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Thread: Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

  1. #1291
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    Mercedes dominance damaging F1 - Horner

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner thinks that Mercedes' dominance is damaging Formula 1 and believes new owners Liberty Media will not let it continue.

    The Silver Arrows have subjugated the sport since the introduction of the V6 hybrid era in 2014, winning 51 of the 59 races that have followed. Speaking to The Guardian, Horner insists that change is needed.

    "It’s unpalatable to think of it for another three years," Horner insisted. "The new owners of F1 know very much about putting on a great show and there being good and healthy competition. That can’t be artificially done obviously but I would be surprised if they were prepared to allow total dominance like the last three years."

    The new regulations that will be in play this season were partly drafted in to help the other teams catch up or even surpass Mercedes. However, it seems that Mercedes are top of the pecking order once again.

    "Mercedes dominating again would be bad for the sport," Horner continued. "But how you prevent it from happening I don’t know. It would be wrong to artificially slow someone down. We have just got to work hard to put them under pressure."

    source:https://www.f1today.net/en/news/f1/2...ging-f1-horner


    its not fair to the sport and to the teams.....something has to change and I think it will in 2020.

  2. #1292
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    Horner is an idiot. During Red Bull,s dominance he was ok and now Mercedes can,t dom

    Quote Originally Posted by jgonzalesm6 View Post
    Mercedes dominance damaging F1 - Horner

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner thinks that Mercedes' dominance is damaging Formula 1 and believes new owners Liberty Media will not let it continue.

    The Silver Arrows have subjugated the sport since the introduction of the V6 hybrid era in 2014, winning 51 of the 59 races that have followed. Speaking to The Guardian, Horner insists that change is needed.

    "Itís unpalatable to think of it for another three years," Horner insisted. "The new owners of F1 know very much about putting on a great show and there being good and healthy competition. That canít be artificially done obviously but I would be surprised if they were prepared to allow total dominance like the last three years."

    The new regulations that will be in play this season were partly drafted in to help the other teams catch up or even surpass Mercedes. However, it seems that Mercedes are top of the pecking order once again.

    "Mercedes dominating again would be bad for the sport," Horner continued. "But how you prevent it from happening I donít know. It would be wrong to artificially slow someone down. We have just got to work hard to put them under pressure."

    source:https://www.f1today.net/en/news/f1/2...ging-f1-horner


    its not fair to the sport and to the teams.....something has to change and I think it will in 2020.

  3. #1293
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    Quote Originally Posted by pesquisa_2004 View Post
    Horner is an idiot. During Red Bull,s dominance he was ok and now Mercedes can,t dom
    I believe he is speaking for mostly everyone on the grid with the exception of Mercedes. And by the way, I may add, RedBull's dominance was during the NA formula prior to this V-6T-Hybrid formula; plus they had a far superior chassis along with the engine so thats fair game in my book so calling him an idiot while he is not only speaking for the rest of the teams but also for a change by the new owners is not idiotic at all. I have not heard Arrivabenne saying that this Mercedes dominance has to change but it would be in his right to say so cuz I to believe that this new formula is for the gain of one manufacturer....Mercedes. F1 needs to be a motorsport and take out the whims of one manufacturer so they can use it for road use....long-term wise. Mercedes "pushed" for the new formula well into 2013 all because they had lead well in advance. These new PU's are super expensive and highly complicated.....and they want them for road use. Can you imagine taking one of these PU's to your local car dealer to have it serviced or fixed?????....the mechanic needs to have a doctorate in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and automotive engineering.....plus the labor will be instead of $50 USD per hour to more like $250 USD per hour.

  4. #1294
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    Horner has no complaints when his team was dominant, so shut up and do a better job.

    But why it has been posted in this thread?????
    Forza Ferrari

  5. #1295
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    Man, the bellboy knows how to deliver!!!!!! He put the luggage in front of the gates!!!! Ferrari has arrived ladies and gents!




    Attachment 7028

  6. #1296
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgonzalesm6 View Post
    Man, the bellboy knows how to deliver!!!!!! He put the luggage in front of the gates!!!! Ferrari has arrived ladies and gents!




    Attachment 7028
    whoooooo whoooooo.....this is getting me excited....few more days after such a LONG winter wait....we're gonna go F1 again
    let's hope Ferrari will be amongst ONE of the teams to fight for WINS starting in OZ
    ...the new SF70H looks amazing. Let's hope it's gonna be as FAST as it looks.


  7. #1297
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    https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/t...rotkin-883483/

    That Formula 1 teams test their new cars in Barcelona is not just by chance. It's a track everything is long known about – and it's got the appropriate selection of corners to provide exhaustive information about car behaviour. Even watching the cars trackside, you can still come to certain conclusions.

    Of course, it's impossible to get the full picture as we don't know what programmes the teams are going through, what settings they use, how much fuel is in the cars at any given time and what the exact goal is of each run.

    So instead we'll focus on just some of the interesting features of the behaviour of the different cars in the field.

    Renault reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin was with the team for the pre-season test in Barcelona – and got to watch the field of F1 2017 out on track. Below, the SMP Racing protege recounts his impressions:
    Sector three

    One of the most interesting points to watch F1 cars from is the third sector of the Barcelona track. From the grandstand there, you get a great view of the whole sequence of corners. And this time through here, it was the Ferrari that looked the best.

    That car has made the strongest impression so far, both in terms of laptime and in how the car looks out on track. Sector three in particular shows how well-balanced it is and how quick it is. And that has to do with both chassis and engine.

    There's not a lot of space between various corners in sector three, and it's particularly noticeable, that the SF70H is no worse than the Mercedes in terms of acceleration - perhaps better than it, at certain points.
    If you look at analogous runs in terms of lap count and tyre choice, the Ferrari stands out. It's a very stable car in the middle and end of braking. Corner entry is visibly quicker than it is for other cars, and the rear remains stable through the whole corner.

    For many of the other cars, the rear looks twitchy under braking, and there's obvious understeer on corner entry. The Ferrari's completely different. It's steady heading into the corner and, at the midway point of the corner where the driver has to make a sharp turn and get back on the throttle, it follows the movement of the steering wheel well and turns in.

    As a result, the car ends up in such a position that the driver can very comfortably begin to accelerate right away - the Ferrari goes through the corner in what we could call a 'V-shape': fast entry, sharp turn, exit.

    From this, you can gain a lot on corner entry and exit. And, because this car doesn't suffer from understeer within the corner, the drivers can spend a lot less time navigating it.

