Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

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HustleRussell

17,335 posts

110 months

Monday 27th January
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kiseca said:
sparta6 seems to be implying that if Hamilton leaves, Bottas will just carry on winning championships for Merc. I think he's (still) wrong.
Its perfectly clear if you look at the results over the past three seasons that they have been paired.

Hamilton 1st, 1st, 1st

Bottas 3rd, 5th, 2nd

I very much doubt that anybody is going to assert that Bottas is finishing below 2nd because of team orders or inferior machinery.

There is an implicit advantage for Hamilton in being the team leader and de facto number one even though Mercedes appears to be one of the most even-handed teams on the grid.

There was an explicit 'advantage Vettel' at Ferrari a year ago but Leclerc was good enough to nullify that before the halfway point in the season.

C70R

5,674 posts

54 months

Monday 27th January
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It's not unfair to say that Bottas would be up there, and might even be a little more competitive were he #1 driver (with the engineering advantages that come with that). But I suspect it would be a mega competitive championship without Hamilton, with Red Bull and Ferrari being in the mix.

kiseca

7,854 posts

169 months

Monday 27th January
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I think Mercedes would have no trouble attracting someone who can at least equal Bottas into the second seat. I reckon even Hulk would give him a hard time.

If they got Ricciardo, Bottas would soon be the second quickest driver in the team again.

TheDeuce

4,217 posts

16 months

Monday 27th January
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kiseca said:
I think Mercedes would have no trouble attracting someone who can at least equal Bottas into the second seat. I reckon even Hulk would give him a hard time.

If they got Ricciardo, Bottas would soon be the second quickest driver in the team again.
Ricciardo to Mercedes post Lewis... I'd love to see that. That guy really needs a top car. I missed seeing him in the mix fighting for podiums last year.

I've always felt that we've been continually robbed of the chance to see just how good DR really could be. He drove very well in the Red Bull but so many performances were blunted by DNFs. In 2014, when he beat Vettel through a season, it seemed a foregone conclusion he would go on to win titles...

kiseca

7,854 posts

169 months

Monday 27th January
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With LeClerc and Verstappen tied down - and to be fair both with their weaknesses (LeClerc is still only two seasons in and lacks experience, Max isn't particularly good at securing points, tends to gather points as a few big bangs rather than consistent, reliable performance), Ricciardo seems the wild card in the pack. We know Max has the measure of him for speed, but not by a lot, and we know Ricciardo is generally a safer bet to keep getting points but is also a proven winner, even under pressure.

Being at Renault isn't helping him. Impossible to say for sure but I'd think if he was in Vettel's Ferrari last year, LeClerc would have given him a scare from time to time, but not beaten him over the season. And he'd have been closer to Hamilton than Bottas managed.

All opinion and I hope we do see more opportunities to gauge his quality in the future. We've already seen him paired with Vettel and Verstappen and shown he can deliver. At Renault it took him a few races to get used to the car but he managed it, and when he did get used to it (or get it adjusted to his liking), he had the better of Hulkenberg too.

IMO he's the one top driver on the grid right now, i.e. has speed, consistency and experience, without a car to match. That needs to change before he gets used to being a midfield runner otherwise I think he'll become another what if.

TheDeuce

4,217 posts

16 months

Monday 27th January
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kiseca said:
With LeClerc and Verstappen tied down - and to be fair both with their weaknesses (LeClerc is still only two seasons in and lacks experience, Max isn't particularly good at securing points, tends to gather points as a few big bangs rather than consistent, reliable performance), Ricciardo seems the wild card in the pack. We know Max has the measure of him for speed, but not by a lot, and we know Ricciardo is generally a safer bet to keep getting points but is also a proven winner, even under pressure.

Being at Renault isn't helping him. Impossible to say for sure but I'd think if he was in Vettel's Ferrari last year, LeClerc would have given him a scare from time to time, but not beaten him over the season. And he'd have been closer to Hamilton than Bottas managed.

All opinion and I hope we do see more opportunities to gauge his quality in the future. We've already seen him paired with Vettel and Verstappen and shown he can deliver. At Renault it took him a few races to get used to the car but he managed it, and when he did get used to it (or get it adjusted to his liking), he had the better of Hulkenberg too.

