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 Post subject: Two new WDC contenders?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:37 pm 
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To my understanding someone who has a mark or sign of a WDC contender wins a race in an inferior car. Since Pastor and Nico just did exactly that this season, will both them be future wdc contenders?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:48 pm 
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Kolby wrote:
To my understanding someone who has a mark or sign of a WDC contender wins a race in an inferior car. Since Pastor and Nico just did exactly that this season, will both them be future wdc contenders?


I think Nico and Pastor had the best cars on the day. Ok Maybe in Spain the Mclaren was quicker but was totally out of position. I think at the moment there is quite a gulf between the established stars and the chasing pack. Hulk is considered the cream of the new generation and he still made two fairly large errors in Brazil when it came to fighting at the front end.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:31 pm 
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Maldonado - definitely he's one of the quickest guys there, just needs to calm down, cut out the errors & he'll win more & maybe a WDC

Hulk - has good potential but only really excelled at 1 track over his 2 years compared to his teammates. But a decent car & I reckon he'd be a dark horse

Rosberg - Not as long as Hamilton's his teammate

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:26 am 
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To me, Nico Rosberg stands out, he somehow won in a Merc :P


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:14 am 
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I think this year we will find out just how good Rosberg really is.

Beating Schumi 3 years running is played down as we do not know how much Schumi lost with age, we can speculate but that is about it.

I expect Lewis to beat him like he beat Jenson this year, but no one could predict for sure.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:34 am 
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Rocket_Red wrote:
Maldonado - definitely he's one of the quickest guys there, just needs to calm down, cut out the errors & he'll win more & maybe a WDC

Hulk - has good potential but only really excelled at 1 track over his 2 years compared to his teammates. But a decent car & I reckon he'd be a dark horse

Rosberg - Not as long as Hamilton's his teammate

Agree, but...

Maldonado - Born/in F1 a couple of decades too late. In Senna's day few would bat an eyelid at his daring moves. Not necessarily a WDC contender, but certainly is for races.

The Hulk - Yet to see him truly shine.

Rosberg - Promised much, delivered little. Most have written him off against Hamilton as they did for Button. As the latter proved, predictions don't always go as planned, but if this one does, Rosberg will only be a contender/WDC in conditions similar to his dad or Button.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:47 am 
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The Mercedes was very strong at China, qualified 1st and 3rd, though Rosberg drove an excellent race from the front to take the win, I'm hesitant to use that solitary victory as an indicator that he can push for a world championship. The Mercedes relative to the competition was much better in the first few races but by the time they left Europe they were falling behind woefully.

Maldonado might be the quickest of all the drivers who have not yet won a title but he needs to continue improving his racecraft and keep a cool head. I'm encouraged because he has shown progress in this while maintaining his pace, this is what separates him and Grosjean.

Hulkenberg is looking very good as well, if I had to choose two to watch out for it would be him and Maldonado with Perez close behind.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:08 am 
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Can't wait to see how Nico and Hami fare against each other...can't help thinking they'll push each other even further than JB and LH did.

Let's face it, nobody's expecting either to be WDC next year, so it will be fascinating to see how the intra-team battle plays out.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:09 am 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
I think Nico and Pastor had the best cars on the day. Ok Maybe in Spain the Mclaren was quicker but was totally out of position. I think at the moment there is quite a gulf between the established stars and the chasing pack. Hulk is considered the cream of the new generation and he still made two fairly large errors in Brazil when it came to fighting at the front end.

No way man, put Maldonado in a Red Bull or McLaren and he would fly. That race wasn't a one-off, he has shown speed all season. Outside of Alonso and Hamilton I don't think the gap to the rest is as you say.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:25 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:58 am 
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Formula1Fan. wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
I think Nico and Pastor had the best cars on the day. Ok Maybe in Spain the Mclaren was quicker but was totally out of position. I think at the moment there is quite a gulf between the established stars and the chasing pack. Hulk is considered the cream of the new generation and he still made two fairly large errors in Brazil when it came to fighting at the front end.

No way man, put Maldonado in a Red Bull or McLaren and he would fly. That race wasn't a one-off, he has shown speed all season. Outside of Alonso and Hamilton I don't think the gap to the rest is as you say.


