The Official F1 2021 silly season *contains speculation*

The Official F1 2021 silly season *contains speculation*

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Gad-Westy

11,357 posts

178 months

Tuesday
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thegreenhell said:
It is not remotely Mercedes' or Toto's style to replace him during the season. They'll wait as long as possible before announcing that he won't be renewed for next year, and give him a cuddle and a nice soft landing somewhere else, possibly outside F1 completely.
Definitely not Merc's style but... I do wonder if this could happen if Mercedes found themselves trailing in the constructors standings at mid season. I don't think that has happened yet even when Ferrari were running them close in 17-19. As it stands that doesn't look all that likely but if Perez were able to start finishing a few races ahead of VB, who knows.

kambites

61,243 posts

186 months

Tuesday
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Teddy Lop said:
I'm not sure someone quicker than bottas is going to neatly slot into the gap between Lewis and max like an obedient little soldier.
yes If they shove, for example, Russell into the second seat it's far from a given that he's going to take more points of Verstappen than Hamilton. Not that he fits in the car anyway.

RonaldMcDonaldAteMyCat

12,195 posts

60 months

Tuesday
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It might not seem like Mercedes' style, but you never know what opportunities arw there and under what timescales. If, for example, Russell had an offer on the table elsewhere and needed action now, it might force a hand or two. Not saying that's the case at all, but it's an example of how the agenda could become driven externally.

Bottas certainly isn't getting better in the races. I remember in the Williams days he often fell asleep during the race and that seems to have followed him to Mercedes. Perhaps he's now just a bit too far off Hamilton whereas Rosberg was too close.

Who knows, it's all conjecture.

Edited to add; if I were RB I'd be offering Russell a contract for 2022. Even if he doesn't come, it destabilises Mercedes.

ch37

7,223 posts

186 months

Tuesday
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A cheeky offer from Red Bull to bring in George would put the cat amongst the pigeons (and is more likely than it was, given they were happy to bring Perez in over any of their RB young drivers)

Not sure who else is in a position to do that, I would have said McLaren, he'd be a great fit there to replace Daniel should things change at the end of the season, but the engine supply deal probably kills that idea.

I don't think there is another team worth considering an offer from, considering he presumably is within touching distance of a Mercedes AMG drive.

ajprice

Original Poster:

20,286 posts

161 months

Tuesday
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Mr Pointy said:
If he can't do it then Mercedes might need to take urgent action for the second half of the season especially if Perez starts to come good.
Yes, it's Bottas v Perez for this season, and get ahead of Verstappen if it goes that way in a race. If/when Perez gets settled then he should be able to fight Bottas for podiums, and to be honest my money would be on Perez with the Merc and Red Bull being close to equal this year.

Muzzer79

4,655 posts

152 months

Tuesday
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Teddy Lop said:
Muzzer79 said:
kambites said:
LaurasOtherHalf said:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/formulaone/artic...

Yes I know it's the Daily Mail, an unnamed source at Mercedes has said what everyone else is thinking.
Seems rather unlikely to me. They knew what they were getting with Bottas and that's exactly what they have got. Why would they change their minds now? I don't think he'll be in that seat next year, but I don't see them swapping drivers mid-season; the benefits just don't seem to match the costs.

Plus the fact it's in the Daily Mail does make it, on average, slightly less likely to be true than if no-one had reported it at all.
Agreed.

We would need to be later in the season with Bottas completely failing to score good points for this to happen.

There may be some truth in them wanting him to gee it up a bit - they know they need him to take points off Verstappen - but talk of replacing him is pretty thin IMO.
Complete rot.

Even red bulls approach wouldn't give bottas the chop mid season for his current performance.
confused

Not sure where I said anyone would give him the chop with his current performance?

Joey Deacon

3,533 posts

141 months

Tuesday
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Poor George, wins the 2018 F2 Championship ahead of Lando Norris only to be stuck in the Williams. He then gets the dream chance to show what he can do in the Mercedes when Lewis has Covid, easily over shadows Bottas only for a stupid pit mistake to rob him of the win.

He is now making up the numbers in the Williams while there is no clear defined path for him all the while Bottas is holding on to his drive.

Be great if Mercedes could do a Red Bull and swap drivers mid season as a test, but I really don't think that is their style. With Hamilton on a one year contract it seems George is stuck at Williams for the foreseeable until Lewis retires or Bottas doesn't get renewed.