IMO he's the one top driver on the grid right now, i.e. has speed, consistency and experience, without a car to match. That needs to change before he gets used to being a midfield runner otherwise I think he'll become another what if.
LH & SV will depart the sport sooner or later, and at that point it's difficult to imagine DR not being hot-listed to take a top seat.

It does feel wrong that he's languishing in a team that would themselves admit podiums are a target, not a reality right now. But to be honest the saddest part for me was his 2018 season at Red Bull - because I would say although he drove a very different style to Max, he was every bit as impressive. The results don't reflect that, they're distorted by a farcical number of DNF's.. When Max is in the zone he is slightly quicker perhaps, but DR has the ability to recover a potentially bad race result by ludicrous overtaking whilst generally avoiding incident and pulls up his average as a result. Different ways of winning points, but by my calculation, if the DNF's were removed from 2018 they would have been close enough to call equal.

Apologies to anyone wondering why DR chat is in the LH thread.. But c'mon, there is a chance he could be Lewis's replacement some day wink

kiseca

7,854 posts

169 months

Monday 27th January
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I agree. 2018 was the only year Max beat him, and it wasn't because Max got any better. It was because the car kept letting Daniel down.

dreamcracker

2,769 posts

167 months

Tuesday 28th January
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TheDeuce said:
Ricciardo to Mercedes post Lewis... I'd love to see that. That guy really needs a top car. I missed seeing him in the mix fighting for podiums last year.
I've always felt that we've been continually robbed of the chance to see just how good DR really could be. He drove very well in the Red Bull but so many performances were blunted by DNFs. In 2014, when he beat Vettel through a season, it seemed a foregone conclusion he would go on to win titles...
DR should have stayed at RB.
Going to Renault was just about the money and running away from Max.
He will need some wins for another team to be interested, which is unlikely.

Most teams now have young drivers that are more likely to fill any spare seats.

Alonso made the same mistake when he left Ferrari to join McLaren, but nobody wants him
after bad mouthing the car and engine.

Have Ferrari offered Hamilton 60 million, so is that why he is asking Mercedes for that amount in order to stay?

TheDeuce

4,217 posts

16 months

Tuesday 28th January
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dreamcracker said:
DR should have stayed at RB.
Going to Renault was just about the money and running away from Max.
He will need some wins for another team to be interested, which is unlikely.

Most teams now have young drivers that are more likely to fill any spare seats.

Alonso made the same mistake when he left Ferrari to join McLaren, but nobody wants him
after bad mouthing the car and engine.

Have Ferrari offered Hamilton 60 million, so is that why he is asking Mercedes for that amount in order to stay?
I think some of that is a little uncharitable towards DR. He matched max in terms of talent , albeit with a different driving style. In the end Max's massive popularity (important for sponsors and the RB brand) combined with his relative youth meant RB had to make him No1 in order to retain him. Once that was done, it was totally unrealistic that DR could have a chance at a title with RB. He went to Renault no doubt very aware they were unlikely deliver what he want, but at least there was a potential chance... Better than no chance.

I'm sure he does also remain of interest to the top teams - although granted, that won't last forever.

I doubt Ferrari offered Lewis £60m pa, to be honest I doubt anyone had such a sum in mind until he asked for it..

TwentyFive

24 posts

16 months

Tuesday 28th January
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I can see why Ricciardo would be a very solid call for Mercedes but I think they are lining it up for George Russell. He is still fairly unproven in competitive F1 terms but his first year was impressive in the Alonso 2001 mould.

Mercedes see the data and clearly rate him highly, plus he is on a 3 year Williams deal which is unusual for a first F1 contract and shows he is a long term prospect for Merc.

He is at the right end of his career to be able to go head to head with Max, Charles, Lando etc for the next decade or so.

Exige77

4,338 posts

141 months

Tuesday 28th January
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I don’t see the fascination with Ricciardo.

A few good performances, last of the late brakers but often over cooking it.

I think he’s had his chance.

