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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:22 pm 
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I'm just curious about what you all think of the situation of Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg. Weren't all of them supposed to be waiting for that Ferrari seat to come available, but which so far hasn't and when it eventually does, will likely go to Leclerc instead? Have they already lost their chance to drive for a top team and if so, will it start to affect them mentally?

I think Hulkenberg is actually in the best position, as he is still a leading driver of a factory team, which arguably gives him an advantage over the rest of these guys, and might yet get a chance to challenge for race wins, if Renault manages to develop well. Perez seems to be stuck at Force India and while their performance have been so far quite decent this year, I think the team already reached their peak last year and there's only so far a private team like them can go realistically. Grosjean has had a poor season so far and still seems to make too many mistakes, given his experience. I think the best he could hope for would be a return to Renault but even that might be out of reach.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:07 pm 
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I don't know how strongly were any of the drivers mentioned above linked with Ferrari, as it was certain that Bianchi would inherit it. Now, they need not to look anywhere elsewhere as the new rising star Leclerc confirms his quality with every new race.

Perez had an unsuccessful spell with Mclaren and currently has problems keeping Ocon behind, who in return is linked with Mercedes move sometimes in the following years (2020, 2021?), so, Sergio is mostly a spent force. The same goes for Grosjean who had too many errors and his bad luck does not make him look good either. Hulkenberg is, at least compared to others, most complete driver and leads the "Formula B" standings. He might be reserve option to Ferrari indeed, but if stays in Renault for 3 more years, his prospects might be even better, provided that Renault comes up with good development.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:19 pm 
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I'd generally agree with what you've said.

Hulkenberg is in the best position as Renault appear the most likely team to challenge the big three. He's had the better of Sainz this year (albeit not by a huge margin) and if they keep progressing, he could find himself ending up with a car capable of scoring podiums or more as soon as 2020. Of course, things change very quickly in F1 so there is no guarantee there at all. But I'd certainly prefer to have his position outside of really any of the top three teams.

Perez... he's missed his chance, IMO. And that chance was doing exactly what Hulkenberg did, ironically something Nico was able to do because Sergio didn't. Whoever shot that option down has robbed him of his best opportunity to end up with a competitive car because Force India, for all they achieved, were never going to have it any better than being the fourth best team. Not unless F1 undergoes radical changes to even out the playing field, by which point it would be the 2021 season, and even then any extra investment Force India might be able to make would take years to actually show up in the car. I think he's done well to rebuild his reputation after the season at McLaren, but it does feel like he's never going to get another chance at the top.

As for Grosjean, right now I'd say he'll be lucky to still be in F1 next year. If Leclerc doesn't take Kimi's seat, I expect he would take Romain's. Maybe the potential seat shuffle allows him to take a seat at Williams, or even Sauber (unlikely as you'd expect Giovinazzi to take Leclerc's seat if the Kimi rumours aren't true, and it's unlikely they'd drop Ericsson for Grosjean) but I get the feeling he could end up being the odd man out. At the same time... I'll say it again, things change very quickly in F1. Maybe he rattles in four or five strong points scoring results while KMag has a little wobble and all of sudden, his chances of being on the grid next year improve. But I suspect a lot of midfield teams would pass him over for other drivers now.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:37 pm 
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Under the current Formula, whoever can avoid a Renault engine is best placed IMO. I think Perez is best placed, has the FI situation and knows it well, knows the Merc engine will be thereabouts up to the new regs in 2021. Move to Haas won't entirely surprise for next season, if Leclerc goes to Ferrari and Giovinazzi to Sauber. That Ferrari PU just about looks the one to have now.

Hulk... As good as I think he is, under the current regulations I don't think it matters that he has the Renault factory behind him. They haven't really gotten it right at all with the current PU regulations. With finances being a topic of discussion at Renault, and new regs pending in 2021, I'd be staggered to see Renault put a huge push in to improve. Be less of a surprise to see them leave the sport... again. But that's a different thread.

RoGro. If I'm a team boss, seeing what is possible with that Ferrari PU, and a clean drive, I'm not going near him. If he was genuine, he'd be a clear 7th this season, giving K-Mag (who I think is quite plain) a beating along the way. Instead he's 15th, and finding new and inventive ways to screw it up. Remember when he was linked to the #2 seat at Ferrari? That ain't happening.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:45 pm 
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Perez - FI, Williams, Indycar or FE
Grosjean - Haas, Williams (but in contrast to Perez he has no financial backing, has he?) or WEC
Hülkenberg - Renault


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:04 pm 
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Perez is way to good to lose from F1. Whatever happens in the driver market this year I hope he lands somewhere. All three will never get hired by Red Bull, Ferrari Or Mercedes. They entered F1 at a very unfortunate time. The big teams only seem interested in recruiting from within or recruiting an established star.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:50 pm 
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One thing that’s working in Hulks favor is next years rule change where it’s driver+seat weight instead of driver alone which helps a taller driver like him.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:16 pm 
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JackAttack_19 wrote:
Under the current Formula, whoever can avoid a Renault engine is best placed IMO. I think Perez is best placed, has the FI situation and knows it well, knows the Merc engine will be thereabouts up to the new regs in 2021. Move to Haas won't entirely surprise for next season, if Leclerc goes to Ferrari and Giovinazzi to Sauber. That Ferrari PU just about looks the one to have now.

