Tag Archives: Lewis Hamilton

F1 Silly Season: Ferrari Swaps Finns?

We are now into the European portion of the 2018 Formula One season and with multiple contracts expiring this year, silly season is now in full swing. One of the key figures is Daniel Ricciardo and where he goes (or if he stays) will have a bearing on the rest of the big team line-ups. Many think he is lining up a seat at Ferrari, but let’s just think about this for a moment. Sebastian Vettel is the undisputed #1 at the Scuderia, and his contract is rumored to give him a say on his teammate, so why would he allow the man who beat him in a fair fight at Red Bull to come into “his” team? So where might the Australian turn if Red Bull can’t convince him to stay? After calling Max Verstappen the second coming, it’s a bit of a tough sell – but there again they’ve made billions selling a drink that tastes like rotting gym socks…

So the alternative is Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton isn’t scared of any teammate (“paging Fernando Alonso..”) but still hasn’t signed a contract, so maybe they will hedge their bets and pursue Ricciardo, leaving Valtteri Bottas out in the cold. Or would he be? The Finn would make a perfect replacement for a Finn – at Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen is clearly not the better of Vettel (and Sebastian likes it that way) but he isn’t doing enough to help Ferrari win the Constructors’ Championship, where the money comes from – and with Liberty Media wanting to strip away the Bernie Ecclestone-era bonuses that becomes all the important. So why not install “Finn 2.0” at the Scuderia? He’s fast, he’s quiet, he’s relatively cheap and he’s a team player. He also doesn’t have accusations of drunken sexually impropriety being leveled at him – another compelling reason for him to be put out to pasture.

So that gives us:

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton / Daniel Ricciardo
Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel / Valtteri Bottas
Red Bull-Honda: Max Verstappen / Pierre Gasly (?) – that’s one for next time!

– MCZF1

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MCZ Motorsports 250 F1 Season Preview

The MCZ Motorsports 250 2016 Formula One Season Preview podcast is now available for your listening pleasure! You can find it here.

Our predictions:

F1 2016 Predictions

1st Mercedes far ahead in testing mileage. Fast and didn’t even use the Ultrasoft tyre. Definitely sandbagging. They rebuilt Rosberg’s psyche at the end of last season but Hamilton is now refocused and the man to beat.
Hamilton over Rosberg.

2nd Ferrari set fast times but put in only average mileage and had some reliability questions. The change in front suspension design should help Raikonnen but he will always be second fiddle to Vettel in probably his last F1 season. Close but no cigar.
Vettel over Raikkonen.

3rd Williams put in average mileage and only went for times once in testing. This is definitely Felipe Massa’s last year in F1 and he is hoping for a good one but the lower steps on the podium are all he and Bottas can hope for, unless something goes wrong up ahead.
Bottas over Massa.

4th Toro Rosso. Now we come to the surprises. They put in great testing mileage and showed good speed. They will most definitely beat Red Bull Racing this year and could be a threat to the likes of Williams, lurking when Mercedes and Williams faulter.
Verstappen over Sainz.

5th Red Bull is a now a team hamstrung by their own ego. They won’t be bad but nothing spectacular is in store. Ricciardo will beat Kvyat but neither will be a threat for podiums let alone wins.
Ricciardo over Kvyat.

6th McLaren have improved but that wasn’t exactly hard after the 2015 fiasco! Alonso can wring ever last drop from the car, while Button is the consummate analytical racer. They won’t be the laughing stock in 2016 but they won’t be winning either.
Alonso over Button.

7th Force India are better prepared than last year but a financial cloud hangs over the future of the team thanks to Vijay Mallya’s antics which will only weigh heavier as the season progresses.
Perez over Hulkenberg.

8th Haas: New team problems are expected but this is a very different kind of debut. They could be the first new team since Toyota in 2002 to score points on their debut but more likely they will need to wait longer into the season, but it will come.
Grosjean over Gutierrez.

9th Renault admit that this will be a transition year and are setting the bar low. With a very late start in design the car is simply a re-engined revamp of the 2015 Lotus but at least they had the sense to kick Crashtor Maldonado to the curb.
Magnussen over Palmer.

10th Sauber will as always be good out the gate, and the first 3 races will probably be their best chances of scoring points. Their financial woes mean they will have precious little development of the car and the departure of Technical Director Mark Smith is a major blow.
Nasr over Ericsson.

11th Manor has gone through a huge shake up and it will take some time for things to settle. The addition of Mercedes power units is a huge plus but the teams’ lack of resources mean little in the way of development.
Wehrlein over Haryanto.

Another set of titles for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes – #4 for #44.
Now let’s go racing!

– MCZF1

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What A Finish!

In what was quite probably the most exciting finish to a F1 World Championship, Lewis Hamilton became the youngest ever Champion at basically the last corner of the last race of the season; and broke Felipe Massa’s heart in the process.

Massa and Ferrari did everything they could to win and just when it looked like McLaren would fall just short, the title fell to Hamilton as Toyota’s dry tyre gamble came a lap short. You can’t help but feel sorry for Massa, who took the chequered flag in front of his home crowd and for half of his cool down lap thought he was World Champion.

All in all it was a great finish to a great season with Robert Kubica, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel taking the fight to the usual Ferrari/McLaren pairings. With the new aerodynamic regulations and the introduction of “Kenetic Energy Recovery Systems” (KERS) in 2009, it promises to an open, competitive and exciting season once again.

– MCZF1