If he was serious about winning stuff, he should have stayed at RB.

Verstappen might be the golden boy but above all else they want to win. A few good performances at RB would have put him back in the picture.

TheDeuce

4,217 posts

16 months

Tuesday 28th January
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Exige77 said:
I don’t see the fascination with Ricciardo.

A few good performances, last of the late brakers but often over cooking it.

I think he’s had his chance.

If he was serious about winning stuff, he should have stayed at RB.

Verstappen might be the golden boy but above all else they want to win. A few good performances at RB would have put him back in the picture.
With hindsight I do actually agree, staying at RB would have been far better. But that's hindsight... At the time he didn't know how the Honda PU would work out, and he'd just had iirc 9 mechanical dnfs in a single season. Also Christ knows what Renault showed/promised him prior to 2019. It's undeniable it hasn't worked out in the best way for his career but that doesn't mean at the time the decision was made that it wasn't justifiable imo.

Graveworm

3,255 posts

21 months

Tuesday 28th January
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Exige77 said:
I don’t see the fascination with Ricciardo.

A few good performances, last of the late brakers but often over cooking it.

I think he’s had his chance.

If he was serious about winning stuff, he should have stayed at RB.

Verstappen might be the golden boy but above all else they want to win. A few good performances at RB would have put him back in the picture.
I think Ricciardo went to Renault because he was comfortably leading Max but RB was becoming all about Max. It was only after he announced that he was off to Renault and had to be marginalised that Max was able to overhaul him.

kiseca

7,854 posts

169 months

Tuesday 28th January
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I don't think he left Red Bull because of Max, though I assume he felt Max was a huge threat for him. I think he left because Red Bull made the working environment unpleasant for him with their open support and admiration for Max. They did the same to Webber. I don't think they do it on purpose, well maybe Helmet does, but Christian always waxes lyrical about the faster driver and goes into motivational corpspeak when discussing the other driver (even when they've just beaten the talent...)

If that's what it's like inside the garage too, it's not going to be a happy place to work, and if the driver doesn't feel like the team is behind him, he's going to think he has no chance to beat the favoured team mate. I think the internal momentum and politics at Red Bull had gotten away from him, he recognised that, and decided he needed to move elsewhere to stay relevant.

If he had stayed at RB and indeed started getting beaten by Max (Max doesn't seem to have managed to add consistency to his speed, but back in mid 2018 it wasn't an unreasonable expectation that he would), I think his reputation would have taken a bigger hit than it is struggling around the midfield in a Renault. However, if that thought had also given him some motivation to move, then he would indeed be running from a fight.

HustleRussell

17,335 posts

110 months

Tuesday 28th January
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Weren't Red Bull paying Ricciardo about a quarter (or less) of what they were paying Max?

People have suggested that Ricciardo's move was financially motivated- but it goes much deeper than that. How is Ricciardo supposed to feel valued as an equal by the team? It is certainly not the case that his performance relative to max justified Red Bull giving him a fraction of the salary.

Red Bull had decided Max was their future. Ricciardo was demoted to being just a useful second driver for no reason other than simply not being Max. They felt he had no possibility for a competitive drive elsewhere so they took him for granted and undervalued him financially. They were complacent. When he called their bluff and announced he was going to Renault, they offered him all sorts to retain him- I seem to remember Horner came out in the media and basically said they had offered to match what Renault were offering. However it was too little, too late- because in the end it wasn't just about the headline figure. Red Bull had signaled the direction of travel. Once again, Red Bull's perfunctory attitude towards drivers had driven a good talent away.

TheDeuce

4,217 posts

16 months

Tuesday 28th January
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kiseca said:
I don't think he left Red Bull because of Max, though I assume he felt Max was a huge threat for him. I think he left because Red Bull made the working environment unpleasant for him with their open support and admiration for Max. They did the same to Webber. I don't think they do it on purpose, well maybe Helmet does, but Christian always waxes lyrical about the faster driver and goes into motivational corpspeak when discussing the other driver (even when they've just beaten the talent...)

