Hamilton: Ferrari will pay if Leclerc replaces Vettel as no1

Hamilton: Ferrari will pay if Leclerc replaces Vettel as no1

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Discussion

AmoCS

Original Poster:

921 posts

165 months

TheDeuce

3,135 posts

12 months

Thursday 10th October
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His point obviously being - you don't need a number one.

Fair enough imo.

AmoCS

Original Poster:

921 posts

165 months

Thursday 10th October
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Or he is concerned that Ferrari might replace Vettel next year, which could make it difficult for him should he want to switch to Ferrari in 2021.

TheDeuce

3,135 posts

12 months

Thursday 10th October
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AmoCS said:
Or he is concerned that Ferrari might replace Vettel next year, which could make it difficult for him should he want to switch to Ferrari in 2021.

I wouldn't worry about that. There is zero reason he would ever want to be a Ferrari driver. He is modern F1, Ferrari are old F1. Even as a kid he shunned them for McLaren.

Flooble

1,812 posts

46 months

Thursday 10th October
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Or he would much rather have Vettel and Leclerc taking points off each other so he doesn't have to face a single driver next year.

TheDeuce

3,135 posts

12 months

Thursday 10th October
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Flooble said:
Or he would much rather have Vettel and Leclerc taking points off each other so he doesn't have to face a single driver next year.
Probably closer to his ideal! Although I genuinely get the impression he looks at the way Ferrari do things and feels bewildered. Why all the politics!? Just let the best championship driver reveal themselves and then back them for the rest of the season.. it's not complicated! Kind of a self resolving equation.

ukaskew

5,293 posts

167 months

Thursday 10th October
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Plus are Ferrari going to be anywhere near as accommodating? The Bottas podcast was interesting last week, Toto basically let's them get on with life as he believes a happy driver is a good driver. No issues with skiing etc. I really can't see that being the case at Ferrari and they don't seem anywhere near as transparent. I also imagine the corporate workload would be much higher.

Merc are even happy for Lewis to have a garage full of Ferraris (and to post about them on social media).

Kraken

1,165 posts

146 months

Thursday 10th October
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TheDeuce said:
Probably closer to his ideal! Although I genuinely get the impression he looks at the way Ferrari do things and feels bewildered. Why all the politics!? Just let the best championship driver reveal themselves and then back them for the rest of the season.. it's not complicated! Kind of a self resolving equation.
Except teams have lost championships multiple times by letting drivers do that and it doesn't resolve until the last race of the season when someone else takes it.

If I ran a team I would always have a clear number one and a clear number two driver. Mercedes do really IMO but they pretend they don't.

TheDeuce

3,135 posts

12 months

Thursday 10th October
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Kraken said:
Except teams have lost championships multiple times by letting drivers do that and it doesn't resolve until the last race of the season when someone else takes it.

If I ran a team I would always have a clear number one and a clear number two driver. Mercedes do really IMO but they pretend they don't.
Imo that's too shallow a way to look at how Mercedes handle their drivers. There is evidence to the contrary... Rosberg took a run up followed by a year long campaign of focus and mental training, to the exclusion of everything in order to beat Lewis. In the end, he managed it but was burnt out. Hardly a journey he wo go on if he thought his team was going to favour Lewis no matter what.

This season bottas was in no way held back until Lewis established a convincing lead.

Mercedes do have a No1 driver every single season - who it is depends on the driver's performance. It's not predetermined.

Newscuttlepanel

102 posts

80 months

Thursday 10th October
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I guess it’s easy to make the decision to have no defined number 1 if you’re fairly confident of winning both championships regardless, I’m guessing things might change at Mercedes if that wasn’t quite as foregone a conclusion.

Flooble

1,812 posts

46 months

Thursday 10th October
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Newscuttlepanel said:
I guess it’s easy to make the decision to have no defined number 1 if you’re fairly confident of winning both championships regardless, I’m guessing things might change at Mercedes if that wasn’t quite as foregone a conclusion.
This is true, next year could be very interesting. If Ferrari are regularly winning, then Mercedes may have to sacrifice one driver to ensure the other stay in contention. They did the "Valtteri, this is James" calls in 2018 when it looked like it would be necessary to maximise points for Hamilton, so I wonder how early they might make the decision if Ferrari are pulling away within the first few races?

