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Author Topic: Top Story of the 2023 Season?  (Read 2244 times)

Offline Jericoke

Top Story of the 2023 Season?
« on: December 01, 2023, 08:13:56 PM »
What happened (or didn't happen) that made you really happy (or really angry?)

A few 'top stories':

Utter dominance of Max Verstappen and the RB19.  The nature of the sport doesn't let us know if the magic was Max or the car, or the synthesis of the two, but we've never seen anything like it.

Lagging performance of Sergio Perez.  If the RB19 was such a great car, why wasn't Sergio the run away #2 driver?

Surprise performance of Alonso/Aston Martin.  Aston Martin is a mid pack team from a long line of mid pack teams.  A strong start to the season made us realize they're serious about getting better in the sport.  And then they tanked the back half of the season, so who knows what's going on?  While we hoped Alonso would do a great job, I was surprised by his early performance, and his display of skill throughout the season.  Both Alonso and the team exceeded expectations.  (And then, like Perez, Stroll seemed to under perform next to his championship winning teammate)

Musical Chairs at Alpha Tauri.  Wait, not a surprise at all.  Good job by Yuki though.

McLaren gaining performance over the season.  A great team with 2 solid drivers.  They've got a bright future that I certainly wasn't expecting.

Ferrari turning the corner?  Few teams in sports have the eternal hope of Ferrari the last 15 years.  With a new team leader, it wasn't clear if it would be business as usual (i.e., a lot of mistakes) or just a step backwards as Vasseur slows things down in order to fix them. Instead I feel like they got their feet under them.  There were still mistakes, but I feel like they're learning from them, instead of just being careless.  I feel like there's something to build on.  2 strong drivers who seem to be strong in different ways (LeClerc with a natural driving talent and Sainz with an innate understanding of racing strategy)

Mercedes.  They're in a weird limbo.  They finished second place, meaning that over the course of the season, they were better than anyone but Red Bull, which is good, but it felt like they're making mistakes and the team isn't running nearly as well as they did in their championship years.  Are they going to continue to decline?  Tread water at 'pretty good' or are they learning lessons and ready to actually move forward?

Andretti/Cadillac.  Personally, I really really want to see Andretti back in F1 (not so plussed about GM, but I'm a Blue Oval Girl... also annoyed Ford is going with RBR).  I find it frustrating that F1 remains insular.  Lawrence Stroll complained about his welcome to the sport, Haas complained about his welcome to the sport.  Surely those two would realize that treating the new guys like sh*t isn't good for the sport, and standing in the way of racing royalty isn't going to win any fans.  With F1 ascendant in the USA, having the Andretti name show up every race is a license to print money.  They're not taking money from anyone else, they're bringing new money in.



Offline Willy

Re: Top Story of the 2023 Season?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2023, 05:18:26 PM »
Most definitively agree with that assessment.

As much as I dislike Max and his "second coming of Michael Schumacher" lack of sportsmanship, you can't deny the innate talent he has.

Did Sergio really have the same car? It did not seem to be the case in many races as he floundered midfield and could not get up the the front.

Alonso has amazing skills and he will be able to wring the neck of any car to get the best out of it. The early season Aston Martin showed promise but did not seem to be able to sustain that .

I was happy to see McLaren get consistent good results with their two drivers but I was not surprised that Oscar failed to live up to the bluster he showed at first.  Lando is the class in that team.

Merc had such a great run and only learned how to win during the championship years. Now they are having to learn how to lose and it is a bitter pill.  As much as I was in the Lewis camp, it surprised me that Merc signed him for a longer term. Does he really have the drive anymore?

Andretti will be a great addition to F1 as they have pedigree that only a few of the existing teams have as well.  I seriously hope GM can set up an F1 racing division to supply engines and not let it be run by committee like Ford did when they bought Stewart Racing and drove that into the ground as Jaguar.

If Liberty truly wants to increase the F1 presence in North America they need Andretti more then Andretti needs F1.

F1 has always seen itself as a European racing series and more-so as British, with most teams based in the UK. This has been the stumbling block to getting followers in North America as everything is geared to the European market from proper TV coverage to commentators who actually know what they are talking about.
If Liberty really wants North America they need a major network onboard so news coverage of F1 is widespread. Not just highlights and cutting coverage as soon as the race ends.
I recall not seeing the start of many races here in Canada due to the Canadian network continuing to show extra coverage of some damn curling competition or other paint drying event as it bled into F1 start times.


Offline Alianora La Canta

Re: Top Story of the 2023 Season?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2023, 02:38:49 PM »
Sergio might have had the same car but he did not have the same team. He quite clearly got punished for challenging Max early on, showing that it was never the game plan for Red Bull to offer equal opportunity to its drivers. Between that and the FIA helping out Red Bull so much (Max more than Sergio), and it's hard to tell what innate talent level Max has. This rather spoils the intended narrative.

Aston Martin was going really well until it started getting "upgrades" that didn't actually improve the car. Haas had a more spectacular version of the same issue.

Ferrari is building up to something and for its own sake it had better be good! Ask Alpha Tauri what happens otherwise (Mattia Binotto starts there next year - Franz Tost has given him a decent base to work with but the team is still weak enough that it will play to Mattia's strengths as a team boss).

