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Author Topic: Will so many F1 rookies & returnees cause chaos at race starts this term?  (Read 829 times)

Offline John S

Itís been quite a while since there was such a big change to the F1 driver line up and I canít recall seeing so many inexperienced and returning drivers in a field, (obviously excluding 2010/11 when special entry teams created 2nd class seats).

This should provide some interest at the start of the season, although I expect to see quite a bit of flying carbon fibre initially while they learn that itís not F2, rallying or a sim.

Even the veterans may shed some carbon (Wrecker Romain?) getting used to the wider nose and different handling. Closing speeds may also catch some out.

I'll certainly be adding to my DNF number in the GG for the first few races, but could this catch out some usual point scoring drivers as well?



Racing is life - everything else is just waiting. (Steve McQueen)

Offline cosworth151

Add to that the question of if Max will return to his bumper car ways.
ďYou can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.Ē
― Bob Dylan

Offline Jericoke

As a rule, I've noticed that the rookies tend to be more conservative in their first few races the last few years (there are exceptions, of course).

In fact, after doing zero research, I think that AUS usually has the lowest DNF of the turbo era.  Everyone has fresh equipment, everyone is aware that you can't win the championship in the first race, the rookies are more concerned with finishing than proving themselves (to a degree, they've already proven themselves, or else they wouldn't be in F1).

With that in mind, I would expect LeClerc and Gasly to be the most dangerous drivers.  They don't need to prove they belong in F1.  They do.  They need to prove they can win.  (the next two most dangerous drivers would be Max and Seb, proving they're still the 'big dogs' at their teams)

Offline Calman

I agree with all the valid points above .. and who could pose a danger in fighting their way through the pack.  However, with F1 seats more fragile than ever, I feel that rookies are well aware that 1-2 slip ups could cost them their drive, as there are more young guns knocking on the F1 door than ever before.   We have seen many promising drivers lose their seat, purely based on a couple of poor performances or lack of sponsorship money etc. So, in 2019, I think that all rookies know they have to deliver in the best way that they can, irrespective of the limitations of the car they are in.

Having said all that, yes, we can expect a few pile ups in the opening races.  As Martin Brundle always used to say "it's like the first day back at school".

Season's Best,
Cal :)
Anyone Have A Decent Pen?

Offline Luke

It's odd, as there are in theory a lot of drivers knocking on the door of F1 but in theory there are few who can race due to super licence points (or a lack thereof) and a lack of finances.  Not many teams can or will take a punt on a rookie now who is outside of their own driver academy (ie, Norris at McLaren), from their partner's academy (ie Russell at Williams) or who can bring a truck load of cash (er, the returning Kubica at Williams).  Whilst there are more drivers than ever, those with a realistic chance of racing in F1 seem to be decreasing year on year. 

Regarding the rookies/Kubica, I'd say they are a high standard this year, some of the finest rookies we have had for a while who have all had some experience of driving F1 machinery and have shown good race craft in the junior series or in their past career.  I am excited this season more so than usual to see how they fare! 
Poster formerly known as Williamsfan.

Offline Calman

The other angle to consider, as far as "green light pile-ups" ... is that we are focusing on 'rookies' who are in the lower teams, or indeed, rookies who are clearly better drivers than the car they are in (as Leclerc/Gasly were in 2018).  The other factor being, Danny Ric and Kimi are now top drivers in lower performing teams, so this may all point to a recipe for disaster on some of the early 2019 race starts.   From a neutral perspective, I hope not, but let's see how they all do behind the wheel in March!!

Season's Best,
Cal :)
Anyone Have A Decent Pen?

Offline monty

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These are all 'professional' drivers and the rooky status will probably have little effect unless they try to 'over-drive' or they have a 'win at any cost' attitude.
This is the problem with Max. He is of course a good driver but he is arrogant and believes that it is his 'right' to be in front of the next guy. I have seen this in the lower classes over many years. Drivers catch the car in front and assume that because they have caught them, they must be faster than them. Then they get irritated that the car in front doesn't make it easy to overtake and start making rash and dangerous moves - we have seen Max do this in most of his F1 career but he used to do it in the lower classes as well. That is why he is a dangerous driver and will never rate as a great driver in my opinion. The great drivers could get inferior cars to the front without banging wheels and risking accidents. History has many great drivers but in the modern era we also have greats like Alonso, Ricciardo and Hamilton. If I was a betting man (which I am not) I would put money on Max being involved in more accidents and near misses than any of the rookies.

Offline Irisado

Nothing of any interest will happen at all at most starts in 2019.  It's so easy to overtake with DRS at most circuits that there is little point taking risks at the start.  The Australian Grand Prix has been a lifeless parade in recent years.  Bullet proof cars, fuel consumption regulations, and poor quality tyres result in the drivers pacing themselves as though they are driving an endurance race.  Significant mistakes (i.e. where drivers are forced to retire on the spot) almost never happen at the start any more.
SoŮando con una playa donde brilla el sol, un arco iris ilumina el cielo, y el mar espejea iridescentemente

Offline lkjohnson1950

Endurance racing is probably closer to flat out than F1 these days. IMSA teams rarely pace themselves due to the high reliability of their cars.
Lonny

Offline Calman

These are all 'professional' drivers and the rooky status will probably have little effect unless they try to 'over-drive' or they have a 'win at any cost' attitude.

I agree monty! ...

I don't like to refer to any F1 driver as a "rookie" ... as compared to any other motorsport or civilian driver, these guys are indeed, the best of the best.   I guess when you are looking at the "top dogs" in Mercs, Ferraris and Bulls, you have to give the "new recruits" a badge of some sort. 

I agree that rookies in past years were more of a concern at the start of races than that of the last 4-5 years.