    All of this looks great out on track, very impressive, especially the whole sequence between Turns 12 and 14, the entry into the chicane.

    The speed at which the Ferrari can change direction in the middle of the corner is what allows it not to lose time on the apex compared to its rivals – for instance, the Mercedes, which seems to be behaving a bit differently.
    The W08 is the only car that looks to be on pace with the Ferrari, although of course we don't know what the programmes of the various teams were throughout the test.

    I've watched the Mercedes for a few days, and in details the car behaviour naturally tends to differ quite a bit from run to run. But in general the car does seem to encounter oversteer a lot more than Ferrari. That doesn't really affect the pace that much, but it does mean the car is less stable.

    The Mercedes pair preferred to take corners in a U-shape. Since the rear end of the car is less stable, you can't attack the corner as rapidly – and you can't accelerate on corner exit as sharply. Yet on the apex itself the Mercedes retains more speed, as if rolling through the turn.

    If you have a lot of grip on the front, you can keep a higher minimum speed through the middle of the corner. But if you don't have the grip, you have to attack on entry, then make a sharp turn and drive away – while losing time in the middle of the corner through understeer.

    Ferrari doesn't have the issue and its drivers can afford this approach. The SF70H's rear is more stable than the Mercedes' – these two cars are completely different in that area.
    The W08 also looks fast, but on long runs the deficit in chassis stability becomes more and more obvious. First it's once every two laps, then it's once a lap, and when the tyres are already worn, you can see it not in every corner, but almost consistently – a little bit here, a little bit there and so on.

    It's very hard to gage the power units, because we don't know about the particular engine modes, but even there the Ferrari looked a bit quicker, while the Mercedes stood out against all those remaining. But there's no huge surprise in that.

    Turn 9

    Another interesting spot is the high-speed Turn 9 that precedes the back straight. Watching cars here, you can make a few judgements in regards to aerodynamic balance, how the car behaves at maximum aerodynamic load and whether that's spread evenly between the axles.

    You can also see how the suspension reacts to bumps, as even the tyre marks here make it clear how rough the surface is.

    Last year, drivers had to lift a fair bit through here, and would even sometimes apply a little bit of braking before corner entry. Now speeds are 30km/h faster and the leading cars pass through Turn 9 at full throttle.

    It is so impressive. Back in 2013, in the World Series by Renault, before all the changes aimed at lowering speeds, we were also able to attack Turn 9 at full throttle, but at the very limit. I did it maybe once or twice. Right now, the Ferrari and the Mercedes, they consistently tackle it without lifting.
    It's the same picture again: the Ferrari looks best. Pedal pushed to the floor, very fast, very steady. At one point the Force India was running close to it on track, and it was obvious how much the car was reacting to the bumps. But the Ferrari looked on rails.

    It's a very difficult spot for the suspension. First of all, the car approaches the corner already on almost maximum load. Then in the corner itself you get more load from the side, and the bumps stress the suspension further.
    The suspension has to work well at maximum load there, and the Ferrari does. The car remains stable, partly because of better aerodynamic grip but also, of course, because of the work of the suspension itself.

    The Mercedes also attacks Turn 9 at full throttle, and with an upshift on corner exit, too. So the car doesn't just pass through the corner at a high constant speed, but continues to accelerate. It's something you can't get tired of seeing.

    For contrast, you can look at the Williams. Even on soft tyres its drivers have to lift – you can hear it very well on corner entry. Maybe they don't completely take the foot off the throttle, but they do need to lift at least a little bit.

    The car wobbles, the front wing almost scraping the asphalt. That means, firstly, that the car simply doesn't have as much downforce and, secondly, that the suspension isn't handling the bumps as well.
    Prior to Turn 9, there's the sequence of the left-hander Turn 7 and the right-hander Turn 8. A very quick switch, with an elevation change to boot.

    The tendencies there are the same as sector three. The W08 on exit of Turn 7 starts to turn earlier and thus gets to the outside kerb much sooner than the Ferrari. From there the driver has to get around Turn 8, making for a wave-like trajectory.

    The Ferrari, meanwhile, makes a sharp turn at one point and then continues to accelerate in a straight line. Now, you can't be absolutely certain that that's the faster way, as it depends also on the car balance, but it is a confirmation of the car behaviour trend.

  8. #1298
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greig View Post
    Horner has no complaints when his team was dominant, so shut up and do a better job.
    I don't understand how people can compare Mercedes' dominance to that of Redbull.
    1. How many of Mercedes' innovations on the engine have been outlawed for the subsequent season? Between 2010 and 2013 not a year went by where an RB innovation was not outlawed for the next season.
    2. Mercedes' advantage was locked in by the regulations. I, for one, believe Ferrari would have caught up with Mercedes much faster (even as early as mid/late 2014 season itself) if there was free development allowed for all - which btw was the case during RB dominance. Ferrari/McLaren/Mercedes (all teams with large resources) could have matched RB if they did a better job with no one staying their hand. In fact, they kept getting a helping hand from the regulator in terms of outlawing every RB advantage.

    In both the eras cost was given as the reason for the regulations being what they are/regulations being changed frequently (outlawing RB innovations because it would be an arms race to let others spend a lot to catch up & locking in engine specs to prevent others spending too much to catch up), but the difference during RB's era was that the leader was constantly forced to forego his advantage to achieve this, whereas in Mercedes' case it preserved the leader's advantage.

    A fair playing field is all one asks for (which was available during RB's dominance but not during Mercedes'). Thankfully we finally have it.

  9. #1299
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaitanya View Post
    I don't understand how people can compare Mercedes' dominance to that of Redbull.
    1. How many of Mercedes' innovations on the engine have been outlawed for the subsequent season? Between 2010 and 2013 not a year went by where an RB innovation was not outlawed for the next season.
    2. Mercedes' advantage was locked in by the regulations. I, for one, believe Ferrari would have caught up with Mercedes much faster (even as early as mid/late 2014 season itself) if there was free development allowed for all - which btw was the case during RB dominance. Ferrari/McLaren/Mercedes (all teams with large resources) could have matched RB if they did a better job with no one staying their hand. In fact, they kept getting a helping hand from the regulator in terms of outlawing every RB advantage.

    In both the eras cost was given as the reason for the regulations being what they are/regulations being changed frequently (outlawing RB innovations because it would be an arms race to let others spend a lot to catch up & locking in engine specs to prevent others spending too much to catch up), but the difference during RB's era was that the leader was constantly forced to forego his advantage to achieve this, whereas in Mercedes' case it preserved the leader's advantage.

