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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:01 pm 
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A while ago I posted on the myth of the slow Ferrari. I think it is about time to address the other pervasive myth - the myth of the super fast Red Bull.

Lewis Hamilton is in with a shout of winning his 5th race this year. He has also retired twice from pretty dominant leads, so we could have been talking about Hamilton winning the 7th race of the year.

His team mate has also won 2 races, making it 9 possible McLaren race victories out of 20, were it not for reliability issues. Vettel has won 5 races, and Webber 2, so not really many for a supposedly dominant car.

Vettel also lost one race win due to failure so that just about (although not quite) evens it out in terms of race wins but he wouldn't have won in Singapore but for LH retirement. So all in all, without the reliability issues, McLaren could have won 9 races, Red bull 6 and Ferrari 2 (Renault 1, Mercedes 1 and Williams 1 to make 20 races). I am giving the Abu Dhabi to LH due to him being dominant until his retirement, and the European to Vettel on account of him being dominant until his retirement.

So the McLaren has been the much better car, other than for it's atrocious reliability. The Red Bull has been a solid number 2, even though Red Bull did manage to put together the season's best winning streak.

So in terms of pure pace and championship winning potential, the McLaren was top, and they blew it, and Red Bull was just more reliable (except for the alternator issues). Ferrari has had bulletproof reliability, with no mechanical retirements for Alonso which has been worth at least 50 points in their title hunt)

Alonso's consistency is constantly lauded, but Vettel has only had one race finish outside the top 10 (the 22nd finish was a classification, but his car broke down in Italy).

In my mind, any of the two who wins it deserves the win. The notion that Alonso deserves it more is a bit unfair on Vettel. Vettel has also had difficult points in the season, and he put his head down and did his job. Yes, he had a purple patch which has meant people now ascribe too much credit to the car. The fact that it looks like Hamilton has had the fastest car in 4 of the last 8 races seems to have eluded most people. In fact, when Vettel wins, it is because of the car, and when Hamilton wins (besides only ever having driven a McLaren), it is in spite of the car. Which is rubbish really.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:11 pm 
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The only time Red Bull were clearly fastest was Valencia, Japan, Korea and India. The rest of the time they were very close to either McLaren or Ferrari or McLaren were clearly quicker


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:12 pm 
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I totally agree. We even saw after the last race that people were trying to say the McLaren was the slower car but Lewis was the faster driver, which first of all is bullshit, but second of all would NEVER be said about Vettel if the situation was reversed.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:13 pm 
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The Red Bull has been battling it with the McLaren in terms of pace, not Ferrari. So yes, it wasn't dominant but it has been a much better than the Ferrari in 85% of the season. People like the underdog, when the small team/slower car/injured player is in to win in against someone who is favorite to win.

PS: Not that it matters, Vettel was 11th in Malaysia. It wasn't his fault (entirely) and it doesn't really matter, just pointing it out.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:24 pm 
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I do agree that overall Mclaren seemed to have the fastest car, evident by their pole positions and speculated race wins. the team blew it with having a car with bad reliability, but that is the expense of running close to the limit as if they didn't they wouldn't have had a fast car to begin with.

"an unreliable car has never won the championship and never will" i remember reading with on PF1 main site back in 2010, Mclaren this year and their history (2005 among others) show why this statement is true.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:28 pm 
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mkone wrote:
The fact that it looks like Hamilton has had the fastest car in 4 of the last 8 races seems to have eluded most people.

The fact that Jenson has been usually behind both RBR drivers seems to have eluded you. McLaren and RBR have both had good qualy and race pace but considering Webber has consistently outqualified JB, I would say that the RBR is the better car in qualy. As regards race pace, I agree it is a myth that the Ferrari is slower. It does take a couple of laps for them to come up to speed, but when they do, they are as fast as anybody. Heck even Massa put in the FL on the penultimate lap in Austin till Vettel went faster on the final lap. This is the story as of today and since Abu Dhabi. Starting Singapore and for a period of 4 races the RBR was untouchable in qualy and race and hence Vettel gets lesser credit than he is due. Heck even Alonso and Lewis have gone on record saying it is the car, so there must be some truth to it.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:30 pm 
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The Mclaren has been the car of the year when it comes to race pace... but their reliability has been shit. The Ferrari has had bulletproof reliability but has just had "good" race pace.

Apparently it's best to have a mix of both.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:31 pm 
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M.Nader -DODZ- wrote:
I do agree that overall Mclaren seemed to have the fastest car, evident by their pole positions and speculated race wins. the team blew it with having a car with bad reliability, but that is the expense of running close to the limit as if they didn't they wouldn't have had a fast car to begin with.

"an unreliable car has never won the championship and never will" i remember reading with on PF1 main site back in 2010, Mclaren this year and their history (2005 among others) show why this statement is true.

