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Which driver will win the Williams TMW vote in 2020?
Poll ended at Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:35 pm
George Russell 95%  95%  [ 19 ]
Nicholas Latifi 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 20
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:35 pm 
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Hello 2020, and hello to the first of ten TMW prediction threads. I did these last year and collectively, we managed to correctly identify nine of the ten drivers that would win their TMW battles, only incorrectly predicting that Romain Grosjean would get the better of Kevin Magnussen.

Can we go 10-for-10 in 2020? Well let's start with Williams, which should be an obvious and easy one, right? After all, George Russell completely dominated Robert Kubica in 2019, winning 19 of the 21 TMW votes and collecting 85% of the vote along the way, both of which were the highest amounts received by any driver for the year. Entering his second season in F1, he's paired with a rookie in Nicholas Latifi. Latifi graduates from F2 having been beaten to the title by Nyck de Vries, taking second place in the standings in what was his fourth full F2 season. There have been accusations that Latifi is nothing more than a pay driver, so let's look at his results against his teammates from recent seasons:

2015: Latifi, in his first full (not classed as a rookie) FR3.5 season finishes 11th in the standings, gets outscored 133-55 by his rookie teammate.
2016: Latifi, in his first full (again, not a rookie) GP2 season, is outscored 124-23 by his teammate who is also in his second GP2 year.
2017: Latifi, in his third F2 season, is outscored 191-178 by his teammate, who is also in his third season at this level.
2018: Latifi, now in his fourth F2 season, gets outscored 212-91 by his teammate who is in only his second F2 season.
2019: Latifi, in his fifth F2 season, outscores his teammate (who is in his third F2 season) by a mere 10 points.

It wouldn't be unfair to say that Latifi's performances relative to his teammates in F2 (and stretching back to FR3.5 and even F3) haven't been the best, with 2019 representing the first time he's not been outscored by a teammate. Even then he barely finished ahead of Sette Camara, despite having the advantage of two years more F2 experience.

So, this should be an easy one, right? A driver who won both GP3 and F2 as a rookie against a driver who took five F2 seasons to even compete for the title. Perhaps the only argument you could make against George Russell is because of his long period away from F1, we don't really know what level Robert Kubica was at, and that he could've been that bad that it flattered Russell's performances. Is there anyone out there willing to make that argument and take a punt on Latifi surprising a lot of people?

2019 Result:
George Russell beat Robert Kubica 19-2 (85% of the vote)
75% of votes pre-season votes correctly predicted Russell would triumph

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:05 pm 
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Russell will win easily and we will have to wait at least another year to find out just how good he is. I feel a bit sorry for him going into this season. He almost can't win. He loses and it's career over. He beats Latiffi and it's a big shoulder shrug. Hopefully the Williams is good enough that he can fight for points at least.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:04 pm 
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Unless Williams get their act together and produce a competitive car… None of this will matter one bit.
The best thing to come from Latifi partnering Russel is gauging Kubica's 2019 performance as well as his own, comparatively to Russel.
Outside of that, I hope Williams does get things right and produce a well performing car that can challenge well in the midfield at the very least.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:11 pm 
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This could be the most one sided teammate pairing.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:28 pm 
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I also can see this as only being one sided in favour of Russell.

The thing of interest will be to see if Latifi can get closer in performance to Russell then what Kubica did, Latifi can only be seen as a competent F1 driver but not top 10 standard, if he performs better than Kubica then that points to Kubica wasting his time as reserve/test driver for Alfa Romeo.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:20 pm 
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pokerman wrote:
Latifi can only be seen as a competent F1 driver but not top 10 standard, if he performs better than Kubica then that points to Kubica wasting his time as reserve/test driver for Alfa Romeo.

What if he's worse?

I see this as a one-sided shellacking. If the car is bad it might look close on points, but the worst case for Latifi is if the car is merely lower midfield; in that case, I see a 2013 Hulk-Gutierrez style beating.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:36 pm 
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Exediron wrote:
pokerman wrote:
Latifi can only be seen as a competent F1 driver but not top 10 standard, if he performs better than Kubica then that points to Kubica wasting his time as reserve/test driver for Alfa Romeo.

What if he's worse?

I see this as a one-sided shellacking. If the car is bad it might look close on points, but the worst case for Latifi is if the car is merely lower midfield; in that case, I see a 2013 Hulk-Gutierrez style beating.

