F1 - 2023

Started by MiniDave, December 04, 2022, 02:46:01 PM

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MiniDave

With the 2022 season in the books, I guess it's time to start a new thread for next year.

A few things are decided, the grid is mostly done now - all drivers in place and again we'll have a few new faces, a few familiar faces in new uniforms and a couple of old faces still hanging around, even if not on the grid.

New faces include Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant, along with super sub The Hulk at HAAS with his 'ol buddy KMag.

Binotto has left Ferrari with his replacement yet to be announced, but I'm told it will not be Vasseur but rather someone promoted from within.

Mercedes promises to be back with a vengeance, convinced they can win races, challenge for poles and maybe even the championship. Red Bull will come back strong as usual, building on their successful 2022 car and Ferrari says their new engine is "da bomb", according to Gunter Steiner of HAAS. If that's so, we may see some new faces on the podiums this season as both Alfa and HAAS will be using them too....

So, predictions?

I think the Mercs will be strong, Reds Bull will be fast, and Ferrari (if they can keep them running) will be challenging for pole all season.

I think Sainz is going to have a better year, LeClerc will get his shit together too. George will be even quicker than this year, and the HAAS boiz may surprise a few people in the midfield.

I think strategy will be even more important, and as this is Ferrari's perennial Achilles heel, I hope they get on top of it.

Tires are also supposed to be improved this season too.

What do ya'll think?
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Brit_in_TX

I am hoping that the gaps between the top 3 teams will be closer, with Merc and Ferrari regularly challenging Red Bull for victories. Lower down the order, I would like to see the gaps from the top 3 to close up, with some teams having the opportunity to challenge for podiums

This season will be a season of reckoning for a number of drivers:
Leclerc - 2 thoughts here 1) Ferrari need to sort their strategy decision making out, if the errors continue I cannot see Leclerc staying long term with Ferrari. 2) Leclerc made some unforced errors this year, he needs to remove those if he is going to challenge for a championship.

Sainz - Needs to show he can challenge Leclerc and others on a regular basis, otherwise he will be seen as a good second driver not a championship contender.

Russell - Has to build on his 2022 with more victories and push to become the defacto team leader if/when Hamilton retires.

Hamilton - If he has another winless season then I think his time in F1 will be coming to an end. He has so many interests outside of F1, I wonder how longer he will stay if he is not winning.  I do not see him dragging out his career like Vettel and Alonso in uncompetitive cars.

Norris - needs to beat Piastri, and show whether the difficulties that Riccardio had were simply driving style or was he able to adapt to a difficult car like the true greats can do.

Gasly and Ocon - one of them needs to demonstrate that they can lead a team and drive it forwards.  I have never rated either of them as potential future F1 world champions, but I would like to see the partnership be successful.

Sargeant - He needs to show that he is not another pay to play driver (he comes from a billionaire family).  His junior formulae he has never won a championship, but was pretty successful karter.

Hulkenberg - I was a little disappointed that they brought the Hulk back, at 35 he is in the twilight of his F1 career.  He holds the record for the most F1 races without a podium (not a great record to have!).  There are many drivers in the junior categories that deserve a chance in F1. 

And this brings me on to my final point, is the junior formulae ladder broken for the FIA.  Only the 4th place driver in F2 secured an F1 drive from 2022, in 2021 it was the 3rd place (admittedly the champion will be on the grid in 2023).  The other "rookie" F1 driver is Nyck De Vries who is 27 years old and did win the F2 championship in 2019, but is far from a rookie as he was Formula E champion in 2020/21.

MiniDave

#2
I pretty much agree on all points, and I think this could be a pretty good year in F1, and maybe the last of the good years for a while if they're talking about making during race adjustments to the leading car to slow it down..... :embarrassed:

Then in 2026 it could be all new again with new players coming into the series.  :steeringwheel:

There is a Chinese billionaire who wants into the game, and Andretti says their entry is still happening, Audi is all in with the Sauber team and Porsche says they're not dead yet, just trying to see where their next play might be - I really thought the tie up with Red Bull was an interesting idea, now the talk is they might have an in with the Williams team, except that Dorilton Capital says it's not for sale, they're in for the long haul. Who knows?  :017:

The Chinese GP has been scrapped for 2023, and instead we'll see them in Portugal at Portim├úo, which I think is brilliant as it's a fantastically fun looking track!  :great:

Gonna be a long wait till Feb testing and the first race in March.
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Brit_in_TX

So we are now in team principal silly season.