He is fast, but he made a number of ill judged decisions at the front last season; that is something that can improve with time. He did seem to get a handle on his red mist moments toward the end of the year - hopefully that continues as it was dramatically impacting his racing (and that of others as well).

Nico R was a bit more aggressive when the Merc was on form - which was great to see. That has been his Achilles Heel.

Nico H was always pretty impressive to me as a rookie. His mistakes are fairly rare and perfectly acceptable in terms of a rookie learning curve. Compare that to Grosjean, who I feel was quite a bit outside of the acceptable error to experience ratio level.

Nico R with the most experience, and best judgment of the three, has a much better chance at WDC in a good car at present. But over time, if the other two continue to improve, they too could do it. Of course it is highly dependent on being in the right team at the right time under the right conditions. But that is not all luck - one can drive their way into a top team (as Perez has), proving that they have what it takes to be given a shot at being in the right place at the right time, conditions permitting.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:16 am 
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I do not believe that Maldonado is real championship material. He may have a good season or two during is career but he will never seriously challenge for the WDC.

Same with Nico Rosberg but he may get closer like Massa or Irvine of he gets a really good car. Rosberg has now been with Mercedes for a while and is young enough to get a chance of getting a seat in a more competitive car at some stage.

But I think Nico Hulkenburg has it in him to become a future WDC with the right breaks. I have a feeling that teams like Red Bull (after Webber or even after Vettel moves on), Ferrari (after Massa moves on) and McLaren (when Button retires) might keep an eye on him if he continues to impress here and there.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:34 am 
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I think Maldonado will go the way of Montoya, he will get more wins, but he will never be seriously in contention. Overall, he isn't well rounded enough.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:54 am 
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I think there's only one really exciting prospect in the 'non-WDC' group of drivers - Hulkenberg. IMO McLaren made a big mistake not signing him. I saw him in A1GP and he was quite simply a class above the rest (who weren't shabby). I would not be surprised to see him at Ferrari to replace Massa in 2014.

Hulkenberg reminds me of Kimi in 2001 - mid tier team, decent team mate, but just somehow seems to do something that gets more attention and interest than the teamate.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:04 am 
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This years Williams was a race winning car, it would have won multiple races with numerous podiums had they employed a top 5 driver...

In my view Hulkenberg, Grosjean and di Resta are the only drivers of the new generation who have a serious chance at a WDC in future depending on which teams they end up driving for. Hulkenberg and di Resta were evenly matched for most of the season, the Hulk grabbed the headlines in the last couple of races but di Resta can count himself unlucky that Mclaren chose Perez, it wasn't about their relative pace.

Perez was no faster than Kobayashi who was no better than Heidfeld and nowhere near Vettel & di Resta when driving for the same team in F3, Perez will struggle next year. McLaren's decision has more to do with the forthcoming end of the Vodafone sponsorship contract than Perez's ability.

Maldonado has wasted a serious opportunity to be a championship contender this season having shown last year that he was slower than Barrichello! His race pace was slower than Bruno Senna on a number of occasions, that's almost a career ending stat in my view.

Hamilton beat Rosberg to the European title when driving for the same team in Karts in 2000, Rosberg beat Hamilton in F3 in 2004 (different teams, Hamilton was a rookie), Rosberg won GP2 in 2005 after a season long battle with Kovalainen, Hamilton won GP2 in 2006 after a season long battle with Piquet. I suggest those that think that Hamilton will blow Rosberg away have the same confirmation bias that they had in 2010 about Button.

Bottas looks very promising, it will be interesting to see how he compares with Maldonado next season, I expect him to beat the Venezuelan comfortably.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:34 am 
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This is a pretty huge season for Rosberg. If he can keep up with Lewis, perhaps even beat him, then aside from it being a huge statement in itself, it positions him superbly for 2014. If Lewis comes to Mercedes and is clearly the superior driver, then while he might not start 2014 as their clear #1, it wouldn't surprise me to see Mercedes eventually fall behind him in that regard.

Maldonado, for me, the jury is still out. Very much like Grosjean, really. Both have shown they can be very quick over one lap, and had strong races, but they both need to round out their pace with consistency across a season. Without adding that aspect, I don't think either can ever play more than a supporting role to a World Championship contender. Somebody who can win races in the right car, but next to a more consistent driver, would ultimately lose out over the course of a season. Right now I would say Maldonado is closer than Grosjean, probably partly because he has demonstrated he can win a race, but mainly because of all Grosjean's incidents.