Love to see George partner Max at Red Bull.

HustleRussell

19,171 posts

125 months

Tuesday
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Don’t feel too sorry for George, I bet there is a clear defined upwards path for him which we just don’t know about.

andburg

4,660 posts

134 months

Tuesday
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You can also bet George is being paid very well for his drive at Williams to keep him with Mercedes and out of hands of other teams.

Teddy Lop

4,826 posts

32 months

Tuesday
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Muzzer79 said:
confused

Not sure where I said anyone would give him the chop with his current performance?
Soz i was referring to the dm article

On the subject of which how does anyone read the daily mail, I mean physically? I'm more bothered than most by animations popups etc but I understand why advertising is, but I find so much junk going on on the dm site its actually borderline impossible to read the article.

Joey Deacon

3,533 posts

141 months

Tuesday
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HustleRussell said:
Don’t feel too sorry for George, I bet there is a clear defined upwards path for him which we just don’t know about.
I really hope that is the case.

andburg said:
You can also bet George is being paid very well for his drive at Williams to keep him with Mercedes and out of hands of other teams.
Money or not, I suspect he will be pretty pissed off if it turns out there is no position for him at Mercedes and he gets farmed off to Formula E with Susie. Especially when I suspect he could have just walked into the Reb Bull drive that Perez currently has this year.


HustleRussell

19,171 posts

125 months

Tuesday
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Joey Deacon said:
Money or not, I suspect he will be pretty pissed off if it turns out there is no position for him at Mercedes and he gets farmed off to Formula E with Susie. Especially when I suspect he could have just walked into the Reb Bull drive that Perez currently has this year.
Don’t worry about that, George’s next move is definitely not Formula E.

Mercedes had nowhere to put Ocon but he remains on the grid, and something tells me Merc aren’t going to let Russell slip through their fingers and may still have designs on Ocon too.

andburg

4,660 posts

134 months

Tuesday
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Joey Deacon said:
Money or not, I suspect he will be pretty pissed off if it turns out there is no position for him at Mercedes and he gets farmed off to Formula E with Susie. Especially when I suspect he could have just walked into the Reb Bull drive that Perez currently has this year.
He's still 12 years old, he knows the likes of Vettel / Perez / Lewis / Kimi / Alonso aren't going to hang around forever, ok only 2 of those are in cars capable of winning but he's not being tarnished by the car he's in, if anything its highlighting just how good he is.

George is not getting farmed out to FE / DTM.

If Lewis was going to call it a day then I'd expect 2 seats to open up at Mercedes. Bottas is not there purely on driving ability but because hes allows Lewis to perform that bit better than he did against Nico, no need to keep him once Lewis goes.

ajprice

Original Poster:

20,286 posts

161 months

Tuesday
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Hamilton is planning on staying for 2022, it's the reason why he did the 18" tyre rest at Imola. https://www.racefans.net/2021/04/29/hamilton-says-...

Durzel

9,778 posts

133 months

Tuesday
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andburg said:
Joey Deacon said:
Money or not, I suspect he will be pretty pissed off if it turns out there is no position for him at Mercedes and he gets farmed off to Formula E with Susie. Especially when I suspect he could have just walked into the Reb Bull drive that Perez currently has this year.
He's still 12 years old, he knows the likes of Vettel / Perez / Lewis / Kimi / Alonso aren't going to hang around forever, ok only 2 of those are in cars capable of winning but he's not being tarnished by the car he's in, if anything its highlighting just how good he is.

George is not getting farmed out to FE / DTM.

If Lewis was going to call it a day then I'd expect 2 seats to open up at Mercedes. Bottas is not there purely on driving ability but because hes allows Lewis to perform that bit better than he did against Nico, no need to keep him once Lewis goes.
I tend to agree with this.

Bottas keeps Hamilton honest but he is basically just filler. Mercedes know that he is not a credible threat to Hamilton, Hamilton knows it. Both Merc and Hamilton will talk up Bottas as viable competition, but it basically amounts to patting him on the head.

Mercedes don't want a repeat of the Rosberg era, and neither does Hamilton. It was not healthy for either of them.

Bottas is basically a journeyman. You need only look at his results pre-Mercedes to see someone who basically put in the work but never really had what it counts when it mattered. He does not have a killer instinct, and Hamilton has had the measure of him for years. Mercedes are happy enough with this because the car has been so good that Bottas has been able to get WCC points for them.