Ferrari's Binotto resigned, he is being replace by Alfa Romeo/Sauber boss Vasseur.
Alfa Romeo/Sauber has recruited Seidel from McLaren
Mclaren have promoted Andrea Stella from within to Team Principal.
Williams have let go both Team boss Capito and their Technical Director

What I find interesting about all of this, normally it takes months to transfer senior management between the teams but there appears to have been something happening really fast and in a co-ordinated manner.

MiniDave

It reminds me of how NFL coaches change teams.....someone has a bad season and they get fired only to turn up at another team the following season, and getting paid even more than the losing team paid them.

I didn't see Siedel moving to Alfa, that's a bit of a surprise. I wonder if Audi had any influence on his hiring?

It will be interesting to see who Williams hires. I still think either Andretti, Honda or Porsche are going to wind up buying a team, and Williams is the next logical choice.

Honda is maybe going to be building engines again - separate from Red Bull - and may even start their own team again - wouldn't THAT be interesting? Even better if Ford or Chevy decide to give it a go too....or Hyundai - I've been reading that they really want to move further onto the world stage, maybe by branding their Genesis label on something much like Infinity, Aston and others have done.

Actually I'm a bit surprised Audi is coming in at this late era in combustion engines, let alone any other legacy mfr, when we are clearly moving away from them worldwide - yes it's going to take a while, but look how fast things have been moving already.....
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Brit_in_TX

Quote from: MiniDave on December 13, 2022, 09:43:48 AMI didn't see Siedel moving to Alfa, that's a bit of a surprise. I wonder if Audi had any influence on his hiring?

After I wrote that post, I saw a comment from Zac Brown, that Siedel had already told McLaren he would be leaving and going to Audi in 2025 so the negotiated for him to go sooner after Vasseur went to Ferrari.

MiniDave

Mercedes signed Mick as their reserve driver, so if something happens to either Lewis or George, he gets to drive the Merc and show what he can do in a "proper" car.

I say good for him.

I think he's angling for the Audi drive in 2026 if he doesn't get called up to Merc full time.
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MiniDave

#7
Mario says they're almost in the big show, funding is set, the shop is being built (in Indianapolis no less!). it will be run as Andretti Global out of a shop in England, and they have an engine supplier lined up...just waiting for F1 to give their blessing.

Let's see, Andretti Indycar uses Honda motors, and Honda says they're ready to get back into F1.....whadya think? Sure would be a lot easier on them if they could buy Alfa Tauri,  the Honda connection is already there at least.

I wonder if Renault will ever get another engine customer?
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MiniDave

#8
So, interesting things going on off-track in F1

Andretti announced they wanted to field an entry, F1 said no thanks

A few days ago F1 said sure, we'd like some new teams in F1, particularly an American team but we want it to be tied to a mfr like Audi

Andretti today says - How about Cadillac?

F1 replies.......hmmmmmm........ummmm.......well.......um.......
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BruceK

Again I don't understand why manufacturers going to a full electric-only lineup of models (like Cadillac and Audi) want to sponsor internal combustion F1 instead of supporting Formula E?  Must just be the number of eyeballs involved, eh?  And it's still 5 years or so before they switch to all-electric?

Anyway, it would be great to have another American team.
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Brit_in_TX

And Cadillac have admitted that they would be rebadging an engine, at least initially.  GM road cars did a deal with Honda to share their EV platform, so could it be the Honda/Red Bull Powertrain?

MiniDave

I've read that the Red Bull powertrains will be branded "Ford"!!!

Like Bruce, I'm not sure I understand the logic of them getting into F1 now, but with the engines running on synthfuel, maybe that's the tie-in?
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MiniDave

Speaking at Autosport International, former Toyota F1 driver McNish explained: "[The] 2026 [entry] is because it is a new regulation change for the power unit and with that, there are a few key factors.

"One, that there is a big increase in the electrification, so there is a lot more electric power from the hybrid system. It's about three times what it is today and it's nearly equal with the internal combustion engine.

"The second is sustainable fuels.

"That is very road-relevant because, from an Audi point of view, as it has been with every single motorsport programme dating back to the rally and Quattro, whether it be TSI injection at Le Mans, they're developing technology in the most extreme circumstances that will have a road relevance."
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MiniDave

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MiniDave

#14
So, it looks like Ford and Red Bull are going to do a tie up of some sort - the engines in 2026 will be badged Ford, but they will be built by Red Bull's powertrains unit - much like the last time Ford was in F1 and Cosworth built their engines.