So what you are saying is that if they did not run the car on the limit, it would be slower than the others.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:42 pm 
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chinki wrote:
The fact that Jenson has been usually behind both RBR drivers seems to have eluded you. McLaren and RBR have both had good qualy and race pace but considering Webber has consistently outqualified JB, I would say that the RBR is the better car in qualy.

Webber, as well Trulli, has long been famous as a qualifying specialist.
OTOH Button has never been close to a strong qualifier, his specialties are his consistency in races (which is not case this year) and his bravery to gamble in changeable conditions.
But I agree with you about one thing: Red Bull are the better in qualy, maybe because they can warm new tires faster. Remember in Austin, it took some time for Hamilton and Button before they got the actual speed after a pitstop. Ferrari were even worse, I recall it took 3 laps for Massa to get his tires warmed up and regain his speed, while Alonso didn't get TV coverage after the pitstop because he drove a lonely race.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:57 pm 
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The fact the JB has been behind both RBRs has not eluded me. JB has been pants in qualifying this season. He has trouble warming up the tyres and this is possibly due to his driving style. But the fact remains that the McLaren has been the fastest car out there nearly 50% more than the Red Bull. Brazil seems to be showing that the McLaren has the fastest far again. (And JB is right up there.)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:39 pm 
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chinki wrote:
M.Nader -DODZ- wrote:
I do agree that overall Mclaren seemed to have the fastest car, evident by their pole positions and speculated race wins. the team blew it with having a car with bad reliability, but that is the expense of running close to the limit as if they didn't they wouldn't have had a fast car to begin with.

"an unreliable car has never won the championship and never will" i remember reading with on PF1 main site back in 2010, Mclaren this year and their history (2005 among others) show why this statement is true.

So what you are saying is that if they did not run the car on the limit, it would be slower than the others.


Most probably yes! but i am just guessing.

Having lighter (faster parts) takes its toll on reliability. Having a very complex and tight packaging also does the same (overheating problems, less accessibility, design for a confined space,,,etc). there are also a lot of other factors such as engine tuning.

So yeah, usually having a more reliable car will cost some speed which will be Mclaren's challenge next year.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:41 pm 
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So what you're saying is, were it not for failures Lewis Hamilton would be world champion.

I agree :nod:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:46 pm 
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chinki wrote:
mkone wrote:
The fact that it looks like Hamilton has had the fastest car in 4 of the last 8 races seems to have eluded most people.

The fact that Jenson has been usually behind both RBR drivers seems to have eluded you. McLaren and RBR have both had good qualy and race pace but considering Webber has consistently outqualified JB, I would say that the RBR is the better car in qualy. As regards race pace, I agree it is a myth that the Ferrari is slower. It does take a couple of laps for them to come up to speed, but when they do, they are as fast as anybody. Heck even Massa put in the FL on the penultimate lap in Austin till Vettel went faster on the final lap. This is the story as of today and since Abu Dhabi. Starting Singapore and for a period of 4 races the RBR was untouchable in qualy and race and hence Vettel gets lesser credit than he is due. Heck even Alonso and Lewis have gone on record saying it is the car, so there must be some truth to it.

Well, Jenson mentioned his set-up issues... even at Austin... seems like you missed that bit, or ignored it. May i ask you which is it? Fact is, McLaren themselves have claimed that their car is the fastest, and unless you work there, i think most of us here will go for what Martin and Sam said.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:46 pm 
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Speaking of Hamilton, he just said in an interview after the Brazilian quali that Mclaren is the best/fastest car this season it's just that they didn't capitalize. So, Vettel does not have the fastest car to win the championship so easily.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 pm 
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The McLaren has been the fastest all season but it has not been the best car. Their reliability ruined that for them.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:56 pm 
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Another problem McLaren have had (other than reliability and team errors) is that, when they've been quickest, other elements outside their control have worked against them. In Malaysia, Germany and now Brazil, they have been compromised by rain, where the car is weaker. In the first half of the season, the tyres were unpredictable, leading to five teams winning the first five races. Compare that to Red Bull's advantage, which came in a much more stable, predictable run of races toward the end of the season. This allowed them to reel off a string of victories without too much problem.

On balance, I would say the McLaren has been marginally better than the Red Bull (counting reliability too) over the season. Unfortunately, Button's bad run earlier in the season and Hamilton's terrible luck have prevented them from fighting for the championship.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:05 pm 
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"So what you're saying is, were it not for failures Lewis Hamilton would be world champion."

to quote a co-worker of mine

"If my Aunt had balls she'd be my Uncle ! "


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:08 pm 
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if mclaren didn't had crap reliability, kimi would hv won 2 titles with them back in 03 and 05...


