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Which Sauber driver will win their TMW?
Poll runs till Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:35 pm
Kimi Raikkonen 88%  88%  [ 21 ]
Antonio Giovinazzi 13%  13%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 24
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:35 pm 
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The third team in our series of TMW prediction threads is ironically another team to have changed both drivers in anticipation of the 2019 season. In this instance it's Sauber, for whom Kimi Raikkonen returns in the twilight of his career, while Antonio Giovinazzi replaces Charles Leclerc in the designated Ferrari seat.

For Kimi Raikkonen, it is a return to Sauber which has been written about almost endlessly. Having finally being dropped by Ferrari - ironically after a season in which his performances appeared better than the numerous seasons he was given an extension - Kimi subsequently surprised a lot of people by electing to rejoin Sauber. It was even more of a surprise when it became apparent that it was a deal done without any assistance from Ferrari, something that was good news for Antonio Giovinazzi as it meant Ferrari still had the option of placing one of their young drivers in the second Sauber seat, which they duly did. It not only ends Marcus Ericsson's association with the Swiss team, but it also gives Ferrari a good barometer for Giovinazzi's performances. In a rather indirect way, it might even provide them with an idea of Giovinazzi's performances relative to Charles Leclerc, given they'll be only too aware of how Kimi compared with Seb.

What it also represents is a tough task for Giovinazzi. Some of us have speculated that, freed up from the more politically charged atmosphere at Ferrari and simply driving for the hell of it, Kimi could revel in his change of scenery and might present a real challenge for Giovinazzi. It doesn't help Antonio that he has had two seasons on the sidelines since finishing 2nd in his rookie F2 season, running eventual champion (and now Red Bull graduate) Pierre Gasly close as PREMA dominated their own debut season. Of course, if he does stack up well alongside Kimi then he'll do his own reputation no harm at all, but would the opposite of that potentially curtail his F1 career after just a single season?

Completed Polls
Toro Rosso: Daniil Kvyat 60% - 40% Alex Albon
Williams: George Russell 75% - 25% Robert Kubica

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:23 pm 
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Kimi, but it will be close one and decided by experience... Giovinazzi will not be slower than Kimi, maybe he will be even slightly faster


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:49 pm 
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I've voted for Kimi but part of me wonders how motivated he will be. He's 39 and raced towards the front of the grid for most of his career. I know Sauber are not going to be at the back of the grid and improved a lot last season but at best they'll be fourth fastest, and even then it will be a long long way from the front three. I wonder if after a while that might make him disinterested when he can't fight for the podium most weeks like he has done for the past two seasons.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:09 pm 
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I think Kimi will win. He has (vastly) more experience, and I don't actually rate GIO all that highly. I wouldn't mind being proven wrong, but I see this one as pretty easy.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:35 pm 
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Kimi, and I don't think it'll even be that close. The one saving grace for Giovinazzi is that right now, the next drivers along in the Ferrari YDP - the likes of Armstrong, Shwartzman and Ilott - look unlikely to make it to F1 in 2020, and Ferrari of course have that seat they're going to want to fill with a Ferrari young driver. A lot can change in 12 months and it's not impossible that one of those guys (or even someone like Mick Schumacher) has a mega 2019 and forces Ferrari's hand, but I wouldn't be shocked if Giovinazzi has an underwhelming year yet remains at Sauber because nobody else is ready to take the seat.

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Pick 10 | 1st x3, 2nd x3, 3rd x7
2018: 5th | 2017: 6th | 2016: 8th | 2015: 2nd | 2014: 15th | 2013: 17th | 2012: 11th


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:17 am 
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Voted for Kimi.

So Gio will win this...


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:52 am 
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Sorry all, I went against the grain and voted Giovinazzi.

His brief debut in F1, whenever it was, wasn't great, I'll give you that. So that counts against him.

But Kimi Raikkonen is one of the most overrated drivers in F1 in the last ten years, and has a poor record against teammates in recent times. I do like the guy, and was glad to see him win a race this year as I love a good comeback. He's very consistent, I'll give him that. But he's consistently slow. If he hadn't the 2007 title to his name and a very unique persona, we'd be talking about him as if he were David Coulthard.

I'm sure the views I've stated here will be taken apart, but they've been galvanised by many years of supporting evidence!

I predict that the only way Kimi will beat Giovinazzi over the season is if the latter is particularly crash-happy. Be interesting to see how close it was this time next year.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:51 am 
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I voted Gio as well.

I'm not at all convinced on Raikkonen (and in extension Vettel etc). Raikkonen was destroyed by Alonso, Vettel was destroyed (mostly) by Ricciardo. Just like I think Leclerc will beat Vettel, Giovinazzi will beat Raikkonen. I always liked Giovinazzi in GP2 and thought he was a little bit more impressive than Gasly the season they were fighting together. Gasly will be driving in Red Bull next year so I don't see why Giovinazzi won't be able to get to that level.

Plus, I have a man crush on him... :blush:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:37 pm 
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I voted for Kimi, qualifying might be reasonable close but with Giovinazzi I just get the impression that he will bin it quite often.

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Wins: Canada 2018, Abu Dhabi 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:16 pm 
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I voted for Kimi, but I honestly don't know enough about Gionivazzi to male an informed choice. I just think that Kimi, although not at his best, still has the desire to race and is still better than most last years field.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:46 pm 
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I think Giovinazzi may be as fast as Kimi but won't outscore him. It's very rare a rookie outscores an experienced team mate. Leclerc is only the 2nd driver on the grid to do it.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:18 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
I think Giovinazzi may be as fast as Kimi but won't outscore him. It's very rare a rookie outscores an experienced team mate. Leclerc is only the 2nd driver on the grid to do it.

And the first to do it by more than just a single lucky race. Bottas got the points on old Maldonado back in 2013, but they had the same number of points finishes (1 each) and I believe the head-to-head was fairly equal.

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TOP THREE CHAMPIONSHIP (No Limit Excedrin Racing): Champions in 2015 & 2018 | 2nd in 2017
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