If he's worse then that points to Kubica not being as bad as we thought but Russell is a bit special, however I'm expecting Latifi to be better.

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Wins: Canada 2018, Abu Dhabi 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:56 am 
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Even Latifi would vote for Russell out here!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:55 pm 
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Russell will win clearly but Latifi will be significantly closer than Kubica was.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:03 pm 
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Paolo_Lasardi wrote:
Russell will win clearly but Latifi will be significantly closer than Kubica was.


I suspect that you are right. He does have a pretty go record in Formula 2, but that doesn't always translate into success in F1.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:19 pm 
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Mort Canard wrote:
Paolo_Lasardi wrote:
Russell will win clearly but Latifi will be significantly closer than Kubica was.


I suspect that you are right. He does have a pretty go record in Formula 2, but that doesn't always translate into success in F1.


Does he? I'd say he's got the worst record of anyone coming from that level in a long old while. At least Palmer managed to win the championship after a few years.

Out of interest how would people feel if the Quali battle ends up something like 15-7 to Russel with George almost always better in races but sometimes beaten. What would that mean for the reputation of both of them?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:31 pm 
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Mort Canard wrote:
Paolo_Lasardi wrote:
Russell will win clearly but Latifi will be significantly closer than Kubica was.


I suspect that you are right. He does have a pretty go record in Formula 2, but that doesn't always translate into success in F1.


I wouldn't agree with that at all. Five seasons and the title 'fight' between him and de Vries wasn't even that close in the end. And as I highlighted in the original post, this was the first time he finished ahead of a teammate, and even then he only just beat Sette Camara (who himself is hardly knocking down doors to make F1).

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:43 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
Mort Canard wrote:
Paolo_Lasardi wrote:
Russell will win clearly but Latifi will be significantly closer than Kubica was.


I suspect that you are right. He does have a pretty go record in Formula 2, but that doesn't always translate into success in F1.


Does he? I'd say he's got the worst record of anyone coming from that level in a long old while. At least Palmer managed to win the championship after a few years.

Out of interest how would people feel if the Quali battle ends up something like 15-7 to Russel with George almost always better in races but sometimes beaten. What would that mean for the reputation of both of them?

For me that would mean that I probably overrated Russell especially given that Latifi is a rookie and seems to take a while to get up to speed in the various series he has competed in, I'm not really expecting great things from Latifi.

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PF1 Pick 10 Competition

2013: 5th Place
2014: Champion
2015: 3rd Place
2016: 4th Place

2017: 9th Place
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Wins: Canada 2018, Abu Dhabi 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:04 am 
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Mort Canard wrote:
Paolo_Lasardi wrote:
Russell will win clearly but Latifi will be significantly closer than Kubica was.


I suspect that you are right. He does have a pretty go record in Formula 2, but that doesn't always translate into success in F1.


I rather think that Kubica was too far off the mark.
Even an average F2 driver like Latifi will be closer.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:10 am 
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Paolo_Lasardi wrote:
Mort Canard wrote:
Paolo_Lasardi wrote:
Russell will win clearly but Latifi will be significantly closer than Kubica was.


I suspect that you are right. He does have a pretty go record in Formula 2, but that doesn't always translate into success in F1.


I rather think that Kubica was too far off the mark.
Even an average F2 driver like Latifi will be closer.


:thumbup: :nod:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:34 pm 
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To answer my own thread: George Russell by a long distance, similar to how far Kubica was behind. I actually think Latifi will be closer to Russell than Kubica was, simply because he's better prepared for a season in F1 because of his F2 running. However, that will be offset by Russell having a season of F1 experience under his belt and being that much better in 2020 than he was in 2019.

Whether any of this will count for much depends entirely on whether Williams are still adrift at the back, or at the very least have a car capable of occasionally troubling Q2. I hope it's the latter, both for the sake of Russell and F1 as a whole.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:38 pm 
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Anyone going to own up to voting for Latifi?

Edit: I realise after posting this it could sound like voting for Latifi is a bad thing, which isn’t what I intended. Just interested to the Latifi voter’s thinking.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:13 pm 
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I would like to hear that person's reasoning. All the known facts suggest that Russell should have a comfortable advantage, at the very least in year one.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:53 am 
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It would be a shock if Latifi were even close to Russell in any metric other than world championship points (as I suspect Williams will score none). Latifi he's never looked any more than an adequate second tier driver really.


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