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:11 pm 
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Fishy wrote:
The only time Red Bull were clearly fastest was Valencia, Japan, Korea and India. The rest of the time they were very close to either McLaren or Ferrari or McLaren were clearly quicker

RB had a streak where Vettel destroyed everyone, which created the myth. Agree that McLaren have been the fastest.
Over the whole season, this is how I see it -
Ranked by speed : 1. McLaren. 2. Red Bull. 3. Ferrari
Reliability : 1. Ferrari 2. Red Bull 3. McLaren
Not really sure how to call Lotus. Their form has fluctuated too much.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:13 pm 
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Lt. Drebin wrote:
Speaking of Hamilton, he just said in an interview after the Brazilian quali that Mclaren is the best/fastest car this season it's just that they didn't capitalize. So, Vettel does not have the fastest car to win the championship so easily.

Hope that people remember that when they say that Vettel can't win a championship in the not absolutely fastest car.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Iowa'sOnlyF1Viewer wrote:
Not really sure how to call Lotus. Their form has fluctuated too much.

First half of the season I would say they were one of the best, if not the. Second half they have dropped off and right now Macca, RBR & Ferrari are way ahead of anyone else.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:18 pm 
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NvrDieYoung wrote:
if mclaren didn't had crap reliability, kimi would hv won 2 titles with them back in 03 and 05...


Didn't had!

Also I'll give you the money for the A & E you needed to complete that sentence if you're struggling!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:19 pm 
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Iowa'sOnlyF1Viewer wrote:
Lt. Drebin wrote:
Speaking of Hamilton, he just said in an interview after the Brazilian quali that Mclaren is the best/fastest car this season it's just that they didn't capitalize. So, Vettel does not have the fastest car to win the championship so easily.

Hope that people remember that when they say that Vettel can't win a championship in the not absolutely fastest car.

:thumbup: I hope too.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:20 pm 
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chinki wrote:
Iowa'sOnlyF1Viewer wrote:
Not really sure how to call Lotus. Their form has fluctuated too much.

First half of the season I would say they were one of the best, if not the. Second half they have dropped off and right now Macca, RBR & Ferrari are way ahead of anyone else.

Pity that Kimi didn't get in more competitive races in the beginning! :x


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:22 pm 
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Lt. Drebin wrote:
Iowa'sOnlyF1Viewer wrote:
Lt. Drebin wrote:
Speaking of Hamilton, he just said in an interview after the Brazilian quali that Mclaren is the best/fastest car this season it's just that they didn't capitalize. So, Vettel does not have the fastest car to win the championship so easily.

Hope that people remember that when they say that Vettel can't win a championship in the not absolutely fastest car.

:thumbup: I hope too.

Of course, I'm assuming he won already! 8O :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:19 pm 
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McLaren has definitely had the highest peak of any cars in terms of speed in my observations with Red Bull a close second. Especially in qualifying for the first four races, McLaren just nailed it. The same speed didn't show quite AS MUCH in the races though, but were hardly slow. Then for whatever reason struggled halfway into the season (British GP was forgettable) when it came to speed but has regained it all back, and their biggest issue has been reliability. Or they would be in the title fight for sure with the way Hamilton has driven.

I think if McLaren had been more reliable, it would be Hamilton and Vettel going for the title in Brazil, and Alonso would have been mathematically eliminated. But here in the real world, that's not how it played out. Guess it's similar to McLaren and Renault in 2005 - McLaren the quicker, but Renault the more reliable. And we saw how that ended, too.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:29 pm 
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Fishy wrote:
The only time Red Bull were clearly fastest was Valencia, Japan, Korea and India. The rest of the time they were very close to either McLaren or Ferrari or McLaren were clearly quicker


The myth of the myth. Every time RBR finds extra speed that immediately disappears only to turn up with more down force. Start the car in the pit lane and see how much speed they can get out of it.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:50 pm 
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I agree that the RB hasn't been super fast, and that over the course of the season, the McLaren has been faster.

I think it was that period where Vettel was untouchable that created this feeling. It's also where he did the damage in the championship.

I think however, over the course of the season, the Red Bull has been the best car. Not fastest. Best

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:19 pm 
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading your analysis.

The problem is that the Red Bull's speed is interpreted from the speed of it's faster driver, Vettel. What Vettel does is considered the Red Bull's speed and that is why it looks dominant.

The McLaren's pace is interpreted from Button's speed and Hamilton is considered to "outperform" the car, which is impossible, no driver can make the car go faster than it would.

The Ferrari's pace is interpreted from what Alonso says, people completely forget that Massa has been consistently faster than him, even today Alonso had the audacity to say that he "expected" to qualify eight, when Massa qualified fifth and 3 tenths faster.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:29 pm 
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Judging from Webber's performance in the first half of the season, the car was quite alright. And in the second half, during that period of domination, Webber was always there or thereabouts in qualifying.