    A fair playing field is all one asks for (which was available during RB's dominance but not during Mercedes'). Thankfully we finally have it.

    yep.....all fair points you mentioned. Now costs are even higher due to the new PU's.

  10. #1300
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    Quote Originally Posted by FerrariF60 View Post
    whoooooo whoooooo.....this is getting me excited....few more days after such a LONG winter wait....we're gonna go F1 again
    let's hope Ferrari will be amongst ONE of the teams to fight for WINS starting in OZ
    Getting excited, fellas. Will be there at track-side from around noon on Friday - I live less than 1 hour away :)

  11. #1301
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaitanya View Post
    I don't understand how people can compare Mercedes' dominance to that of Redbull.
    1. How many of Mercedes' innovations on the engine have been outlawed for the subsequent season? Between 2010 and 2013 not a year went by where an RB innovation was not outlawed for the next season.
    2. Mercedes' advantage was locked in by the regulations. I, for one, believe Ferrari would have caught up with Mercedes much faster (even as early as mid/late 2014 season itself) if there was free development allowed for all - which btw was the case during RB dominance. Ferrari/McLaren/Mercedes (all teams with large resources) could have matched RB if they did a better job with no one staying their hand. In fact, they kept getting a helping hand from the regulator in terms of outlawing every RB advantage.

    In both the eras cost was given as the reason for the regulations being what they are/regulations being changed frequently (outlawing RB innovations because it would be an arms race to let others spend a lot to catch up & locking in engine specs to prevent others spending too much to catch up), but the difference during RB's era was that the leader was constantly forced to forego his advantage to achieve this, whereas in Mercedes' case it preserved the leader's advantage.

    A fair playing field is all one asks for (which was available during RB's dominance but not during Mercedes'). Thankfully we finally have it.
    1) So Red Bull cheated more? yet had no complaints about domintating, I am not sure they had things banned every season either...sure we had lots of crying about them being illegal but they passed all the FIA tests.
    2) Red Bull domination was locked in as well by regulations, there was no free for all in their domination, testing was limited, wind tunnel was limited we even had a silly budget cap at one point in their domination.
    Forza Ferrari

  12. #1302
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greig View Post
    1) So Red Bull cheated more? yet had no complaints about domintating, I am not sure they had things banned every season either...sure we had lots of crying about them being illegal but they passed all the FIA tests.
    2) Red Bull domination was locked in as well by regulations, there was no free for all in their domination, testing was limited, wind tunnel was limited we even had a silly budget cap at one point in their domination.
    1. I have only one yardstick for excellence in F1 - be fast without breaking the letter of the law. In fact, that is the only objective way of being legal in any aspect of civil life - don't be on the wrong side of the letter of the law. Else everything becomes subjective. People introduce subjectivity through the fuzzy 'spirit of the rules'. While there is a spirit behind every rule ever set, once the rule is set there should be no room for subjectivity. You could say this/that wasn't the spirit of the said rules (case in point this year being sharkfins - rules were changed to make the cars look good. But they did not foresee the sharkfins. Now we are stuck with sharkfins. End of the day no one is cheating by using sharkfins). People tend to be on either side of the spirit argument based on whether it helps them or otherwise. But you can only be on one side of the letter of the law. That's the beauty of it. That's the utility of it.

    Now I could go on and say that the bigger form of cheating is helping draft the rules to gain an advantage. Legalizing your advantage because you got a say in the rules. But I'd be using a different yardstick to the one I have advocated. If it is allowed to influence the rule making, then it is legal. Would you agree with that is a call you have to make at a personal level. Doesn't change legality.

    2. That way anyone who has an advantage to start with under any set of rules has their advantage locked in because everything else that happens after that is equal for everyone competing. Let's say we bring back unlimited testing, the guy with the advantage is going to (ideally) spend the same amount of time as the competition, testing improvements to his already superior machine - which could help him stay in the lead.

    End of the day, for me, it is meritocracy that is more important. If I know how to make my machine better, I should be allowed to do it. I personally am not a fan of endless testing. Makes it likely that I stumble on a good solution rather than think it up from scratch - brings trial and error into the play - it sort of neutralizes the clever ones. If I had an hour more in every math test at school I could have been closer to the guy who came first. Is it fair to the guy who came first? I'd say no.

    During the RB days people bemoaned the genius of Newey (and if they were fair they should have credited the entire RB team) and not the restrictions of regulations. Last three years the limiting factor was regulations. I would take the first scenario any day. But that's just me.

    I don't want to hijack this thread (anymore. I know I already have. But couldn't resist it). This is the last on this topic from me on this thread.

  13. #1303
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    Im new here... THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO JOIN.. I HOPE MERCEDES BURNED BY FERRARI IN AUSTRALIA

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    Romain Grosjean reveals: Ferrari still holds back performance

    http://www.motorsport-total.com/f1/n...-17032002.html

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    The truth will all be known in less than a week from now...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greig View Post
    1) So Red Bull cheated more? yet had no complaints about domintating, I am not sure they had things banned every season either...sure we had lots of crying about them being illegal but they passed all the FIA tests.
    2) Red Bull domination was locked in as well by regulations, there was no free for all in their domination, testing was limited, wind tunnel was limited we even had a silly budget cap at one point in their domination.
    I would add that the Renault engine was extremely adapted to the exhaust blown diffuser and Ferrari could do nothing because of the engine freeze.

  17. #1307
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    can somebody paste this

    Gary Anderson's 2017 team-by-team guide

    Thanks in advance

  18. #1308
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greig View Post
    Horner has no complaints when his team was dominant, so shut up and do a better job.
    If and when Ferrari becomes dominant again, i'm sure no one will complain.
    Forza Ferrari


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gmadness View Post
    Im new here... THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO JOIN.. I HOPE MERCEDES BURNED BY FERRARI IN AUSTRALIA
    You are welcome But here we don't burn other teams we focus on our goals because we are Ferrari

  20. #1310
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    Iam really exited about the new season and all the positive talk about Ferrari

    Autosport predicts F1 2017
    There is fresh optimism that Formula 1 could have a proper fight at the front of the field again in 2017. On the eve of the new season, Autosport's panelists have their say

    Published on Monday March 20th 2017
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    Hope springs eternal. This time a year ago, the motorsport world was brimming with optimism that Ferrari would take the fight to Mercedes. Twelve months later, and the situation is remarkably similar.

