Discussion in 'Motorsport' started by Shimmy, 2 Jan 2012.
Bottas to Alfa and Russell to Merc.
Most widely known secret in F1 for about the past two weeks. Have you been hiding under a rock?
The more I think about it, the more I think this is a good move for Bottas. He came to Merc with a great reputation, off the back of good performances at Williams and a glowing Junior career, and has struggled to impress in Lewis' shadow. Away from Merc he has the chance to lead the Alfa team and start building it around him. I doubt he will get a chance at the championship, but if he can perform at Alfa he can build himself a solid reputation before leaving F1.
Welp, that's Russell's career reduced to 'rear gunner for The Messiah™' then. Unless Lewis plans to sod off and become a rapper/fashion magnate/whatever in another year.
It really isn't though - assuming Mercedes are as successful next year and he's able to put it on pole on a regular basis, then why would he be forced to be "rear gunner"?
You think Hamilton won't have a clause/have the pull to get a clause into Russell's contract that forces the issue?
I should have added to my post.
I doubt there would specifically be a clause that specifies he has to let Hamilton by if he outqualifies him, in the same way there hasn't been for Bottas, and wasn't for Rosberg.
The main difference has been that Bottas hasn't been able to outqualify Hamilton with any degree of consistency. If Russell is the real deal, then potentially he will be able to.
F1 dropped the 'Bottas best moments with Mercedes' video barely 15 minutes after the announcement
Given Russell's jaw dropping qualifying performances so far, I'll be surprised if he doesn't outqualify Lewis over a season. His ability to transform that into beating Lewis on race day is the bigger question; languishing at Williams won't exactly have been teaching Russell the racecraft needed to tussle with the best at the pointy end of the grid.
Jack Russell needs some time to mature in a high pressure environment. I think it's foolish to expect him to jump in the Merc and be sticking it P1/P2 consistently without errors.
He's got the raw pace to do that (as Bahrain 2020 showed) but doing it consistently when a championship rival is breathing down your neck or when the tyres aren't working how you expect will be the test of his true character.
I hope he does hit the ground running but the worst thing the press and/or the public can do it hype him up to the point that it puts insane pressure on the guy and he cracks.
Let’s just hope he can keep Lewis honest. Prior to this season Mercedes dominated has dominated for while now, at least for a few seasons Nico and Lewis gave us a good show at the front. As soon as Nico left it was Lewis’ to lose until this year it seems.
I worry that he still has the capacity to make a mistake in him, as he’s shown this season and last season. How much if that is overdriving knowing he has to push the car up to and at times beyond it’s limit to be quick is another question entirely. Perhaps with a better car that limit can be much higher so doesn’t require so much from him, but only time will tell.
You've got to hand it to the guy though, coming out of international cricket retirement to be one of the most promising F1 stars is a massive achievement - especially at nearly 60 years old!
Alpha confirm Gasly + Tsunoda for 2022 in unusual fashion:
Yuki is a bit lucky there, I think.
^ Probably part of the agreement with Honda for taking over the PU assets, engineers and IP for the next 3 years. Whether it's contractually binding is another matter, but given the massive pace and result difference between Tsnoda and Gasly I can't imagine any other reason why he'd be kept on.
I don't know where Russell will come in against Hamilton. It's a completely new car so assuming they both get roughly equal testing mileage Hamilton shouldn't have any real advantage knowing the little nuances of past Mercedes.
Russell is hardly a rookie now either. He will be in his fourth season in F1. At that stage in Hamilton's career he'd won 11 races, fought for three drivers championships, winning one and would be challenging for a third time in his fourth season.
Hamilton was very much an exception in being given the keys to the best car for his rookie season and with complete support from 1/3 of the way into it. But Russell knows what it takes to win races - he dominated a very good field in F2 (comfortably beating the likes of Norris, Albon and de Vries), and should have won in Sakhir bar Mercedes bolting on Bottas's tyres, then a puncture on his own set.
Hamilton is a great, but isn't unbeatable. Alonso tied on points with him despite Dennis hating him since Monaco, Button beat him over their three seasons together and Rosberg managed to beat him in 2016, though the mental effort needed was enough to finish off his F1 career.
Hamilton is now such a well-rounded driver that I doubt many will expect Russell to beat him in the championship, but providing the car is good enough then Russell ought to win two or three races - whether he can extend that to a championship battle in 2022 or 2023 only time will tell. There aren't many drivers in F1's modern history capable of relentless determination and consistency over a race distance, time after time. Schumacher had it, Alonso still looks to have it (though not as quick as his prime e.g. 2012), Hamilton has learnt it and Verstappen is showing signs too. That's what separated Hamilton from Rosberg and Bottas and it's something Russell will need to learn if he's to beat Hamilton in however long they've got together as teammates.
Horrible Johnny Herbert flashback to repeatedly calling him Jack Russell during F2 commentary. It went on for several races.
I have to agree; I personally think he could have done with a year or two in a better mid-field car to partly make the jump to Merc a little less "big" and also to give him more experience racing in the pack, etc with a decent car.
Massive pressure on him and we've seen him make mistakes under pressure already; next year could be exciting at Merc with possible fireworks between the two team-mates; and he wouldn't be the first young driver to move to the front of the grid and struggle initially.
I don't think Honda did Tsunoda a favour by fast-tracking him into F1. He was very impressive in his rookie F2 season last year, and I suspect he'd be comfortably ahead had he stayed on for another season. Instead he's having a desperately disappointing season in F1. I still think he's a talented guy and with the levelling effect of the new regs perhaps he can rebuild next year, but given how ruthless we've seen Red Bull been in the past, I think he's lucky to be staying and some kind of deal - as you suggest - seems a decent explanation.
I expect it to be a close run thing. Russell, I predict, will outqualify Hamilton over the season; but struggle to capitalise on that advantage in race trim. It's going to be fascinating to watch.
Tsunoda is incredibly lucky tbh. Every time I've heard him talk to the team on the radio it's always aggressive or rude.
Not to mention that he's not exactly been whiter than white, I am surprised Helmut hasn't found a way to bin him off already.
Ref Merc and Russell... I think it'll be the opposite. I see George being better in race trim than quali (at least initially). Hamilton has proven time and again that he's able to find time when it matters and whilst George has been great on Saturdays I don't see him hitting the ground that quickly that he's able to extract that missing 0.3s.
I hope I'm wrong though. It would be great to see another British driver pick up the mantle.
Some back office deal to keep him to grease the wheels of the Honda engine deal perhaps?
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