It's the fact that he was being led by the number 2 in the team for such a large part of the season which takes away a lot from Vettel for me personally. Alonso and Hamilton have for the most part always had their teammates under control.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:36 pm 
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Not in a position to check right now, but could it be that when RBR have been caught it was just after they had been forced to make a change?

It seems to take them a couple of races to get back on top after having an edge removed.

NOT getting at RBR or saying they have had unfair advantage from anything they have had to change. Just wondering if it lines up with their fall from form?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:39 pm 
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By my reckoning its pretty even between them I think Maybe Mclaren have been faster in 1 more race. Thats looking at race pace rather than quali mind you.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:42 pm 
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Sure, Vettel would have rather taken a Ferrari this season than a Red Bull. :? (I don't think so)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:57 pm 
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SnakeSVT2003 wrote:
I totally agree. We even saw after the last race that people were trying to say the McLaren was the slower car but Lewis was the faster driver, which first of all is bullshit, but second of all would NEVER be said about Vettel if the situation was reversed.

i don't understand why there cant be two dominant teams in a season....it's quite clear to people who want to open their eyes that Mclaren and Red Bull have dominated the season...last week made it quite clear how much better their cars can be compared to the opposition and also proved the worth of their respective leading drivers. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:02 pm 
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Lt. Drebin wrote:
Iowa'sOnlyF1Viewer wrote:
Lt. Drebin wrote:
Speaking of Hamilton, he just said in an interview after the Brazilian quali that Mclaren is the best/fastest car this season it's just that they didn't capitalize. So, Vettel does not have the fastest car to win the championship so easily.

Hope that people remember that when they say that Vettel can't win a championship in the not absolutely fastest car.

:thumbup: I hope too.

but he won his titles in one of the best cars this season...i don't know why people get offended by this notion,it's not about what you have it's about what you do with it and Vettel has delivered with the best car of the season...i dont know about others but me saying he has the best car doesn't take anything away from his performance...cars don't win races,people win races.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:11 pm 
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nike2die4 wrote:
Lt. Drebin wrote:
Iowa'sOnlyF1Viewer wrote:
Lt. Drebin wrote:
Speaking of Hamilton, he just said in an interview after the Brazilian quali that Mclaren is the best/fastest car this season it's just that they didn't capitalize. So, Vettel does not have the fastest car to win the championship so easily.

Hope that people remember that when they say that Vettel can't win a championship in the not absolutely fastest car.

:thumbup: I hope too.

but he won his titles in one of the best cars this season...i don't know why people get offended by this notion,it's not about what you have it's about what you do with it and Vettel has delivered with the best car of the season...i dont know about others but me saying he has the best car doesn't take anything away from his performance...cars don't win races,people win races.

:thumbup: But people used to speak about his car to belittle his personal effort and part in success. The last time I saw a driver winning in clearly not dominant car, was Keke Rosberg in 1982.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Actually, if you break it down, McLaren have been fastest on pace in 9 out of the 20 races this season. Red Bull have been fastest in 7 or 8 (depending on how you interpret Monaco). Mercedes was fastest once or twice (depending on how you interpret Monaco). Lotus was fastest once and Ferrari twice.

The difference is that McLaren have botched a lot of their races where they were fastest with 10 second pit-stops early in the year and mechanical failures late in the year. Then of course there was Barcelona; where Hamilton was fastest by a mile but the team improperly fueled the car in Q3, forcing him to start from the back.

Too many times, the car has been fast but either Lewis or Jenson has had their wings clipped by poor strategy, execution, setup or reliability.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:15 pm 
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M.Nader -DODZ- wrote:
"an unreliable car has never won the championship and never will" i remember reading with on PF1 main site back in 2010, Mclaren this year and their history (2005 among others) show why this statement is true.


Try telling that to the RB6.
Though I would still agree that reliability is paramount. After all, it's only the RB6's reliability woes that allowed anyone else to stay in contention, otherwise 2010 would have been just like 2011.

As for the best car, the RB certainly has looked like the car to beat on a lot of tracks, as has the McLaren. Who edges it? Probably McLaren. Though Button's setup trouble and Hamilton's reliability problems have very likely robbed them of both the WDC and WCC.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:28 pm 
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There is no doubt McLaren have had the faster car the longest this year. Hamilton had to deal with too many breakdowns a la Kimi '05. Vettel has picked up the Red Bull many a time this year


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:07 pm 
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A great OP.

McLaren will be gutted that their car was capable of winning a WDC and they blew it with reliability issues.

I really believe Hamilton has a strong case to feel aggrieved at not being in the hunt for the WDC tomorrow.


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