So IF Andretti and Cadillac can find their way onto the grid (still highly unlikely at this point) we could have two American teams in F1 and two American manufacturers in F1 - I think that would be a first?

All in all 2023 is shaping up to be an interesting season in F1, with all the driver swaps, rookies coming in, new blood in management and so on......and 2026 promises to be even more interesting, to my mind!
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Brit_in_TX

The interesting thing is that the FIA are pushing ahead with a process for new teams. However, F1/Liberty Media also have control who they can allow on the grid - so probably be something that ends up being decided by lawyers.

MiniDave

#16
A lot can happen in the next three years, but I want to see what happens in testing this month, new cars, new drivers all getting a shakedown. Red Bull will be strong again, but the Mercs were definitely coming on strong towards the end of last season, so I expect a three way fight at the front, and a 5 way fight in the mid field.

Alonso seems to think the Aston has legs this year and the Alpine boys were the best of the rest most of the season....if Renault has gotten on top of their reliability issues they should be ready to pounce on a mistake and maybe take a podium or two. McLaren says they think they have their issues straightened out too, and Ferrari are supposed to have made a major gain in HP - tho Vasseur says that's nonsense, all they did was fix the parts that broke last year.

With all that said, I sure hope it's not another run away season - I don't really care who wins, I just want to see some new faces on the stand this season.

I do wish they would free up the engine design, so we could have 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 and even 12 cylinder powerplants again!
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Brit_in_TX

Agree with all of those points.

I have always been confused about the limited number of engines/power units and the lack of testing as "money saving".  I am convinced that approach does not save money as they just spend all the other money on at base testing e.g. wind tunnel (although that is getting limited now), engine dyno, etc etc.

I would like to see some more in season testing, even if it is an extra practice day on a Thursday or Monday of a race weekend.  Or at circuits where there is limited support races, give them the whole of Friday with an open pit lane.


MiniDave

#18
Well, speaking of practice - this Fri, Sat and Sunday the 2023 season gets underway with pre-season testing in Bahrain

Lots of rumors going around, including some about Aston Martin. First is that Jr will not be there for the test as he fell off his bike, but he may make it to the first race. All expect Alonso to clean his clock regularly thruout the season, and more than a couple of drivers from other teams have said the 2023 Aston looks fast. Considering none of the cars have turned a wheel in anger yet, I'm taking this with the proverbial grain of salt. Their back up driver who will fill in for Jr is Drugovich.

Mercedes has stuck with their no sidepods look, no one knows what to expect from them but they were going good at the end of last season, so we'll see.

A couple of teams have claimed improvements in their powerpacks "for reliability" wink wink, nudge nudge - the biggest gains are supposed to be at Ferrari. Vaseur has played it down saying they haven't done anything but go after the things that broke last season.....but Gunther says the new motor is "da bomb", whatever he may mean by that.

McLaren is rumored to be in talks with Honda for a motor in 2026, along with several other "un-named" teams. I'm not surprised at this as once they got their partnership with Red Bull up and running it was clear they had a competitive package. No idea how the intellectual properties situation will get resolved when Ford shows up later on, should be interesting. But Ford does have co-operative agreements with Honda on electric cars and such, so maybe there's a backroom deal going on. I do think Honda is a bit miffed with Red Bull right now tho.....

Sure would like to see Andretti buy Williams or maybe even Alpha Tauri and bring Cadillac with them onto the grid.

There is also a South Korean billionaire talking about bringing a team in with Hyundai sponsorship. I think the time is right for some new blood on the grid, well, new faces anyway if not exactly blood - don't want that!

One other interesting note, in the quest for weight savings, a number of teams have unpainted their cars, so there will be a lot of black on the grid!
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Brit_in_TX

I think we probably not know much until the final day, but it was good to see cars on track again. 

Rumor is that Stroll Jr broke his wrists falling off his bike, if true it seems unlikely he will be in the car for the first race of the season.

Couple of points I noted from first day results, could be something or could be nothing:
- Piastri was over 1.4 seconds slower than Norris and they did a similar number of laps.
- The spread across the entire field was only 2.3 seconds - which could bode well for a close championship.




MiniDave

#20
Well FP1 and FP2 are done and some interesting things have come to the front - including Alonso with fast time in FP2 in the Aston! I will be fun to see some new faces at the front of the grid! Also, interesting vid of how Stroll with his wrist issues holds the wheel in really sharp turns.

Mercedes is not where I expected them to be, Ferrari may have high tire degradation to deal with, and how about the Hulk in P5? Whereas Kmag seems lost with his setup in his HAAS......

