The Official F1 2021 silly season *contains speculation*

The Official F1 2021 silly season *contains speculation*

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Joey Deacon

3,533 posts

141 months

Tuesday
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Durzel said:
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.
This is probably the sad truth, they would rather keep a driver who isn't that good to keep Lewis happy rather than replace him with someone who is better.

I guess this is the advantage of having the best car on the grid, you can afford to do this and still win both titles.

A bit like Mansell and Patrese, Patrese managed to stay in a team that was way above his ability at the twilight of his career as he was happy to be number 2.

ch37

7,223 posts

186 months

Tuesday
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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.
I think the general public put far more emphasis on that than is the case, these guys are elite sportsmen, they want nothing more than to be in the most competitive car. Sure negotiate a tidy sum whilst you're at it, but I bet if Albon was offered the chance to drive for RB on no salary this season he would have taken it in an instant. Of course things aren't as simple as that as the whole ecosystem falls apart if you go down that road, but the point is I really don't think money is of particular consolation to George at the moment, the guy is set for life regardless (and I'd bet on him having an easy path into TV work like Button, once the career is done).

Muzzer79

4,655 posts

152 months

Tuesday
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Exige77 said:
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.
I can't see Bottas going back to Williams.

I would suspect he'll end up somewhere more mid-field - maybe Alpine or somewhere like that. Maybe even Aston Martin, if Vettel jacks it in.

Or he'll swan off to WEC or something where he can win a championship.

Muzzer79

4,655 posts

152 months

Tuesday
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Durzel said:
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.
That was back in 2014 when they had variable engine modes, etc.

I don't think it's possible to turn the wick up and down in the race weekend now and I don't think they have anywhere near the kind of advantage they had 7 years ago.

Exige77

6,073 posts

156 months

Tuesday
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Muzzer79 said:
Durzel said:
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.
That was back in 2014 when they had variable engine modes, etc.

I don't think it's possible to turn the wick up and down in the race weekend now and I don't think they have anywhere near the kind of advantage they had 7 years ago.
And each PU has a lot more distance to cover this year. It’s going to be very tight on reliability towards the end of the season.


Durzel

9,778 posts

133 months

Tuesday
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Muzzer79 said:
Durzel said:
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.
That was back in 2014 when they had variable engine modes, etc.

I don't think it's possible to turn the wick up and down in the race weekend now and I don't think they have anywhere near the kind of advantage they had 7 years ago.
That's fair enough. It was more an observation about the sort of mentality involved, in that if they managed to do that so successfully during 2014, then they have experience in gaming qualifying etc so as to not overplay their hand.

I would agree that it is probably a lot less relevant in 2021.

rdjohn

4,876 posts

160 months

Tuesday
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Muzzer79 said:
That was back in 2014 when they had variable engine modes, etc.

I don't think it's possible to turn the wick up and down in the race weekend now and I don't think they have anywhere near the kind of advantage they had 7 years ago.
They still have several engine modes. They just have to be the same set for qualifying, as for the race itself - so no party modes.

https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.qualify...

MustangGT

8,829 posts

245 months

Tuesday
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GR to Mercedes for 2022 alongside LH, VB to Aston Martin, SV out of F1. That's my take on it.

swisstoni

10,746 posts

244 months

Tuesday
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MustangGT said:
GR to Mercedes for 2022 alongside LH, VB to Aston Martin, SV out of F1. That's my take on it.
If Hamilton makes it 8 I think he’ll walk.
He may even go if he doesn’t make it, imho, unless he gets some very good vibes about the 2022 Merc.

Durzel

9,778 posts

133 months

Tuesday
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MustangGT said:
GR to Mercedes for 2022 alongside LH, VB to Aston Martin, SV out of F1. That's my take on it.
If I were a betting man I think I'd put money on that. Assuming no dramatic events this season I could definitely see that being the case next year.

kiseca

8,910 posts

184 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Durzel said:
Muzzer79 said:
Durzel said:
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.
That was back in 2014 when they had variable engine modes, etc.

I don't think it's possible to turn the wick up and down in the race weekend now and I don't think they have anywhere near the kind of advantage they had 7 years ago.
That's fair enough. It was more an observation about the sort of mentality involved, in that if they managed to do that so successfully during 2014, then they have experience in gaming qualifying etc so as to not overplay their hand.