If that's what it's like inside the garage too, it's not going to be a happy place to work, and if the driver doesn't feel like the team is behind him, he's going to think he has no chance to beat the favoured team mate. I think the internal momentum and politics at Red Bull had gotten away from him, he recognised that, and decided he needed to move elsewhere to stay relevant.

If he had stayed at RB and indeed started getting beaten by Max (Max doesn't seem to have managed to add consistency to his speed, but back in mid 2018 it wasn't an unreasonable expectation that he would), I think his reputation would have taken a bigger hit than it is struggling around the midfield in a Renault. However, if that thought had also given him some motivation to move, then he would indeed be running from a fight.
Virtually all of what you say, DR has himself said so no need to question any of it. Those are the reasons why he wanted to leave, but that's only half the argument. There were reasons he would have wanted to stay too! Which is is why I can't help but wonder how different what Renault presented as their 2019 ambitions and expectations were compared to what was actually achieved. He would surely have needed a reason to want to go to Renault in addition to wanting to leave RB. Maybe they really thought the Renault PU for 2019 was going to be significantly better than whatever Honda were about to provide - if that had turned out to be the case, it could have been just about believable Renault could match RB in 2019...

The PU is just one wildly speculative theory. There has to had been a carrot though, and I doubt that the money was as important as feeling he was doing the best thing for his F1 career.

TheDeuce

4,217 posts

16 months

Tuesday 28th January
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HustleRussell said:
Weren't Red Bull paying Ricciardo about a quarter (or less) of what they were paying Max?

People have suggested that Ricciardo's move was financially motivated- but it goes much deeper than that. How is Ricciardo supposed to feel valued as an equal by the team? It is certainly not the case that his performance relative to max justified Red Bull giving him a fraction of the salary.

Red Bull had decided Max was their future. Ricciardo was demoted to being just a useful second driver for no reason other than simply not being Max. They felt he had no possibility for a competitive drive elsewhere so they took him for granted and undervalued him financially. They were complacent. When he called their bluff and announced he was going to Renault, they offered him all sorts to retain him- I seem to remember Horner came out in the media and basically said they had offered to match what Renault were offering. However it was too little, too late- because in the end it wasn't just about the headline figure. Red Bull had signaled the direction of travel. Once again, Red Bull's perfunctory attitude towards drivers had driven a good talent away.
It was less than Max through 2018, and Horner did indeed eventually concede that they had offered DR everything he wanted - which I would certainly assume included matching whatever Renault were offering. No doubt some damage was already done by that point though.

kiseca

7,854 posts

169 months

Tuesday 28th January
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I agree. They gave up what could have been the strongest driver pairing in F1, though I reckon it was always going to end in tears anyway because Max seems to be a complete dick.

EDIT: TheDeuce, you're right about the PU too. There were no indications... at least outside F1... in 2018 that the Honda was capable of powering a race winner in 2019. It was a big disruptive change for the team and nothing really to indicate whether it would be a success or not.



Edited by kiseca on Tuesday 28th January 12:56

HustleRussell

17,335 posts

110 months

Tuesday 28th January
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TheDeuce said:
He would surely have needed a reason to want to go to Renault in addition to wanting to leave RB.

There has to had been a carrot though, and I doubt that the money was as important as feeling he was doing the best thing for his F1 career.
I don't think there does. Ricciardo was bloody minded enough to want to get out of Red Bull even though there was no faster seat available. He took a big lift in pay to become the leader of a works team with front running aspirations in the medium term. Renault was a life boat from Red Bull where he could await further developments whilst hopefully getting enough exposure to remain relevant to the 'front running drivers' discussion.

Bo_apex

1,032 posts

168 months

Tuesday 28th January
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jsf said:
sparta6 said:
Mercedes are launching 32 new cars in the next 2 years, regardless of who is in it's F1 seats. This has been in prep for a few years.

Bottas has shown he can win the WDC in a Merc if Lewis stops or switches team.
Against Lewis in a red bull or Ferrari or maybe even a working McLaren, i wouldn't bet on that.
Lewis had a working McLaren from 2009
Probably the 3rd best car on the grid.

Bottas in the Merc would be off into the sunset