Oscar Piastri will keep learning, growing and implicitly encouraging Lando to do the same. McLaren benefits from both of them working together (a mutual improvement collaboration that several other teams would benefit from having).

Lots of reorganisation going on behind, for all that the silly season was quiet. Williams recognised this and I predict it will get stronger in 2024. Alpine has not yet recognised the form of reorganisation it needs and I'm worried about it.

I'll worry more about Andretti when it gets there. (It's probably worth saying that in the eyes of Europe, neither Cadillac nor Andretti qualify as racing royalty - there are maybe three organisations that do, and they're all in F1 already. If anything, F1 regards it as more important to be stringent with the larger organisations as it will cost more if it prematurely admits those than a small fly-by-night nobody's heard of beforehand). I hope it finds the funding to get there, be that through Liberty or external sponsors. I think if Liberty really wants North America it needs to find the sport again - Las Vegas revealed a lot of flaws that I think it did not want to reveal, particularly about the effect of celebrity obsession upon the racing. (It should be grateful the effect of manipulation on the racing wasn't more widely stated - Verstappen's volte-face probably helped there).
Percussus resurgio
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Offline John S

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Re: Top Story of the 2023 Season?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2023, 05:22:56 PM »

Ferrari is building up to something and for its own sake it had better be good! Ask Alpha Tauri what happens otherwise (Mattia Binotto starts there next year - Franz Tost has given him a decent base to work with but the team is still weak enough that it will play to Mattia's strengths as a team boss).


You sure Binotto is headed to AT, Alia?  :confused:

Most reports I've seen say Laurent Mekies, former asst team principal & race director at Ferrari, is to take the reins alongside Peter Bayer post Tost.
Mekies is on gardening leave from Ferrari til end of year I think.

Mind you if you're right it will make it a real GPWizard scoop!  :swoon:
Worthy of 'Top Story of the Year'.  ;)
« Last Edit: December 04, 2023, 05:24:36 PM by John S »
Racing is Life - everything else is just....waiting. (Steve McQueen)

Offline Andy B

Re: Top Story of the 2023 Season?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2023, 09:14:11 PM »
I'm also in agreement with just about all that's been said but one point I'd like to make about Mercedes or rather their drivers.
It's been said many times that GR is doing better with the W14 than LH and I believe this is down to the fact that for GR it is still the best car he has ever driven for a whole season whereas for LH it is probably the worst so I hope the W15 is a big improvement on the W14 then maybe we can tell for sure.
Once you have retired every day is a Saturday!

Offline Alianora La Canta

Re: Top Story of the 2023 Season?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2023, 11:29:25 AM »
You sure Binotto is headed to AT, Alia?  :confused:

Most reports I've seen say Laurent Mekies, former asst team principal & race director at Ferrari, is to take the reins alongside Peter Bayer post Tost.
Mekies is on gardening leave from Ferrari til end of year I think.

UmÖ [checks internet] OK, I see your point :D I thought I'd read Binotto had got a team leadership role there, but it looks like I messed up! It looks like Mattia has not said anything that would involve him re-emerging in the paddock. Granted, Alpha Tauri is still a good place to ask what happens if Ferrari is not cooking something good because I think Laurent leaving was part of the fallout from previous failures, but not for the reason I cited. (I'm also less positive about Alpha Tauri than I was, because I'm not sure Laurent is as good at that type of situation as Mattia is).

(Edited to make the quote attribution to make sense; apologies to anyone who came here from Twitter and got confused)
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Offline John S

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Re: Top Story of the 2023 Season?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2023, 03:24:52 PM »
To address Jeri's original premise of top story I'd have to point to the 'Next of the rest' or 'Midfield Musical Chairs' element'.

Sometimes teams in F1 have to make their own fun and we certainly got that. Mercedes ended second overall almost purely by screwing up the least in 2023. Ferrari was awful to start the season but found some form to close out the year (That Brazil DNS for Leclerc is going to sting in the off-season). Aston Martin was the sexy newcomer to the scene in the first half of the year but then got completely overshadowed by McLaren having the best in-season turnaround Iíve ever seen.

After that I have to reference the continuing bad blood, nay brawl even, between the true owners of F1 (FIA) and the latest commercial interlopers (Liberty). The two sides of F1 were split apart for good reasons, well EU dictate actually, and should stay in there own areas. Something Liberty has been loathe to do in matters of Rules & Regs, believing instead that teams and drivers along with themselves count for more than the FIA. They've not been afraid to push that with their big PR machine either.

This arrogance from Liberty seems to have begun during the last stages of Todt's administration, whether he abeited them or was just too far down the retirement track to care is hard to say.

New boy Ben has been pushing back against his irreverant sidelining by Liberty, first from Brawn then Domenicalli; both ex-Team principals & rather prejudiced pro teams, probably also with axes still to grind from the look of it.
So Ben has chucked time bomb of Andretti entry right into their lap.

In my view Liberty has to think long and hard, a new Concorde is required in the coming year or 2 and these slow burn niggles might erupt into a wider conflict making a deal for all parties rather difficult.   
« Last Edit: December 05, 2023, 03:40:45 PM by John S »
Racing is Life - everything else is just....waiting. (Steve McQueen)

 


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