I would agree that it is probably a lot less relevant in 2021.
It's also very common in Formula 1 and has been for years. Brawn sandbagged in the early races - or qualifying at least - to try hide their full advantage, I believe Lotus ran the 79 with full tanks as well. Since at least the '70s Formula 1 teams have been wary of inviting rule changes that would kill their advantage, so instead of running at full potential, they try guess how much advantage to run so they still win, but that nobody stops them.

Nothing unusual for Mercedes in this, and they didn't have to do so. It was just wise for them to.

HustleRussell

19,171 posts

125 months

Tuesday
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swisstoni said:
MustangGT said:
GR to Mercedes for 2022 alongside LH, VB to Aston Martin, SV out of F1. That's my take on it.
If Hamilton makes it 8 I think he’ll walk.
He may even go if he doesn’t make it, imho, unless he gets some very good vibes about the 2022 Merc.
Hamilton said at Portimao that he wants to stay.

TheDeuce

9,108 posts

31 months

Tuesday
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HustleRussell said:
swisstoni said:
MustangGT said:
GR to Mercedes for 2022 alongside LH, VB to Aston Martin, SV out of F1. That's my take on it.
If Hamilton makes it 8 I think he’ll walk.
He may even go if he doesn’t make it, imho, unless he gets some very good vibes about the 2022 Merc.
Hamilton said at Portimao that he wants to stay.
Would be a bit weird to not at least hang around for the first season of new regs - there is a very respectable chance Merc will have car that can fight for a title. If not, that would be the time to leave surely.

M3ax

1,031 posts

177 months

Tuesday
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Hamilton will stay for 2022. If he wins this year he’ll want to go for another. If he doesn’t he’ll want a chance for the 8 with the new regs.

glazbagun

11,646 posts

162 months

Tuesday
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Next year has the cost cap doesn't it?

I think Mercedes will hand the team to Ineos and go back to being an engine supplier. IIRC, Lewis' contract talks were held up as he wanted a share of the team. Maybe he'll get it as part of a way to keep him in the car without the team paying him.

Stan the Bat

6,384 posts

177 months

Tuesday
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" IIRC, Lewis' contract talks were held up as he wanted a share of the team. "


Where do you guys get this info ?

Just interested as never seen that mentioned, perhaps I don't delve into things enough.

thegreenhell

8,481 posts

184 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
glazbagun said:
Next year has the cost cap doesn't it?

I think Mercedes will hand the team to Ineos and go back to being an engine supplier. IIRC, Lewis' contract talks were held up as he wanted a share of the team. Maybe he'll get it as part of a way to keep him in the car without the team paying him.
Driver salaries and the highest three team salaries aren't included in the cost cap, so that makes no difference for a team that needs to make big cuts to hit the cap.

Muzzer79

4,655 posts

152 months

Tuesday
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TheDeuce said:
Would be a bit weird to not at least hang around for the first season of new regs - there is a very respectable chance Merc will have car that can fight for a title. If not, that would be the time to leave surely.
Weird?

There’s a very good argument to say that after 8 titles (assuming he wins this year) and over 100 GP wins, its best to go out at the absolute top rather than suffering the ignominy of (potentially) going out as one of the 19 losers.

TheDeuce

9,108 posts

31 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Muzzer79 said:
TheDeuce said:
Would be a bit weird to not at least hang around for the first season of new regs - there is a very respectable chance Merc will have car that can fight for a title. If not, that would be the time to leave surely.
Weird?

There’s a very good argument to say that after 8 titles (assuming he wins this year) and over 100 GP wins, its best to go out at the absolute top rather than suffering the ignominy of (potentially) going out as one of the 19 losers.
He'd still have 8 titles, I doubt it would change his legacy if he had a bad year before quitting - especially as it would be evident the car wasn't competitive.

It would be odd to see Lewis really struggling and at the back of the grid, but the chances of Merc struggling to that extent are very low, they've already plowed mega money in to 2022, very likely they'll remain a (maybe not 'the') top car imo.

Flooble

2,973 posts

65 months

Tuesday
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thegreenhell said:
glazbagun said:
Next year has the cost cap doesn't it?

I think Mercedes will hand the team to Ineos and go back to being an engine supplier. IIRC, Lewis' contract talks were held up as he wanted a share of the team. Maybe he'll get it as part of a way to keep him in the car without the team paying him.
Driver salaries and the highest three team salaries aren't included in the cost cap, so that makes no difference for a team that needs to make big cuts to hit the cap.
Remind me, how far are they controlled in the way those salaries are managed. E.g. Could a driver employ his own personal aerodynamicist, race engineer, powertrain engineer etc.?