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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:52 am 
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F1 Racer wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
mcdo wrote:
F1 Racer wrote:
mcdo wrote:
I can't even imagine the lambasting that drivers like Damon Hill and Eddie Irvine would have gotten if the internet was widespread and easily accessible in the mid '90s. Irvine was so many miles away from Schumacher, yet he was retained year after year. Then, through a heavy dose of chance and circumstance, it was Irvine and not Schumacher that was nearly Ferrari's first champion since the '70s

Albon has done enough to retain his seat. He has performed better than the guy he replaced. A lot better. Let's see how he does next year. If it's a miserable performance then we all know what's going to happen. Marko will make changes

The explanation for the gap between Max and Alex is simply that Max is just that good. If Max could be consistently faster than Ricciardo then there's every reason to believe he's this much faster than Albon. And gaps this size are not unheard of. We've seen it before with the likes of Schumacher and Alonso paired up with new/average drivers


Irvine out-qualified Schumacher in their first race together I believe. Not only that but he was capable of beating the McLaren's on occasion and affecting their races during 1998 and 1999 which helped Schumacher and Ferrari out in the races, (think France 1998 etc.). Sure, he was still a tier below a Barrichello/Bottas type driver, hence why he was eventually replaced by Barrichello in 2000 and then Ferrari started winning big style, but Irvine was still good enough to get decent points and help Ferrari win the WCC in 1999. I would say someone like Irvine or Herbert were similar to a Hulkenberg type driver of today.

Albon and Gasly appear to be two tiers below Bottas/Barrichello, and therefore one tier below Irvine/Hulkenberg, which is why people are suggesting that Hulkenberg would still be an upgrade for Red Bull whilst also being no threat to Max and always obeying team orders.

Way to skip past Irvine's miserable 96/97. It wasn't until his 3rd season with the team that he performed as an adequate No. 2 to Schumacher. All of this after having been in the sport since 1993

Yet somehow Irvine in 98/99 is the barometer we should be measuring Albon's rookie season team swap up against

In fairness '96 and '97 were not really indicative of his talent. Especially in '96, didn't he have something like 8 or 9 retirements in a row with that bathtub for a car? A couple of them were his fault, but most were due to the car failing in any kind of way. The fact that Schumacher got wins in that car is a testament on how far ahead he was of his peers at that time, but I doubt many other drivers back then would have done better than Irvine in that car.

Your point still stands though, he didn't fare much better in '97 in a vastly improved car.


See above, Irvine did much better in 1997 in an improved car.

I agree that 1996 was an awful car so Schumacher wasn't even in a championship fight to require a number 2 to help him. In 1997 Schumacher was like Alonso in 2012, performing miracles despite a huge car disadvantage. I don't recall Massa being a useful number 2 in 2012 either, which would always be the case when the world class driver is only just hanging in the title fight by performing miracles, the other driver will always be well out of contention. Yet Massa was clearly better than Albon and Gasly surely?

Whereas in 1998/1999 Schumacher was in a much fairer championship fight each year with only a slight car disadvantage, (till he broke his leg halfway through 1999), meaning that it would be more expected for the number 2 to also be more competitive and Irvine indeed was during this period.


But Verstappen wasn't in a championship fight this year either... In terms of performance relative to the front runners the Red Bull is more like the 96 Ferrari than the 99 Ferrari.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:55 am 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
F1 Racer wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
mcdo wrote:

Way to skip past Irvine's miserable 96/97. It wasn't until his 3rd season with the team that he performed as an adequate No. 2 to Schumacher. All of this after having been in the sport since 1993

Yet somehow Irvine in 98/99 is the barometer we should be measuring Albon's rookie season team swap up against

In fairness '96 and '97 were not really indicative of his talent. Especially in '96, didn't he have something like 8 or 9 retirements in a row with that bathtub for a car? A couple of them were his fault, but most were due to the car failing in any kind of way. The fact that Schumacher got wins in that car is a testament on how far ahead he was of his peers at that time, but I doubt many other drivers back then would have done better than Irvine in that car.

Your point still stands though, he didn't fare much better in '97 in a vastly improved car.


See above, Irvine did much better in 1997 in an improved car.

I agree that 1996 was an awful car so Schumacher wasn't even in a championship fight to require a number 2 to help him. In 1997 Schumacher was like Alonso in 2012, performing miracles despite a huge car disadvantage. I don't recall Massa being a useful number 2 in 2012 either, which would always be the case when the world class driver is only just hanging in the title fight by performing miracles, the other driver will always be well out of contention. Yet Massa was clearly better than Albon and Gasly surely?