    Unlike in 2016, though, there are sweeping rule changes to assist the neutral fans' desired overhaul of the Mercedes dominance of F1's turbo-hybrid era. So, back for 2017 is the Autosport writers' panel's prediction of how the championship battle will play out.

    The method is simple, tried and tested: we all pitch our top 10 and then calculate a combined overall result using the F1 points system. Here are the results.

    THE PANEL: Ben Anderson (Grand Prix Editor), Gary Anderson (Technical Consultant), Edd Straw (Editor-in-Chief), Kevin Turner (Autosport Magazine Editor) Scott Mitchell (Features Editor), Karun Chandhok (Ex-F1 Driver), Dieter Rencken (Special Contributor), Jonathan Noble (Motorsport.com Formula 1 Editor), Anthony Rowlinson (Editorial Director), Adam Cooper (Special Contributor), Damien Smith (European Editor-in-Chief), Stuart Codling (Executive Editor), Matt James (Motorsport News Editor)

    10th: CARLOS SAINZ
    Top prediction: 8th (Dieter Rencken, Kevin Turner, Scott Mitchell)

    BEN ANDERSON (@BenAndersonAuto): The Toro Rosso will carry a bit too much drag to be competitive everywhere, but Sainz will qualify strongly, and race well enough to bag lower points finishes here and there. Expect him to score big on the lower-speed street circuits, and tracks like Barcelona and Silverstone too, which will prove just enough to break him into the top 10.

    KEVIN TURNER (@KRT917): One of the stars of 2016 seems like he may have a better car this season. If Renault can make real progress on its engine - and find some more reliability - the Toro Rosso could end up being as good as it looks. If it is, Sainz will make the most of it and make a strong case for a chance at a bigger team in 2018.

    DIETER RENCKEN (@RacingLines): With a stronger car the Spaniard would feature in the top five, but still he gets on with it despite a car disadvantage. A first podium this year for the Toro Rosso driver?

    ADAM COOPER (@AdamCooperF1): The Toro Rosso looked interesting in testing, even if its ultimate pace wasn't quite obvious yet. Sainz is getting better and better, and I expect him to outscore Daniil Kvyat.

    9th: NICO HULKENBERG
    Top prediction: 7th (Gary Anderson)

    BEN ANDERSON: Formula 1's new rules will play to Hulkenberg's strengths and he'll prove to be the out-and-out fastest driver in F1's ultra-competitive midfield. Renault will start slowly, but out-develop its rivals, and Hulkenberg will score consistently through the second half of the season as Renault finishes fifth in the constructors' race.

    EDD STRAW (@EddStrawF1): Renault should come on more strongly as the season progresses, and if Hulkenberg gets himself as together as he should do in his first year with a manufacturer team, he will be able to make the best of the package. Hulkenberg needs to be at his best to make the most of his chance, and if he is he can steal into the top 10.

    KARUN CHANDHOK (@KarunChandhok): The Renault looks much better than it was last year and I'm really intrigued to see how their in-season development goes with more resources available. Nico will be a good team leader and capable of maximising the potential of the package.

    STUART CODLING (@CoddersF1): His tireless commitment to backing the wrong horse continues. Chose Renault because he wanted to work with Frederic Vasseur - not knowing Fred was being manoeuvred out of the door. Whoops!

    GARY ANDERSON: In my opinion he's one of the best drivers in the pitlane and it's a shame that he never got that chance with a works team. Now he's with Renault, he will be in a better position mentally, but I don't think the car this year will be up to his talent. He just needs to wring its neck and then he might have the car he needs for 2018.

    8th: SERGIO PEREZ
    Top prediction: 7th (Karun Chandhok; Edd Straw; Kevin Turner; Damien Smith)

    BEN ANDERSON: I expect this season to be a bit tougher for Force India, and for Perez, as the nature of the formula shifts away from tyre management towards outright speed and downforce. Perez will still do well enough to score points regularly, probably even grab a podium early on, and Force India will race well enough consistently enough to cling to fourth place in the championship.

    ADAM COOPER: Force India had a relatively low-key time in testing but the car looked solid, and of course the Mercedes package will always be a boost. Perez is a solid performer and will always bring the car home, and while Ocon has great potential, I think the more experienced man will score more.

    JONATHAN NOBLE (@NobleF1): A tougher year than Perez might have hoped for, but even so he has every chance of maintaining momentum and gunning for the odd podium finish.

    ANTHONY ROWLINSON (@Rowlinson_F1): Three podium finishes and touted again as a 'future top-team driver'. Signs 2018 Force India contract.

    7th: FELIPE MASSA
    Top prediction: 6th (Dieter Rencken)

    DIETER RENCKEN: The Brazilian has every motivation to prove that F1 had no right overlooking him for this year, but he isn't getting any younger. Still, he will grab his last shot at a Williams drive with both hands.

    EDD STRAW: The Williams looks strong, and while there are question marks over whether the out-of-retirement Massa was the best choice, he has the experience to bang in consistent points finishes. But he remains a wild card, because last year his performances were unconvincing when it was clear he was going to be out of F1 at the end of the year. The fear is that the same happens in 2017.

    SCOTT MITCHELL (@ScottAutosport): These new cars suit him. It's easy to forget how spectacular 2008-spec Massa was - and one of his best friends in F1, Williams performance chief Rob Smedley, reckons that's what we'll get this year.

    MATT JAMES (@MattJMNews): He has offloaded his bus pass to Nico Rosberg and ridden in to 'rescue' Williams. The car is fast, but a top-six finish in the drivers' championship will be the best Massa can hope for.

    DAMIEN SMITH (@Damien__Smith): He'll enjoy his final season and be unspectacularly mediocre. Again.

    6th: KIMI RAIKKONEN
    Top prediction: Champion (Anthony Rowlinson)

    EDD STRAW: It could be a very close top six in the championship, if Red Bull comes on as expected. While Raikkonen's qualifying was stronger in the second half of last year and he scored well relative to Vettel, his peaks were not those of the Kimi of old. If it's the same again, that could leave him crowded out of the top five.

    KEVIN TURNER: There's little reason to think Raikkonen will do anything different to what he has done in recent years: score points and drive consistently, a bit slower than his team-mate. He'll finish fourth if Ferrari's edge over Red Bull is maintained all year, but I think the quality drivers in the two RB13s will take them ahead if the gap closes.