Hulkenberg... having watched him since his F3 Euroseries days, I've always had him pegged as a future WDC. Once he got up to speed this season, I think he really made di Resta look quite average and, had McLaren waited until the end of the season to replace Hamilton, I reckon they might even have plumped for him over Perez. Although that's assuming Perez's dire run of results wasn't in any way related to sealing the move to McLaren, of course. Nevertheless, I think Hulk's impressive second half of the season means we're going into the winter with him at the forefront of people's 'up-and-coming' lists. Couple that with the fact that, against Gutierrez (who I really think needed to be running P1 sessions next year), he should look absolutely amazing by contrast, even if the Sauber isn't so good next year, and I think his reputation will only grow next season. Of course, if Gutierrez proves me wrong and is a match, then he's going to go way down in people's estimations, but I just can't see that happening.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:02 pm 
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Formula1Fan. wrote:
No way man, put Maldonado in a Red Bull or McLaren and he would fly. That race wasn't a one-off, he has shown speed all season. Outside of Alonso and Hamilton I don't think the gap to the rest is as you say.


Maldonado had very slow teammate. Take a look at what happens when he is paired with a faster one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_GP2_Series_season

100-36, ouch. Next year will be very revealing, when Williams insiders are saying Bottas is the quickest of the Maldonado, Senna, Bottas trio.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:20 pm 
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I think the Merc was fastest in China although admitedly Rosberg's pace in it was fantastic. People forget the Merc was a real contender early on because of how poor it has been post Monaco. Maldonado impressed me more, the Williams was probably quickest in Spain after Mclaren but they were well dow the grid. But the way he held up an established great such as Alonso has I think shown he has emense potential. If he can deliver consistent, mistake free races like Spain/Singapore/Abu Dhabi and more good qualifying results he could go far.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:23 pm 
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Fat Albert wrote:
Perez was no faster than Kobayashi who was no better than Heidfeld and nowhere near Vettel & di Resta when driving for the same team in F3, Perez will struggle next year. McLaren's decision has more to do with the forthcoming end of the Vodafone sponsorship contract than Perez's ability.


I don't think it's true Perez wasn't faster than Kobayashi. For my money Kobayashi could match or beat Perez in 3-5 races over the season and that's about it.

In Italy he was miles faster than Kobayashi, when they were doing opposite strategy (mediums-hards for Koba, hards-mediums for Perez). Some smartasses try to convince others it was totally down to tyre strategy, but in India Kobayashi enjoyed the same advantage (mediums-softs for Koba, and for Perez the plan was softs-mediums until blister in the middle of front left tyre appeared, he had to switch to 2 stopper, but ultimately retire after making contact with Toro Rosso - which Kobayashi barely matched and couldn't overtake - and damaging car) and still Perez was 1 second per lap faster. Singapore - Perez over 1 second per lap faster. Abu Dhabi - Perez 5 tenths/lap faster until making idiotic mistake. USA - they started in 15th and 16th and after 10 laps Perez was 9th, while Kobayashi 17th. Then in Perez's Sauber there was a problem with the brakes, so he had to fiddle with them in every heavy braking and still Kobayashi couldn't match him, finishing race 30 seconds behind Mexican. In the first half of the season it was the same, for example in Australia or Hungary, not to mention Malaysia.

Opinions are like arses, everyone has one. I expect that Perez will match or be faster than Button, but as for points it's one big question mark. 2013 can't come soon enough to answer the question: does the first of exciting new drivers is indeed the real deal or overrated kid. :thumbup:

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:57 pm 
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For me it doesn't matter if someone is winning or only scoring points to see which one of them is true star of the future and potential world champion. Nor does matter if someone just won in inferior car, because WDC challenge requires much broader set of assets.

Looking at Maldonado's and Rosberg's season, irrespective of their wins in superior or inferior machines, I would say Maldonado is more likely to challenge for title. There is one, quite huge obstacle on the way - no mistakes allowed - which I would guess will be a quite a problem to overcome, but the problem for Rosberg is much bigger - his consistency. He's very much like Button, great on his days, but average on others and there is no solution for that, as that is part of their talent.