I think it would've made for a far more interesting season had Russell been brought in to replace Bottas this year. I'm somewhat surprised they didn't, as it felt to me that sticking Russell in the car in the race where Hamilton was absent - and his result that was basically as good as it could've been - was as much a contract negotiation tactic for Hamilton as it was earnestly giving Russell a shot.

I guess ultimately Mercedes are happy enough with things the way they are, but I agree that if Hamilton goes then I don't know if Bottas would be good enough to stay.

WickerBill

811 posts

13 months

Tuesday
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Interesting article.

Explains how Hamilton could overtake relatively easily but struggled to pull away and struggled a bit in 1 lap pace qualifying

https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/the-different-r...

Mr Pointy

7,915 posts

124 months

Tuesday
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kambites said:
Teddy Lop said:
I'm not sure someone quicker than bottas is going to neatly slot into the gap between Lewis and max like an obedient little soldier.
yes If they shove, for example, Russell into the second seat it's far from a given that he's going to take more points of Verstappen than Hamilton. Not that he fits in the car anyway.
Toto: Hi George, sit down. I've got two options for you. Come to Mercedes & drive Bottass' car for the rest of the season, but you can't take points off Lewis & your only job is to help us get the WCC & Lewis the WDC this year. Next year, the gloves are off. Or you can go back to Williams & drive that dog of a car backwards down the field every Sunday, secure in the knowledge that the only car you'll beat this year is the Hass.

Russell: Where do I sign.

rdjohn

4,876 posts

160 months

Tuesday
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Mr Pointy said:
But this might be Mercedes only opportunity to have Hamilton win the all time record 8th WDC driving a Mercedes - that's a massive publicity coup which can be used for years to come. At the moment they can't wait until next year as Hamilton isn't a Mercedes driver so they desperately need Bottas to be a disruptive factor that can be used to trip Verstappen up & ensure Hamilton wins the WDC.

If he can't do it then Mercedes might need to take urgent action for the second half of the season especially if Perez starts to come good.
The whole of the Lewis, Valteri and Mercedes AMG organisation is a very well-oiled machine.

I think that Max, Checo and Red Bull Honda will do their own tripping-up losing the WCC by quite a few points.

The only controversial thing that i see Mercedes doing is coming off the fence sooner and require Valteri to support Lewis.

I agree that it is just not their style to make a big switch halfway through a challenging season. If George is to be part of the team next year, i do think that will be announced slightly sooner than normal as the tub of the new car will need to take account of his lanky frame. His helmet definitely interrupts flow into the air-box of the current car.

Exige77

6,073 posts

156 months

Tuesday
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rdjohn said:
Mr Pointy said:
But this might be Mercedes only opportunity to have Hamilton win the all time record 8th WDC driving a Mercedes - that's a massive publicity coup which can be used for years to come. At the moment they can't wait until next year as Hamilton isn't a Mercedes driver so they desperately need Bottas to be a disruptive factor that can be used to trip Verstappen up & ensure Hamilton wins the WDC.

If he can't do it then Mercedes might need to take urgent action for the second half of the season especially if Perez starts to come good.
The whole of the Lewis, Valteri and Mercedes AMG organisation is a very well-oiled machine.

I think that Max, Checo and Red Bull Honda will do their own tripping-up losing the WCC by quite a few points.

The only controversial thing that i see Mercedes doing is coming off the fence sooner and require Valteri to support Lewis.

I agree that it is just not their style to make a big switch halfway through a challenging season. If George is to be part of the team next year, i do think that will be announced slightly sooner than normal as the tub of the new car will need to take account of his lanky frame. His helmet definitely interrupts flow into the air-box of the current car.
That all makes perfect technical sense but if the season is very tight as we all hope, they are going to need VB to play ball as long as possible.

Telling VB he’s going to be driving the Williams next year too soon won’t encourage him to play the team game.

It’s a tough call for Toto.

If George joins the big team, he will have many years ahead of him so I can see him behind compliant for a while until it’s his turn.

Durzel

9,778 posts

133 months

Tuesday
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As an aside, I was disappointed to read Mercedes talking about how they had to turn down the wick on their cars in 2014 so as not to demolish the competition and end up with a much bigger incentive to come up with changes to try and reign them in.

They did such a good job with this it calls into doubt in my mind any proclamations about RB, Ferrari, etc being faster. I do wonder how much is left in the tank that they can use, if needed, if things are looking a bit grim in a given race.