Red Bull and Ferrari look fast, Mclaren also looks lost right now, and the newbies are not exactly setting the time charts on fire, but again, given how little track time any of them have this season so far I expect some improvements as the season wears on. Speaking of improvements - top 14 runners within 1 second of each other is pretty wow to me!
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MiniDave

Bahrain 2023

The more things change.....the more they seem the same.....

The big news this year was the resurgence of Aston Martin in the hands of Alonso, and there's no question they've made a good step forward but in the end, it was the two Red Bulls followed by the two Ferraris.

Alonso came 5th, pretty much where he was when driving the Alpine, and his teammate Lance did a great job putting his Aston 8th after missing all of practice last week and the team not sure if he even could drive this race - so a "well done" to him.

Russell just pipped the Hamster to take 6th and 7th for Mercedes, pretty much where they were last year which is also a bit of a surprise given how strong they finished at the end of last season but massively better than the start of last year!

Ocon and the Hulk rounded out the top 10 - Hulk has been way faster than KMag all weekend, somehow Kevin just can't get his car where he likes it. 10th for the HAAS is a decent start and I hope he continues to do well.....HAAS needs a good season.

The new rookies finished 16, 18 and 19th so none of them got out of Q1. No surprise there although after all the drama surrounding Piastri I think McLaren hoped he would be further up the order, but Lando only managed 11th so clearly they have some work to do again this season.

Alpha Tauri insist loudly that the team is NOT for sale - which probably means a deal to sell the team is already done..  :grin:
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MiniDave

#22
Well, it's almost like the 2022 season never ended, as we picked up right where we left off.....

The Reds Bull sailed off over the horizon, Ferrari had an issue and one car didn't finish, the Mercs finished 5th and 7th, pretty much where they ran last year. HAAS had a terrible race only in terms of performance, no issues with the car except that it's just not fast in race pace. McLaren also had a terrible race with Piastri dropping out early and Norris limping home after stopping 5 times to have his air topped up.

Sargeant had the best debut of all the rookies, bringing his Williams home in 12th while Albon managed 10th again.

The Astons were the real show, as foretold by the test and practice sessions, but I don't think anyone can run with the Reds Bull over a race distance yet. Aston finished 3rd (Alonso) and 6th, so well done to them. I think Alonso will be the spark this team needed to light this team on fire again, but the results were mostly due to Vettel's work with the team - credit due where it belongs. But before we get all giddy about Alonso's finish, as good as it was, it was still almost 40 sec behind Max at the end.....that's a LONG ways back

Gasly also needs a shout out for starting dead last and finishing in the points plus getting fastest lap in the Alpine.

Ferrari really seems to have gotten on top of their engine reliability issues (sarcasm) and they also seem to be harder on tires than either the Red Bulls or the Aston.
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MiniDave

Well, at the end of last season with the improved pace of the Mercedes (they won a race after all!), the fact that Red Bull's #1 car guy after Adrian Newey was going to Aston along with his #2 from Mercedes, and the supposed reliability improvements to the Ferrari I thought it would lead to more and different winners this year, but after the Bahrain race there is talk that not only has Red Bull already won both championships but that they will probably win every race this year!

I think that's a little optimistic, but there's no question the only one who could run with Max at the Bahrain race was his teammate.

Some say that the Red Bull was more optimized for the peculiarities of the Bahrain circuit than any other team and that's why their race pace was so strong, and that once the series moves to other circuits it may not look so dominant......I don't know about that, but some teams clearly have lost the plot - Mercedes and McLaren the most obvious. Even worse for Mercedes is the fact that Aston is their customer team, using not only their engine/power unit but also their rear suspension setup and their wind tunnel to develop their car!

Perez quipped that the Aston was so close a copy of the Red Bull that there were three Red Bull drivers on the podium!

What do you think? Will Red Bull run the table this season? Can anyone beat them, and if so - who? Remember, even Aston was almost 40 sec behind at the end of the race....
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Brit_in_TX

Red Bull's race pace seems to in a different league to the rest of the teams. Maybe they have significant advantage because of the track, but regardless they were still 40 odd seconds ahead at the end and I imagine that Max and Checo had their motors turned right down for a large proportion of the race.

It looks like the race will be for 3rd place in the championship.  As the midfield does like hyper competitive this year, even McLaren had good race pace in the middle of the race when Norris was following Hamilton and Alonso.

I think the only way they will make the field truly competitive is to get Adrian Newey to retire!

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