Kraken

1,165 posts

146 months

Friday 11th October
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TheDeuce said:
Imo that's too shallow a way to look at how Mercedes handle their drivers. There is evidence to the contrary... Rosberg took a run up followed by a year long campaign of focus and mental training, to the exclusion of everything in order to beat Lewis. In the end, he managed it but was burnt out. Hardly a journey he wo go on if he thought his team was going to favour Lewis no matter what.

This season bottas was in no way held back until Lewis established a convincing lead.

Mercedes do have a No1 driver every single season - who it is depends on the driver's performance. It's not predetermined.
I was talking about the current Mercedes lineup rather than the previous one. I don't think there's much doubt about there being a lack of number 2 with Rosberg. With Bottas it's different. They could have had any driver they wanted but they just wanted to keep things nice and calm. You never get that with two number one drivers from what I've seen over the decades. They might be on an equal footing in theory but when you recruit a driver who has to have everything going perfectly to be able to get near his team mate it really isn't two number ones.

TheDeuce

3,135 posts

12 months

Friday 11th October
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Kraken said:
I was talking about the current Mercedes lineup rather than the previous one. I don't think there's much doubt about there being a lack of number 2 with Rosberg. With Bottas it's different. They could have had any driver they wanted but they just wanted to keep things nice and calm. You never get that with two number one drivers from what I've seen over the decades. They might be on an equal footing in theory but when you recruit a driver who has to have everything going perfectly to be able to get near his team mate it really isn't two number ones.
Bottas did well at the start of this season, and I believe if he had sustained that and taken a confident lead in points then Mercedes would have backed him over Lewis whenever they had to make a call. Mercedes would always have preferred Lewis to win WDC this year and next, for the simple reason that their driver would match Schumachers record 7 WDC's which is of course valuable. But push comes to shove, if it had transpired Bottas was their best bet for WCC this year, they would ultimately have backed him to the same extent they back Lewis.

In the end, the entire team including both drivers should do everything in their power to help their team do as well in the constructors championship as possible. Whether a driver ends up doing that by winning races, or moving over, is really down to their early season performance, at Mercedes at least. I think it was also the same principle when it was Lewis vs Rosberg - it's just they were closer all season so there was no benefit in backing one over the other.

I don't deny it's convenient that Bottas is apparently a terminally 'points but no glory' driver. It's certainly making life easy for the team!! But it is within his power to change that - if he was able to find some extra ability and out-perform Lewis. Looks like he can't, at least not in a sustained way, but that doesn't mean he isn't given a fair chance each year.

cjm

466 posts

214 months

Friday 11th October
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Flooble said:
Or he would much rather have Vettel and Leclerc taking points off each other so he doesn't have to face a single driver next year.
Also he'd much rather race Vettel as he has shown Vettel will likely fall off the track during a hard defence or attack, where Leclerc looks like much more of a challenge and doesn't seem to fold under the same pressure.

Edited by cjm on Friday 11th October 12:56

REALIST123

12,001 posts

99 months

Friday 11th October
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TheDeuce said:
Bottas did well at the start of this season, and I believe if he had sustained that and taken a confident lead in points then Mercedes would have backed him over Lewis whenever they had to make a call. Mercedes would always have preferred Lewis to win WDC this year and next, for the simple reason that their driver would match Schumachers record 7 WDC's which is of course valuable. But push comes to shove, if it had transpired Bottas was their best bet for WCC this year, they would ultimately have backed him to the same extent they back Lewis.

In the end, the entire team including both drivers should do everything in their power to help their team do as well in the constructors championship as possible. Whether a driver ends up doing that by winning races, or moving over, is really down to their early season performance, at Mercedes at least. I think it was also the same principle when it was Lewis vs Rosberg - it's just they were closer all season so there was no benefit in backing one over the other.

I don't deny it's convenient that Bottas is apparently a terminally 'points but no glory' driver. It's certainly making life easy for the team!! But it is within his power to change that - if he was able to find some extra ability and out-perform Lewis. Looks like he can't, at least not in a sustained way, but that doesn't mean he isn't given a fair chance each year.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that Bottas was subtlety compromised by the team after his inconvenient, for Hamilton, start to the season.

To rule it out altogether would be naive though clearly Hamilton’s the better driver of the two and may not have needed any help. Which is why Bottas is there in the first place.

It would have been interesting to see Hamilton now had Bottas still been in the lead. It would make the Ferrari shenanigans look like play-school. Academic though; was never going to happen.