Best Regards,
Cal :)
Anyone Have A Decent Pen?

Offline Alianora La Canta

Someone did a research study on this (would you believe) and discovered that collisions were most likely when there were two drivers in very similar cars who were themselves of very similar performance. The analysis went further, indicating this is applicable to workplaces in general, and that one should watch out for one's "work twin" if avoiding overcompetitiveness. I strongly recommend reading the analysis at least, as there's lots of interest for the racing fan.

If new drivers are going to teams where their new team-mate is significantly better than them, then all is sunshine and roses. Unless there's a similarly-performing car with an equally good/bad rookie.

If new drivers go to teams with said rookie as their team-mate, or they find the experienced team-mate isn't really any better than them, or they both discover the car isn't worthy of them (thus forcing them to the same level at the car's "ceiling"), things tend to go pear-shaped for collisions. This tends to result in either demoralisation (potentially causing crashes through inattention) or anger (this is when they tend to hit each other through either the ignition of competitive streaks, or as a substitute for lobbing the car into the nearest skip).

Now, we can't yet know which cars will be disappointments (and recall disappointment is the gap between expectation and reality, so it's easier for Mercedes or Ferrari to be a disappointment than McLaren or Williams). What we can guess is which partnerships are likely to cause trouble:

Mercedes: Hamilton-Bottas

No disrespect to Valterri Bottas (especially as I recently found out Dad's a fan of him), but he's not currently in the same league as Lewis Hamilton. Because of this, team-mate collisions are pretty unlikely. No.

Ferrari: Vettel-Leclerc

Well, these two should be far enough from each other for the described effect not to kick in, but with Leclerc hitting the Sauber's performance ceiling more often than not, it's hard to tell. Maybe.

Red Bull: Verstappen-Gasly

I think these two are closer in skill than either of them thinks at the moment. Combined with the obvious favouritism from Helmut Marko, and this is a recipe for fireworks. Yes.

Toro Rosso - Kyvat-Albon

This is a difficult one to read, because both have faced substantial problems on the way up, and I'm not convinced either is proofed against the "tricks" in the Red Bull way of doing business. The team atmosphere is enough ceiling for either of them to hit. Yes.

Haas: Grosjean-Magnussen

I don't worry about these two against each other. Not because they're very different in performance but because they tend to perform at different races. They're hardly ever both "on" or "off" at the same time, which is necessary for collisions to be a threat. No.

McLaren - Sainz-Norris

I think Sainz will be a bit better than Norris, and both are expecting McLaren to be at least as weak as it is likely to be, if not weaker (therefore, they may be pleasantly surprised, and certainly not disappointed). - No.

Force India - Perez-Stroll

While I'm hearing signs Stroll is improving now that he's away from Williams, I still think Perez will be stronger. Stroll isn't Ocon and getting that level, if it's even possible for him, will take quite a long time. - No

Williams - Kubica-Russell

I think Kubica is significantly better than Russell, therefore driver strength isn't similar enough for this to be an issue - No.

Renault - Hulkenberg-Ricciardo

Now this is a line-up that will bring fire that wasn't there before. I believe Nico is capable of more than he's shown, and that someone like Daniel is exactly who can cause him to extract it (because Nico's previous best came when he was paired with an equally-strong Sergio). However, if he does make that step, he's going to be in the neighbourhood of Daniel's performance level, and therein lies a problem... - Yes.

Sauber - Raikkonen-Giovanazzi

This is the lineup with what I believe will be the biggest disparity. As such, it has the least chance of collision.
Percussus resurgio
@lacanta (Twitter)
http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

Offline Jericoke

Someone did a research study on this (would you believe) and discovered that collisions were most likely when there were two drivers in very similar cars who were themselves of very similar performance. The analysis went further, indicating this is applicable to workplaces in general, and that one should watch out for one's "work twin" if avoiding overcompetitiveness. I strongly recommend reading the analysis at least, as there's lots of interest for the racing fan.

If new drivers are going to teams where their new team-mate is significantly better than them, then all is sunshine and roses. Unless there's a similarly-performing car with an equally good/bad rookie.


Tried to read it and all I can say is... thanks for the summary, it helps!

The two examples that I've seen watching F1 (since I started watching after Prost/Senna) are Hamilton/Alonso, which had a very weird ending, but I don't think they ever bumped each other.  The other would be Webber/Vettel, which went very poorly for Webber, and worked out very well for Vettel.

(Certainly Schumacher/Hill and Schumacher/Villeneuve might fit this category.  Not identical cars, but very close in the overall man/machine combination, and titles decided by the cars actually touching)

Offline Calman

As I've hinted previously, the Ferrari battle and Renault battle is where my focus will be in 2019.  I can't see there being any other surprises or "edge of the seat" team battles elsewhere.

Best Regards,
Cal :)
Anyone Have A Decent Pen?

Offline Alianora La Canta

Someone did a research study on this (would you believe) and discovered that collisions were most likely when there were two drivers in very similar cars who were themselves of very similar performance. The analysis went further, indicating this is applicable to workplaces in general, and that one should watch out for one's "work twin" if avoiding overcompetitiveness. I strongly recommend reading the analysis at least, as there's lots of interest for the racing fan.

If new drivers are going to teams where their new team-mate is significantly better than them, then all is sunshine and roses. Unless there's a similarly-performing car with an equally good/bad rookie.


Tried to read it and all I can say is... thanks for the summary, it helps!

(Certainly Schumacher/Hill and Schumacher/Villeneuve might fit this category.  Not identical cars, but very close in the overall man/machine combination, and titles decided by the cars actually touching)

Probably a good rule of thumb is "are these people you'd speak of in the same breath without other members of this forum looking at you weirdly?"
Percussus resurgio
@lacanta (Twitter)
http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)