Whereas in 1998/1999 Schumacher was in a much fairer championship fight each year with only a slight car disadvantage, (till he broke his leg halfway through 1999), meaning that it would be more expected for the number 2 to also be more competitive and Irvine indeed was during this period.


But Verstappen wasn't in a championship fight this year either... In terms of performance relative to the front runners the Red Bull is more like the 96 Ferrari than the 99 Ferrari.



Correct, and your point is?

Verstappen was never winning this years championship in that Red Bull car, even if he had Danny Ric as his number 2 who promised to help Max to win the title. Mercedes and Hamilton were far too strong, just like Williams were in 1996.

However Danny Ric being there would have been better for Red Bull, they very well could have come second in the WCC, and likely would have won the race in Hungary for example. Albon and Gasly have cost Red Bull second in the WCC, whereas Irvine didn't cost Ferrari second in the WCC in 1996.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:05 am 
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Siao7 wrote:
F1 Racer wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
mcdo wrote:
Way to skip past Irvine's miserable 96/97. It wasn't until his 3rd season with the team that he performed as an adequate No. 2 to Schumacher. All of this after having been in the sport since 1993

Yet somehow Irvine in 98/99 is the barometer we should be measuring Albon's rookie season team swap up against

In fairness '96 and '97 were not really indicative of his talent. Especially in '96, didn't he have something like 8 or 9 retirements in a row with that bathtub for a car? A couple of them were his fault, but most were due to the car failing in any kind of way. The fact that Schumacher got wins in that car is a testament on how far ahead he was of his peers at that time, but I doubt many other drivers back then would have done better than Irvine in that car.

Your point still stands though, he didn't fare much better in '97 in a vastly improved car.


See above, Irvine did much better in 1997 in an improved car.

I agree that 1996 was an awful car so Schumacher wasn't even in a championship fight to require a number 2 to help him. In 1997 Schumacher was like Alonso in 2012, performing miracles despite a huge car disadvantage. I don't recall Massa being a useful number 2 in 2012 either, which would always be the case when the world class driver is only just hanging in the title fight by performing miracles, the other driver will always be well out of contention. Yet Massa was clearly better than Albon and Gasly surely?

Whereas in 1998/1999 Schumacher was in a much fairer championship fight each year with only a slight car disadvantage, (till he broke his leg halfway through 1999), meaning that it would be more expected for the number 2 to also be more competitive and Irvine indeed was during this period.

Don't get confused about '97 though, Irvine did better than '96, but that's because Williams didn't have two good drivers anymore and Irvine picked some podiums (mostly when the other three had retired). He still managed to only finish 7th overall (8th if you count Schumacher), behind even Berger who missed 3 GP's. Not much to brag frankly


I never said Irvine was a top driver, just that he wasn't really poor, he was just competent basically.

I forgot about Japan 1997 where Irvine played possibly one of the best number 2 roles in a race in the sports history.

So Irvine showed decent pace a couple of times in 1997 but the Ferrari car of that year wasn't that great, I recall Schumacher sometimes only qualifying 9th fastest on merit in that car at some races, (with Irvine even further back in like 15th place), so it was very much like Alonso/Massa in 2012.

Yes Ferrari came second in the WCC in 1997 but their car was often slower than the McLaren's and sometimes slower than the Benneton's and Jordan's too. It was pretty much always slower than the Williams' cars. So putting an ok-but-nothing-special driver like Irvine in that car, he's not going to achieve amazing results in it, so 5 podiums and a couple of super competitive performances from him, (Argentina and Japan), wasn't that bad when all is said and done. He certainly wasn't Albon and Gasly bad. There was not one race from either of those two where they looked like seriously making an impression at the front of the race.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:19 am 
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Also as a side note, while we are talking about the 1997 and 2012 seasons, both were fantastically entertaining and I believe that a big part of this was due to the much closer field spread of the cars in those years which led to multiple different winners and never knowing which cars would be the most competitive at different circuits. It was like the standard 'tight midfield battle' that we always get, only it was happening at the front. Hopefully F1 regulations from 2021 will help to offer these types of seasons a lot more often.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:38 am 
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F1 Racer wrote:
Also as a side note, while we are talking about the 1997 and 2012 seasons, both were fantastically entertaining and I believe that a big part of this was due to the much closer field spread of the cars in those years which led to multiple different winners and never knowing which cars would be the most competitive at different circuits. It was like the standard 'tight midfield battle' that we always get, only it was happening at the front. Hopefully F1 regulations from 2021 will help to offer these types of seasons a lot more often.


1997 was a great season because there were so many variables with the tyre war and cars being very track specific. Big swings in car performance. A car could go from back of the midfield to competing for a win or a podium from one race to the next. It was a bit like 2009 like that. 2009 was so close Force India went from slowest to fastest in one upgrade.


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