    STUART CODLING: You should never read too much into testing, especially since Ferrari almost inevitably shows well and then goes on to disappoint, but Kimi looked happy in the new car. He might be motivated enough to do the business in what's probably his last year in the sport.

    DAMIEN SMITH: We could see some 'old Kimi' performances this year, but week in week out? I doubt it.

    ANTHONY ROWLINSON: Let's party like it's 1999. Sebastian Vettel falls off his push-bike and dislocates a shoulder in an Alpine training accident near his Swiss home. Seb is forced to miss four grands prix, making Kimi Raikkonen de facto lead driver for a Ferrari team that has delivered on its pre-season promise. The Scuderia pulls together to back its last world champ for a stunning second title run, ten years after his first. Of course it'll never happen, but...

    5th: MAX VERSTAPPEN
    Top prediction: 2nd (Gary Anderson, Jonathan Noble, Matt James)

    KARUN CHANDHOK: F1's most exciting new talent since Lewis Hamilton was superb in 2016, but we must remember that he was regularly outqualified by his team-mate last year. Since overtaking will be more difficult in 2017, he'll have to get on top of that.

    EDD STRAW: Verstappen will not be far behind Ricciardo, but he's still a little behind on experience and there might be the odd error (albeit not as many as some think). Verstappen is a class act, and like Ricciardo, if the Red Bull improves he will be right up there in the battle for the title.

    GARY ANDERSON: He's a very talented individual. He has the speed, the racecraft and now the experience. The only thing that could let him down would be the Renault power unit, but although it won't be the best in the pit lane, Verstappen and Red Bull should be able to bridge the deficit.

    SCOTT MITCHELL: Red Bull will surely match anything the manufacturer teams can offer in the development race, but over a season Verstappen will have to raise his game in qualifying if he's to defeat team-mate Ricciardo - let alone anyone else in a top car.

    MATT JAMES: Unstoppable talent, and an unstoppable career trajectory. Seems to have the upper hand over Ricciardo already, and is now ready to set his sights on bigger foe.

    4th: DANIEL RICCIARDO
    Top prediction: 3rd (Dieter Rencken, Ben Anderson, Damien Smith)

    DIETER RENCKEN: Arguably the best driver of the current crop, the Australian will again be let down by a power deficit from Renault even if the Red Bull chassis proves up to scratch. He will win races, though.

    DAMIEN SMITH: Despite Ferrari's testing form, I still reckon Red Bull will be Merc's closest challenger - and Ricciardo will outperform Verstappen again over a season.

    BEN ANDERSON: Everyone will expect Max Verstappen to blow Ricciardo away this season, but the wily Australian will use all of his natural qualifying speed and calm under pressure to remain just about ahead. He'll win in Monaco and Singapore, and come on strong late in the season as Red Bull wins the development war, but will ultimately just fall short thanks to a slow start with an underpowered engine.

    KEVIN TURNER: Red Bull was underwhelming in testing, but it's hard not to think it will be stronger when things get serious. Ricciardo is a class act and deserves a title-challenging car. He'll marginally pip his talented team-mate by avoiding headline-grabbing scrapes.

    ADAM COOPER: Before the Barcelona tests Red Bull was widely considered a title contender, but we didn't see much pure pace in Spain to back that up - and there were some Renault issues. Both partners have the potential to raise their game, and no one will be better than Red Bull at finding aero performance, so the team may get stronger and stronger, but it might be too late. Will Ricciardo outscore Verstappen? I honestly can't split them...

    3rd: VALTTERI BOTTAS
    Top prediction: 2nd (Damien Smith)

    KARUN CHANDHOK: Bottas looked pretty comfortable in his new car in testing, but ultimately I'm not convinced that across the season he's going to beat Lewis.

    BEN ANDERSON: Bottas will take time to fully find his feet at Mercedes, after spending his entire career so far at a much smaller team, but he will gather momentum steadily and really push Hamilton in the second half of the year. By that time he'll be out of title contention, though, so will have to play rear gunner, but he'll take enough poles and race wins to help Mercedes retain its constructors' crown.

    EDD STRAW: Bottas will be better than many people think, but I suspect it will take him a little time to get fully up to speed - and used to the challenge of having someone as relentless as Hamilton as his team-mate. There will be some impressive wins and poles, but it would be remarkable for him to beat Lewis in his first season at Mercedes.

    ANTHONY ROWLINSON: Forced into a wing-man role beside Hamilton, he'll rarely be able (or allowed) to outscore Lewis. Destined to finish in Hamilton's exhaust vapour.

    JONATHAN NOBLE: Expect a year of progress from Bottas, who will end the year strongly but will face some challenges early on in getting up to speed and extracting the most out of his Mercedes team.

    2nd: SEBASTIAN VETTEL
    Top prediction: Champion (Karun Chandhok, Gary Anderson, Scott Mitchell)

    EDD STRAW: If the Ferrari is as good as it looks, and it looks very good, Vettel is unquestionably capable of winning the championship. But the doubts remain over Ferrari operationally and developmentally, so that might prove his undoing.

    STUART CODLING: If things don't go well for him from the off, the toys will come flying out of the pram.

    GARY ANDERSON: From what I've seen in testing, Ferrari has at last given him a car to match his talent. When he was at Red Bull in the exhaust-blown diffuser era it suited his driving style to a tee. He likes to turn in and get on the throttle early with the rear of the car sticking. That's what the Ferrari looked like to me.

    SCOTT MITCHELL: Vettel's been an easy target since 2014, but he is an explosively brilliant talent. Last year he was a lion locked in a cage, an anxious and restless animal that should be feared if ever let loose. Let's hope Ferrari has found the key.

    KARUN CHANDHOK: The car is genuinely fast and Sebastian has plenty of experience of being in a championship fight. Besides, choosing Lewis is the easy option and that's just not fun!

    BEN ANDERSON: Ferrari messed up last season, but it will get back on track this year, with a fast and consistent car. This will energise Vettel, who will replenish his champion's credentials, win several races, and push Hamilton all the way to the final race - where Ferrari will mess up his strategy and he'll lose the championship stuck behind Jolyon Palmer's Renault in Abu Dhabi.

    JONATHAN NOBLE: Ferrari will start the year as the team to beat, but it still has ground to make up in teams of strategy and development potential - and having two competitive team-mates will result in them taking points off each other.

    MATT JAMES: Forget the hype, Ferrari will do its usual trick of raising hopes and then failing to deliver the results it promises. Once that happens, the frustration sets in and the German will start delivering comedy radio messages again.