Muzzer79

2,886 posts

133 months

Friday 11th October
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TheDeuce said:

I wouldn't worry about that. There is zero reason he would ever want to be a Ferrari driver. He is modern F1, Ferrari are old F1. Even as a kid he shunned them for McLaren.
I wouldn't be so sure about that.

When you've beaten every worthwhile record (which he hasn't yet) and have nothing left to prove, what's the challenge?

Win with the most famous team.

If I were Ferrari I would want him in his prime, not towards the end of his career, but the pressure to hire the best no matter what is strong in Italy....

ukaskew

5,293 posts

167 months

Friday 11th October
quotequote all
REALIST123 said:
It wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that Bottas was subtlety compromised by the team after his inconvenient, for Hamilton, start to the season.

To rule it out altogether would be naive though clearly Hamilton’s the better driver of the two and may not have needed any help. Which is why Bottas is there in the first place.
I think that’s a fairly extreme stretch, an awful lot of people would need to know about it within what is a very big team, given that their bonuses hinge on winning the Constructors I think somebody might have leaked that info by now. The others are also closing in so it makes no sense from a team/corporate perspective to do that.

Bottas said himself in the Beyond the Grid podcast, beating Hamilton at individual races is possible, maintaining that over a season to beat a guy who almost never makes mistakes is the real challenge, just look how much that took out of Rosberg.

For me Mercedes are playing it perfectly to be in with the best chance of winning the Constructors each season. Without the politics of having a contractual number 1 and 2 driver they have a team that is transparent regarding their aims and how that develops over a season. Obviously it helps that one driver is faster than the other (and the other driver is still fast enough to pick up plenty of points), but that’s just clever recruitment.

TheDeuce

3,135 posts

12 months

Friday 11th October
quotequote all
ukaskew said:
REALIST123 said:
It wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that Bottas was subtlety compromised by the team after his inconvenient, for Hamilton, start to the season.

To rule it out altogether would be naive though clearly Hamilton’s the better driver of the two and may not have needed any help. Which is why Bottas is there in the first place.
I think that’s a fairly extreme stretch, an awful lot of people would need to know about it within what is a very big team, given that their bonuses hinge on winning the Constructors I think somebody might have leaked that info by now. The others are also closing in so it makes no sense from a team/corporate perspective to do that.

Bottas said himself in the Beyond the Grid podcast, beating Hamilton at individual races is possible, maintaining that over a season to beat a guy who almost never makes mistakes is the real challenge, just look how much that took out of Rosberg.

For me Mercedes are playing it perfectly to be in with the best chance of winning the Constructors each season. Without the politics of having a contractual number 1 and 2 driver they have a team that is transparent regarding their aims and how that develops over a season. Obviously it helps that one driver is faster than the other (and the other driver is still fast enough to pick up plenty of points), but that’s just clever recruitment.
That's how I see it too. No need for cloak and daggers politics, no need to make it that complex and potentially controversial if anything is leaked (or someone senior leaves and writes a tell all book). Free to race unless it's for the good of the team to follow a certain strategy - nice and simple, honest and no need to make the effort to BS and cover things up. Also, as proven, effective.

I don't understand why Ferrari can't do things the same way. Other than 'because Ferrari'. Lewis is 100% correct in my view, they weaken themselves by agreeing who they will support in each situation at the start of the season. Far wiser to leave the situation to develop naturally and then step in only when it's best for the team, and to judge what is best at the time, not via contract months earlier. Maybe it's because it has worked for them in their glory years, but that was many, many years ago and times change.

37chevy

3,047 posts

102 months

Friday 11th October
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I actually find Hamilton’s comment about equal fuel fascinating....so basically if I’m reading it correctly, Mclaren intentionally ran hamiltons car heavier to ensure Alonso was faster...

...that makes his rookie season even more impressive that he overcame the handicap

Teddy Lop

1,717 posts

13 months

Friday 11th October
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TheDeuce said:
AmoCS said:
Or he is concerned that Ferrari might replace Vettel next year, which could make it difficult for him should he want to switch to Ferrari in 2021.

I wouldn't worry about that. There is zero reason he would ever want to be a Ferrari driver. He is modern F1, Ferrari are old F1. Even as a kid he shunned them for McLaren.
don't worry he doesn't mean it, he's just helping to fulfil the demanding "Hamilton to ferrari" speculation quota. Gonna need permanent staff soon I think.