The F1 thread

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Maturin
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The F1 thread

Post by Maturin » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:47 pm

So Fernando Alonso is to retire at the end of the season. Sad news, he was probably a bit unfortunate to not have been in the position to win more championships than he did.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/45188028

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Raid
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Re: The F1 thread

Post by Raid » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:02 pm

A shame, but the only real surprise is that he didn't do this two or three years ago. With the benefit of hindsight, he's made one bad career move after another while watching the likes of Hamilton and Vettel make ones that turned out to be extremely well timed. I still think he's probably the best driver on the grid, and it's been painful watching his talents wasted at McLaren.

Sadly it probably means McLaren will be winning both championships next year.

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Re: The F1 thread

Post by Rossell » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:09 pm

Didn't like him in the beginning because I started as a Hamilton fan and they had the infamous season together. Despite some of his tactics in the early years I've grown to really like and respect him and he's among my fave drivers.

He was always in the wrong place at the wrong time with F1 after leaving Renault. But since the Indy 500 and winning Le Mans you can tell he's got more winning chances outside the sport so while a shock not a surprise. Hope to God he goes to Indycar next year.

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Re: The F1 thread

Post by Raid » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:20 pm

I almost guarantee he'll end up at the Indy 500 again next year. He already has the Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans 24 Hours races under his belt, he may as well go for the triple crown. I think he wants *something* to put him in the history books after, let's be honest, a frequently disappointing F1 career (granted, he has stats most drivers would dream of, but a man of his talents only having two championships?).

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Re: The F1 thread

Post by Drarok » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:09 pm

I've got a lot of respect for Alonso - he's definitely a fantastic driver, but fuck me he makes some awful career decisions.

And what have McLaren been up to for the last few years?!

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Re: The F1 thread

Post by Wrathbone » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:46 am

If he'd done one more season then he'd have beaten Barrichello's record for the most F1 starts, so maybe he was sticking it out for that.

If he wins the Indy 500 and a competitive F1 seat becomes available in the next few years, I could see him returning. Seems unlikely given that Hamilton and Vettel appear to be entrenched in their respective teams and I can't imagine Alonso wanting to return alongside either of them. If Hamilton quits to focus on his godawful music career, though...

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Re: The F1 thread

Post by Raid » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:14 am

The only way I see Alonso returning to F1 is if a seat at one of the top teams opens, one that would give him a reasonable chance at winning the drivers' championship. I don't think he's there for participation trophies, he's there to win.

And McLaren? I thoroughly lost interest in them when Ron Dennis returned - they just disappeared up their own arse, believing themselves to be champions were it not for that *one* thing holding them back. That one thing seemed to change every year; lack of a title sponsor, being a Mercedes customer, Honda, Honda, and finally this year they've finally arrived at the fact that their car is just shit. Pride is one thing when you're winning, but when you've no success to base it on you just end up looking arrogant. McLaren may have been a historically successful team, but this is a sport where regulation changes make past successes meaningless.

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Re: The F1 thread

Post by Wrathbone » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:37 am

True, that. See also Williams and Renault, although Ricciardo's move to Renault makes me wonder if they have a card up their sleeve for next year.

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Re: The F1 thread

Post by Maturin » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:40 am

Yeah, I'm wondering whether Renault have shown him something regarding the future regs that made his eyes light up... time will tell.

If not next season, then the season after perhaps. Which is similar to what happened with Hamilton. He played the long game.

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Re: The F1 thread

Post by Raid » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:59 am

See, I wouldn't have said the same thing was true of Williams or Renault. They remember their success, sure, but they don't try to rub it in your face like McLaren have done these last few years. I think the choice of spokesperson here is pretty key; Ron Dennis replaced Martin Whitmarsh, one of the most amiable people in the paddock but someone that didn't seem to toe the company line. Dennis comes across as one of the most arrogant people I've ever listened to, and I don't think Eric Boullier was much better. Claire Williams comes across far, far better than either of those two; she constantly refers to how historic the Williams team is, but usually in the same breath as saying how poor their performance is at that point. I'm undecided on Cyril Abiteboul, partially because I struggle to make out every fourth word he says, and partially because whenever he's speaking, it seems to be in defence of his company's engine after Christian Horner has slagged it off.

Ricciardo has certainly taken a risk, but he seems to think that the Red Bull team is focusing on Verstappen as their future champion and he's being sidelined. I really haven't seen any evidence of that, although Horner is very good at speaking to the press and hiding any bias (unless he's talking about the Renault engine, where he can't help but get a dig in at every available opportunity). I do hope that Renault have something up their sleeve for 2019 or 2020, as with Alonso retiring, I think Daniel is now my favourite driver, and the guy I least want to see wasted in a midfield team.

As for Red Bull themselves, it's going to be interesting seeing how they adapt to effectively being a works team again. There's been a small war of words between Horner and Abiteboul regarding the Renault engine's performance lately, with Horner saying that Abiteboul will make excuses and Abiteboul accusing Red Bull of not accepting their improved power unit components because it would compromise the packaging of their car. Red Bull are almost certainly the best car builders on the grid, but I get the feeling its been at the expense of their power unit packaging, something that seemed to plague McLaren last year. I hope Red Bull can work with Honda more closely than McLaren did.

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Re: The F1 thread

Post by Wrathbone » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:17 am

Raid wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:59 am
See, I wouldn't have said the same thing was true of Williams or Renault.
Yeah, I just meant in the sense that past success is no guarantee of future success. To be fair to them, both teams have shown limited success in the last decade and even had brushes with being competitive. Neither of them show anything like McLaren's sense of entitlement to glory. A Renault resurgence would be a nice change of pace on the grid. Sadly I think Williams' winning days are long gone and will probably never come back.

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Re: The F1 thread

Post by Raid » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:31 am

I agree. It's sad, but they just don't have the money of the manufacturer teams, so barring any successful attempts at limiting a team's spending (which is something being talked about, but that seems impractical), they're not going to be returning to the front of the grid.

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Re: The F1 thread

Post by DjchunKfunK » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:37 am

I'd say most of McLaren's issues can be put down to the poor management. None of the people in charge since Ron left the first time have been much cop. They have all made errors, mostly with choosing engine partners. The cars are well designed with good aero, but they have never had a good engine and or have not designed around the issues of the engines they are using.

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Re: The F1 thread

Post by Snowy » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:13 pm

McLaren's woes started about the same time Adrian Newey was lured away by RBR, which was pretty much exactly the same story as when he was lured from Williams to McLaren as far as Williams' fortunes were concerned.

McLaren have also certainly made some bad choices, both from a management perspective and engine partners.

It will be interesting to see how things play out at RBR, as if they try the same games with Honda as they have been and continue to do with Renault, they will be in for something of a shock I suspect. The Honda engines have to be a concern too, unless they have made a further step-change with next year's engine.

As far as Alonso is concerned, I think it is the right choice. I think he is still the best driver on the grid (better than both Vettel and Hamilton) but he has done his time at Ferrari and Hamilton would never let him come into Mercedes, so his best option must be to pursue career opportunities outside F1 and make his mark on them as well.
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Re: The F1 thread

Post by DjchunKfunK » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:11 pm

I'm not sure Alonso is the best driver on the grid. Being in an uncompetitive car has allowed people to think he has remained the exact same driver he was at Renault. Don't get me wrong I still think he is a great driver, but inevitably age plays a factor. Additionally the other drivers around him have improved, don't forget Hamilton was a match for him before he ended up in an uncompetitive car and Hamilton has improved a fair amount since then.

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