    CHAMPION: LEWIS HAMILTON
    Top prediction: Champion (Dieter Rencken, Ben Anderson, Edd Straw, Stuart Codling, Kevin Turner, Damien Smith, Adam Cooper, Jonathan Noble, Matt James)

    BEN ANDERSON: Mercedes won't dominate in quite the same way as in recent seasons, but Hamilton will still have the best engine, and should have near enough the best car too - once the pre-season testing creases are ironed out. Hamilton should have been champion last year; reliability willing, he will be this year - but let's hope it's a dogfight all the way with Ferrari and Red Bull.

    DAMIEN SMITH: I can't see beyond another Mercedes championship - and Lewis must surely be the man.

    DIETER RENCKEN: The class act at the moment, with the best car and team - which no longer has split loyalties. But the season won't be a cakewalk.

    KARUN CHANDHOK: If I were a risk-averse person, I would choose Lewis as the winner. He's incredibly fast and driving for a brilliant team which has dominated the last three years of F1.

    JONATHAN NOBLE: Mercedes' development potential, allied to having a team-mate that will take time to get fully up to speed, will hand a revitalised Lewis Hamilton the edge in the title battle

    EDD STRAW: It looks like it could be harder for Mercedes than the past few years, but it's a team that knows how to win championships and Hamilton can make the team his own. So he has to start the year as favourite.

    KEVIN TURNER: Despite Ferrari's testing pace, Hamilton will at worst have a car that is on a par with the SF70H. He will also be hungry to get the title he believes he should have won in 2016. A motivated and focused Hamilton will take some stopping.

    GARY ANDERSON: Although Lewis is probably as quick as anyone in the pitlane, I think Mercedes will miss the workhorse that was Nico Rosberg - and Paddy Lowe's shoes won't be easy to fill. From a technical point of view, I believe Paddy kept the team focused on the priorities and didn't let it wander off-course.

    MATT JAMES: A class act in the best car. It's difficult to see him getting derailed, particularly now that his self-proclaimed nemesis has cashed in his chips.

    ADAM COOPER: Ferrari and Red Bull will clearly present a stronger and more consistent challenge in 2017. However, on balance I believe Mercedes will still get the job done over the season - and Lewis Hamilton will ultimately make the difference.

  21. #1311
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    Ferrari spent '100s of millions' to catch up

    Ferrari is on the cusp of a much better season in F1. That is the claim of the Italian marque's former chief engineer Toni Cuquerella, who was at Ferrari as recently as 2016 but will now be a commentator for Spanish TV. Winter testing has indicated Ferrari might even be ready to take on Mercedes in 2017, but Cuquerella told the Spanish newspaper El Pais that the real picture will only begin to emerge in Melbourne.

    "What is clear is that they have made a significant step in quality," he said. "Whether it is enough to compete with or beat Mercedes, I still don't know. But I do know that they will not be as far away as they were at this point last year."

    Cuquerella said Ferrari's boost has been thanks to a "great investment in development". "We are talking about an injection of hundreds of millions of euros in tools that allow the testing of most parts of the car," he revealed. "Ferrari realised this is the deficit they had to Mercedes. The results of the winter were strong enough for me to think that they will do well, although I dare not quantify that improvement. They may be four tenths behind or two tenths ahead, but at the very least, Ferrari is serious now," said Cuquerella. (GMM)
    #KeepFightingMichael | #CiaoJules

  22. #1312
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    Gary andersons F1 Pecking Order in AutoSport

    Gary Anderson's F1 2017 pecking order
    As we count down the days to the 2017 Formula 1 cars revealing their true potential in Australia, a closer look at the data from testing paints a clearer picture of what to expect when the season begins

    By Gary Anderson
    Published on Tuesday March 21st 2017
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    It's almost time to find out who has shown their wares during testing, and who has been sandbagging. But after 21,489 kilometres of pounding around Barcelona, a picture has emerged that sets the stage for this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

    Teams, especially the top ones, will always keep that little bit of performance hidden by running with a little more fuel on board when they go for their fastest lap or, if they really have confidence in where they are, by a driver having a little lift in each section of the track just to save that last tenth of a second for when it really matters.

    But it is important every team runs its car to the maximum just to ensure everything is working as predicted. It's very easy when you are right on the limit, with maximum braking and corner forces, for a small fuel pickup problem to arise that can cause a misfire. Or an oil pressure sensor might pick up a low-pressure spike and shut the engine down.

    Testing is about preparation, and if you try to be too clever it can come back and bite you.

    Because of the different drivers and different tyres, to assess the pecking order after testing I have only really looked at chassis performance. If one driver can do a time, then the other one should be able to match it, or they are in the wrong job.

    The fastest time of testing was set by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen on super-soft Pirellis, so I have adjusted the times from all the cars to give a final time of what everyone should have done on this tyre based on their quick runs.

    To achieve this, I have worked on the basis of a step of 0.6s from medium to soft, 0.4s from soft to super-soft and 0.2s from super-soft to ultra-sort. I think this is fair for Barcelona as it is an aggressive track on tyres, and you don't always get a better lap time from a softer tyre because it starts to go away late in the lap.

    So that gives us an adjusted super-soft order of:

    1 Ferrari 1m18.634s
    2 Mercedes 1m19.310s
    3 Red Bull 1m19.438s
    4 Williams 1m19.620s
    5 Toro Rosso 1m20.037s
    6 Renault 1m20.085s
    7 Force India 1m20.316s
    8 Haas 1m20.704s
    9 McLaren 1m21.548s
    10 Sauber 1m21.570s

    1 FERRARI
    Testing total: 2765km (2nd)

    Throughout the eight days of testing, the Ferrari SF70H stood out as an excellent step forward from where the team was in 2016. Ferrari was fastest on half of the days and no matter who was watching on circuit they always commented on how precise and consistent the car was.

    It didn't appear that the drivers were having to work overtime, and on the long runs the car was quick and tyre degradation didn't seem to be a big problem.

    As a team, Ferrari went about its business in a much more professional way than I have seen for a long time. Ferrari knows it has the car capable of big points in the early part of the season, and it's only the team that can let itself down now.

    2 MERCEDES
    Testing total: 3170km (1st)

    I wouldn't count out Mercedes just yet. After all, it has always been good at getting the best from the package and I expect Mercedes will continue to do that. On the short runs, the car seemed good, but it had the look of a car that was front-end limited and on long runs the W08 seemed to develop a detectible understeer.