Hulk... As good as I think he is, under the current regulations I don't think it matters that he has the Renault factory behind him. They haven't really gotten it right at all with the current PU regulations. With finances being a topic of discussion at Renault, and new regs pending in 2021, I'd be staggered to see Renault put a huge push in to improve. Be less of a surprise to see them leave the sport... again. But that's a different thread.

RoGro. If I'm a team boss, seeing what is possible with that Ferrari PU, and a clean drive, I'm not going near him. If he was genuine, he'd be a clear 7th this season, giving K-Mag (who I think is quite plain) a beating along the way. Instead he's 15th, and finding new and inventive ways to screw it up. Remember when he was linked to the #2 seat at Ferrari? That ain't happening.

I don't know if the Renault engine is that bad. I mean, Red Bull have been winning races with it every year except 2015. Even with the best aero, you couldn't do that with a completely dud engine, although it is a quite a lot track specific. With a decent chassis and some engine development, I think Renault have the chance to fight for at least podiums and the occasional win. As for Force India, I think the maximum they could realisticlaly do is what Williams did during 2014-2015 and right now they're not even close to that. All in all, what I guess I'm trying to say is I think the development ceiling of Renault is higher than that of Force India. But you never know. If the Renault is not able to catch up, then it is completely possible that Force India will continue to beat them.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:57 pm 
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It's disappointing that it seems Hulkenberg's opportunity has been and gone, I've always rated him very highly. I wonder if things might have been different if he hadn't slid into Hamilton in Brazil in 2012; he's always been a consistent, dependable points scorer but never had that really eye-catching result to draw the attention of the top teams. He could well have won that race. His best chance is to stick with Renault and hope they get it right when the regs change.

Perez I think is a solid midfield driver but not quite quick enough to be deserving of a top seat. He's still a good option for Force India though and he should stick around in the sport for a few years yet, I just don't think he's worthy of anything more than what he has now. Ocon is starting to show him up now as well.

I would be surprised if Grosjean is around next season. He's had a disaster of a year and keeps making mistakes with such regularity that would not even be expected of someone 10 years his junior. He's 32 now and there are no excuses left, he's just not going to get any better. Haas should be 4th in the constructors' table right now, and he is the reason they are not.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:00 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
Perez is way to good to lose from F1. Whatever happens in the driver market this year I hope he lands somewhere. All three will never get hired by Red Bull, Ferrari Or Mercedes. They entered F1 at a very unfortunate time. The big teams only seem interested in recruiting from within or recruiting an established star.


Well, exactly because he is good, he could be a regular frontrunner and title contender in Indycars orFE. In F1, midfielder is all he can do with the cars he likely can have. Or even worse.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:51 pm 
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I think all three have probably done their dashes in terms of becoming a top driver.

Grosjean will be lucky to stay in F1 after this year.

Perez had so much potential some years ago, but it really came to naught. He’s a consistent midfield driver, but I think he’ll just stay that way until he is pushed out or retires in a few more years.

Hulkenberg is the only one that I think has a chance of moving up. Renault are investing heavily so if the unbelievable happens and they produce a fast car, he’s s solid enough driver to take advantage and get a result. Sainz is keeping him honest though.

Hulkenberg would also make a reasonable number 2 driver at somewhere like Mercedes. Like Bottas, he’s clean and consistent but not “exciting” enough to upset the pecking order.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:03 am 
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Yeah agree with the overal sentiment. Perez and Grosjean will never be in a top car. Hulk still has a chance if Renault come good.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:09 am 
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If Kimi stays at Ferrari, I would love to see Leclerc in a Haas next to Kmag. Replacing RoGro could very easily solidify Haas's position as the fourth best team in F1.

I used to think Romain had a lot of potential but after this year and part of last, I have become convinced that he will take himself out of the points in too many races or simply take himself out of too many races.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:31 am 
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I think that Hulkenberg is well placed at Renault, going forward you have to see them as the 4th best team and he's beating Sainz who people were raving about last season, so I think his future looks quite good and he's reasonably placed for the big rule change in 2021.

Perez is well rated although no one would see him as a tier 1 driver, also with the budget he brings he will always be able to place himself into a competitive midfield team, that could either be Force India or Haas.

Grosjean has good speed but we are seeing that he still has problems with spacial awareness and is still prone to silly mistakes, there are drivers as quick as him who don't make the mistakes that he does, one being Perez who might replace him at Haas, from there does Grosjean stay in F1, probably not?

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