enough to handle it… and he has no experience driving cars except this year’s. I really don’t see the benefit of entering Formula 1 at 17 if the chances are at 20 he will be retiring.

    • Given his abilities and age, it’s more than likely that he’ll be using that finger as he smashes all of Vettel’s ‘youngest’ records…

    • I don’t believe his youth is necessarily going to succumb to pressure.

      I think instead that there’s a point somewhere between still being a kid, and everything being a kind of exam and a world of fairly close horizons, and maturing perception of one’s place in it all, a bit later in one’s teens, when it all gets really quite complicated.

      Maybe I’m saying he’s not too young, but rather sufficiently young, to do well.

      I’ll stick with that, because it’s not a argument based on measurable fact, and just a bit of opinion, mixed, I freely admit, with quite a bit of purely emotional optimism for Max.

      As is increasingly understood, the concept of teenage life is a very recent one. Growing up seems to forever extend into adulthood. I can’t say for sure, but my own life at his age was both spectacularly good and spectacularly bad, depending what you were looking for, measuring, or what side of bed I got out of, but I was in a academic boiler room (that’s most unfair on a great faculty staff, at least some, but pressure was inescapable and self pressure a huge part of that) with actively negative family or emotional support, but I nevertheless maintained sustained focus on my own interests whilst literally acting out a elaborate 24/7 façade to keep away intrusions.

      It may turn out the only pity for Max, is that they put Ricciardo into the other RBR.

      I still can remember a teacher of ours, taking a two hour lesson slot, to lecture us on how so often he had to impress on both pupils and parents to Slow Down.

      I grew up surrounded by a prematurely ageing academic elite. Maturity was in no kind of short supply. We don’t get very much insight into F1 especially these days, and I’d say even at historical best, how far we can perceive a racer is genuinely limited. I’ve yet to think of any driver as a academic powerhouse, and i’m thinking back to the hyper driven brains I could never appreciate except by thinking I got let in to that school by fluke, when I hung with my buddies, and wondering, well, why can’t Max be of a comparable caliber?

      We talk about intelligent drivers sometimes as a rarity.

      Consider that, for a moment.

      Some of the things said about Max V make me wonder just now, what if only you could have transplanted the sixteen year old brain of one of the scholars I knew at that age, into a driver’s life? I’d say beware the whole grid.

      Sure, that is just purely optimistic, but what I am saying is that think there is a LOT of intellectual headroom in the proverbial F1 locker room. I’d love it to be filled. I do hope his dad genuinely tried to hold him back, and was beaten down by a absence of logic. Naturally, I’m bound to be disappointed, somehow, even when I pare down my enthusiasm to the pragmatism with which I am comfortable. That’s only because I won’t help myself wanting him to do so well. But I’ll leave it at this: intellectual headroom, plenty of space to be filled, kid with the innate talent, in his best learning years, who seems to come across real smart….

      Get this effing sport back to proper unadulterated sprinting without all the artifice and interference… dammit….

      Genuinely for me, news like this makes me look forward, and I shall be paying the most attention next year that have in maybe twenty years. It’s good, and I hold a little faith that those managing Verstappen will feel the heat and pressure on _them not to screw up.

      • Many good points, JoJ.

        “maturing perception of one’s place in it all, a bit later in one’s teens, when it all gets really quite complicated.”
        “Growing up seems to forever extend into adulthood.”

        That’s my current understanding of this, too. While:

        “with actively negative family or emotional support, but I nevertheless maintained sustained focus on my own interests whilst literally acting out a elaborate 24/7 façade to keep away intrusions.”

        rings a pair of bells for me, minus the “maintained sustained focus on my own interests”. Still battling on this whole front..

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