    In the past, many people have asked me if it was the Mercedes chassis or the power unit that made it so competitive. I always said it was both, because the car looked good and the engine obviously had the power and driveability.

    Now, Mercedes will be relying a little bit more on the engine's winter developments. The chassis needs some development to get it more consistent and balanced.

    3 RED BULL
    Testing total: 1978km (7th)

    Red Bull is where we would expect it to be - right in the mix but it just needs that bit more performance to be in the hunt. I said at the first test that the car lacked the 'wow' factor and I stick by that. This is a team that won four successive championships, and it didn't get there without a wow factor. That's what it needs to find for these new rules.

    Having said that, it does mean there is room for developments that will close that gap. Red Bull will not be standing still waiting to see where it is. It has a good record for bringing parts to the track and them working immediately and I don't expect that to change this year.

    Supposedly, Renault has made big strides this year. And it will need to have done because both Ferrari and Mercedes seem to have with their engines.

    4 WILLIAMS
    Testing total: 2314km (3rd)

    It was a strong showing from Williams in pre-season despite a difficult first test. The car looks well-balanced and could, in Felipe Massa's hands, take it back to the front of the midfield and maybe even give the top three a hard time on occasions.

    With Paddy Lowe, the Mercedes ex-technical director, now there heading up the technical side Williams will have a clear reference to where it stands against the best so, in reality, only the financial resource will limit its performance. By signing Lance Stroll, who comes with a very healthy budget the team should have the development commitment to move forward.

    As for Stroll, he is no slouch. He may have brought money to the team but he is fairly handy as well. You don't dominate European F3 without talent, so give him a few races to get some experience under his belt and he will be right there with Massa.

    5 TORO ROSSO
    Testing total: 1689km (9th)

    Toro Rosso kept its powder dry for most of the test and just got on with what it needed to do. But in the end it put in some very competitive times. It wasn't without problems, but I suppose you can say that's what testing is about.

    Both drivers are going to spur each other on and the Renault engine replacing the year-old Ferrari can only be a positive.

    For a small team, it has always had too much to do. What I mean is that by having three engine supplier changes in four seasons that takes up a lot of engineering capacity just to stand still.

    But I have a lot of faith in technical director James Key. He is a deep thinker and knows what it takes to move forward. Toro Rosso has a good, solid car with an engine that is up to the latest spec, so it is now time to focus on the little niceties that will improve the performance of the car.

    6 RENAULT
    Testing total: 1727km (8th)

    From testing, Renault seems to be firmly established in the middle of the bunch. But that is going to be a very congested part of the grid. Get it right, you'll be top 10, but one blink and you could be on the eighth row.

    Renault has, without doubt, made a lot of progress since 2016. The car looks a lot nicer to drive on the bumps and over kerbs, but it still lacks the overall grip of the top teams. That's to be expected given a lot of good people left Enstone and it takes time to build back up again.

    7 FORCE INDIA
    Testing total: 2271km (5th)

    By finishing fourth in last year's constructors' championship, it could be that the team's top brass set expectations for 2017 that were a bit too high. After all, third was a long way off last year.

    Force India is a team where my heart still lies because it rose from the embers of what was Jordan. There's still a lot of staff there from those days.

    The car looks good on track, but like the Renault it doesn't have the overall grip of the top teams. But getting a big pay day for finishing fourth last year and with the sponsor cheque for new pink colour scheme the budget for developments hopefully won't be too restricted.

    Technical director Andrew Green has a very capable team and can get on with moving forward.

    8 HAAS
    Testing total: 2067km (6th)

    I've always said the second year is the toughest. Unless you are a big team and very well-structured, designing and building a new car is no easy task, especially when there is a regulation change of the magnitude we have had for 2017.

    From what I have seen, the 2017 Haas is a good one and looks as good as any of the other midfield runners. It looks well-balanced, but needs the overall grip to increase. But the team seems pretty happy with where it is.

    Worryingly, Romain Grosjean still seems to have the braking problem he had last year, whereas new team-mate Kevin Magnussen doesn't seem to suffer from it - at least, not to the same level.

    Haas has a strong driver line-up and if it keeps up with developments, it can move forward. But that braking problem needs to be fixed either by component changes or the drivers adapting.

    9 McLAREN
    Testing total: 1229km (10th)

    In my day the school report card would say 'must try harder' - mine certainly did, anyway.

    Everyone at McLaren-Honda is putting in maximum effort, but it's very easy just to work flat out and go nowhere. First of all, you need to identify the problems and the go off and fix them.

    It's too easy just do everything again from scratch, as Honda has done, and just end up with different problems.

    McLaren is a team that has won many races and championships. My way of looking at things is that it should be captaining the ship and the problems it is currently having stem from how it went about its business some three years ago. It's not the problems of today, but of mismanagement in the past.

    Back then, I didn't see anyone grabbing the problem by the throat and getting on with fixing it. This current sorry state is the result.

    What I saw at Barcelona was not just a Honda problem, even though there are clearly plenty of problems there. McLaren has work to do on the chassis, but while it's capable of fixing that, it's what happens outside of Woking that could make or break such a great team.

    10 SAUBER
    Testing total: 2279km (4th)

    On track, it doesn't look like the Sauber has the grip level of any of the other cars. It ran wider earlier than most through the long, fast Turn 3 and in general the drivers were on the brakes that little bit earlier.

    I'm not saying it's a bad car, for it seems to have no vices, but it can't carry the corner speeds with the drivers able to keep the throttle in.

    One of the bigger problems, which will get worse as the season unfolds, is that Sauber has a year-old Ferrari power unit. With unlimited development for the engine manufacturers this year, it will be left behind pretty quickly.

    So the priority is to focus on reliability and hope Sauber can nick a few points early on. Otherwise, the focus will be on next year, as with only 10 teams Sauber is guaranteed a good pay day at the end of the season whatever happens in 2017.

    PROGRESS FROM TEST ONE

    To sum up who used the four-day gap between the two tests to move forward, a comparison of time suggests the following time gain

    1 Toro Rosso 2.503s
    2 Force India 2.193s
    3 Williams 2.056s
    4 Haas 1.414s
    5 Red Bull 1.315s
    6 McLaren 1.228s
    7 Ferrari 1.228s
    8 Renault 0.911s
    9 Mercedes 0.595s
    10 Sauber 0.154s

    Mercedes has admitted some developments for the second test did not work, and that's perhaps reflected here.