Looking at current grid I would say Perez, Grosjean, Maldonado and Hulkenberg could be world champions in the future, but they have to a) be tested against good benchmarks and b) eradicate their mistakes. I see no light in the tunnel for Rosberg and di Resta, as their problem is consistency. In 2013 we should see in which group Toro Rosso boys, Bottas and Gutierrez are. Also we certainly will see if Perez is up to the challenge and what kind of response Rosberg has to Hamilton. I think Perez can pass this exam, but Rosberg won't. In Mercedes there won't be any of this 'McLaren equality' sillyness, they hired Hamilton to win and they will focus on him and his wishes. It doesn't mean Rosberg will be sabotaged or something like that, but it will be up to him to show he can match or even beat Hamilton, pretty much the same situation as in Ferrari, where Massa showed in the last few races Alonso is not unbeatable, despite being clear number 1 in the team. Exciting stuff ahead. 8)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:24 pm 
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Armchair Expert wrote:
Formula1Fan. wrote:
No way man, put Maldonado in a Red Bull or McLaren and he would fly. That race wasn't a one-off, he has shown speed all season. Outside of Alonso and Hamilton I don't think the gap to the rest is as you say.


Maldonado had very slow teammate. Take a look at what happens when he is paired with a faster one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_GP2_Series_season

100-36, ouch. Next year will be very revealing, when Williams insiders are saying Bottas is the quickest of the Maldonado, Senna, Bottas trio.


Maldonado was also faster compared to Barrichello than Hulkenberg was.

I think they are both very good, probably the best of the new drivers.

Hulkenberg's drive, in the wet at Brazil (until he screwed it up) had the hallmarks of a driver who was arriving.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:13 pm 
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hd23 wrote:
I think Maldonado will go the way of Montoya, he will get more wins, but he will never be seriously in contention. Overall, he isn't well rounded enough.


I share the same sentiment about Maldonado. He is clearly very quick, and it's easier to change one's hot-headed nature than it is to develop raw pace over time, so he can still get better. But it does look like he needs to improve massively to be more than just a multiple race-winner. I'd say the same thing about Grosjean.

I think the two Nicos are the most likely candidates for championships in the future (among those who haven't won it yet). Their qualifying form suggests that they have raw pace, and they have shown that they can consistently get the car home in reasonable positions.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:21 pm 
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We've seen in the past a midfield car can suddenly become the class of the field on a given day, with certain weather, track temps on a track which suits the car and the driver is confident. There are so many variables which can give a freak result.

Hungary 97 - Hill was a WDC but that arrows went from being a back marker to being 30 seconds in the lead for that one race, then went straight back again at the next race.

Spain 97 - Panis would have won based purely on pace but bad luck got in the way.

Spa 09 - Force India scores 0 points for a couple of years, then suddenly they're on pole and Fisi should have won without the safety car and Kimi's KERS.

I'd put Pastor's win and Sergio's podiums very much in this category. One off results on a day when everything just happened to go their way.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:34 pm 
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Banana Man wrote:
We've seen in the past a midfield car can suddenly become the class of the field on a given day, with certain weather, track temps on a track which suits the car and the driver is confident. There are so many variables which can give a freak result.

Hungary 97 - Hill was a WDC but that arrows went from being a back marker to being 30 seconds in the lead for that one race, then went straight back again at the next race.

Spain 97 - Panis would have won based purely on pace but bad luck got in the way.

Spa 09 - Force India scores 0 points for a couple of years, then suddenly they're on pole and Fisi should have won without the safety car and Kimi's KERS.

I'd put Pastor's win and Sergio's podiums very much in this category. One off results on a day when everything just happened to go their way.


Panis did that a couple of other times, like in Argentina '97. Trulli blitzed everyone briefly at Austria '97 in that car as well.

1997 to a certain extent was down to the big difference between the Bridgestones and Goodyears.

Something similar happened to Michael Schumacher at Imola 2005. Again a tyre war. Bridgestone vs Michelin. If you had flooded the race track the night before the race, every race of 2005, Schumacher would have probably won the championship.

That's what made 2012 so odd, is that it was the same tyres but they were so peaky that everyone (at least earlier in the year) was struggling to make them work.


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