    PROGRESS FROM 2016 SPANISH GP

    Progress compared to the grand prix week qualifying in Barcelona in 2016, adjusting the 2016 times by the same margin to all be on super-softs, we have the following:

    1 Renault 4.410s
    2 Ferrari 4.079s
    3 Williams 3.502s
    4 Haas 3.376s
    5 Sauber 3.232s
    6 Toro Rosso 3.206s
    7 Force India 3.066s
    8 Red Bull 2.842s
    9 Mercedes 2.290s
    10 McLaren 2.033s

    Make of that what you will, but it does look that in general the smaller teams have not done a bad job with the new regulations.

  23. #1313
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  24. #1314
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    Everybody as I can see are rating Bottas very low. It's all Lewis here and Lewis there. Bottas has done well at Williams, and he is well reckognized as being very hard to pass. So if Mercedes still have that "extra power" for Qualy, finishing 1st and 2nd, and the new rules making it even more hard to pass I am sure that Bottas will keep his position easily which ever that might be. Don't see the difference between them being more than a place, whether that is 1st and 2nd or 3rd and 4th and God willing towards the end of the season even 5th and 6th. Lewis had a very hard time with Nico, Jenson practically all his teammates and he will have it with Bottas as well. How he can be made to look like the top driver in F1 is beyond me.

  25. #1315
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    I think Bottas will do better than everyone thinks. Obviously most of the British press back Lewis and make a big deal out of him.

  26. #1316
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramesh View Post
    Iam really exited about the new season and all the positive talk about Ferrari

    Autosport predicts F1 2017
    There is fresh optimism that Formula 1 could have a proper fight at the front of the field again in 2017. On the eve of the new season, Autosport's panelists have their say

    Published on Monday March 20th 2017
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    Hope springs eternal. This time a year ago, the motorsport world was brimming with optimism that Ferrari would take the fight to Mercedes. Twelve months later, and the situation is remarkably similar.

    Unlike in 2016, though, there are sweeping rule changes to assist the neutral fans' desired overhaul of the Mercedes dominance of F1's turbo-hybrid era. So, back for 2017 is the Autosport writers' panel's prediction of how the championship battle will play out.

    The method is simple, tried and tested: we all pitch our top 10 and then calculate a combined overall result using the F1 points system. Here are the results.

    THE PANEL: Ben Anderson (Grand Prix Editor), Gary Anderson (Technical Consultant), Edd Straw (Editor-in-Chief), Kevin Turner (Autosport Magazine Editor) Scott Mitchell (Features Editor), Karun Chandhok (Ex-F1 Driver), Dieter Rencken (Special Contributor), Jonathan Noble (Motorsport.com Formula 1 Editor), Anthony Rowlinson (Editorial Director), Adam Cooper (Special Contributor), Damien Smith (European Editor-in-Chief), Stuart Codling (Executive Editor), Matt James (Motorsport News Editor)

    10th: CARLOS SAINZ
    Top prediction: 8th (Dieter Rencken, Kevin Turner, Scott Mitchell)

    BEN ANDERSON (@BenAndersonAuto): The Toro Rosso will carry a bit too much drag to be competitive everywhere, but Sainz will qualify strongly, and race well enough to bag lower points finishes here and there. Expect him to score big on the lower-speed street circuits, and tracks like Barcelona and Silverstone too, which will prove just enough to break him into the top 10.

    KEVIN TURNER (@KRT917): One of the stars of 2016 seems like he may have a better car this season. If Renault can make real progress on its engine - and find some more reliability - the Toro Rosso could end up being as good as it looks. If it is, Sainz will make the most of it and make a strong case for a chance at a bigger team in 2018.

    DIETER RENCKEN (@RacingLines): With a stronger car the Spaniard would feature in the top five, but still he gets on with it despite a car disadvantage. A first podium this year for the Toro Rosso driver?

    ADAM COOPER (@AdamCooperF1): The Toro Rosso looked interesting in testing, even if its ultimate pace wasn't quite obvious yet. Sainz is getting better and better, and I expect him to outscore Daniil Kvyat.

    9th: NICO HULKENBERG
    Top prediction: 7th (Gary Anderson)

    BEN ANDERSON: Formula 1's new rules will play to Hulkenberg's strengths and he'll prove to be the out-and-out fastest driver in F1's ultra-competitive midfield. Renault will start slowly, but out-develop its rivals, and Hulkenberg will score consistently through the second half of the season as Renault finishes fifth in the constructors' race.

    EDD STRAW (@EddStrawF1): Renault should come on more strongly as the season progresses, and if Hulkenberg gets himself as together as he should do in his first year with a manufacturer team, he will be able to make the best of the package. Hulkenberg needs to be at his best to make the most of his chance, and if he is he can steal into the top 10.

    KARUN CHANDHOK (@KarunChandhok): The Renault looks much better than it was last year and I'm really intrigued to see how their in-season development goes with more resources available. Nico will be a good team leader and capable of maximising the potential of the package.

    STUART CODLING (@CoddersF1): His tireless commitment to backing the wrong horse continues. Chose Renault because he wanted to work with Frederic Vasseur - not knowing Fred was being manoeuvred out of the door. Whoops!

    GARY ANDERSON: In my opinion he's one of the best drivers in the pitlane and it's a shame that he never got that chance with a works team. Now he's with Renault, he will be in a better position mentally, but I don't think the car this year will be up to his talent. He just needs to wring its neck and then he might have the car he needs for 2018.

    8th: SERGIO PEREZ
    Top prediction: 7th (Karun Chandhok; Edd Straw; Kevin Turner; Damien Smith)

    BEN ANDERSON: I expect this season to be a bit tougher for Force India, and for Perez, as the nature of the formula shifts away from tyre management towards outright speed and downforce. Perez will still do well enough to score points regularly, probably even grab a podium early on, and Force India will race well enough consistently enough to cling to fourth place in the championship.

    ADAM COOPER: Force India had a relatively low-key time in testing but the car looked solid, and of course the Mercedes package will always be a boost. Perez is a solid performer and will always bring the car home, and while Ocon has great potential, I think the more experienced man will score more.

    JONATHAN NOBLE (@NobleF1): A tougher year than Perez might have hoped for, but even so he has every chance of maintaining momentum and gunning for the odd podium finish.

    ANTHONY ROWLINSON (@Rowlinson_F1): Three podium finishes and touted again as a 'future top-team driver'. Signs 2018 Force India contract.

    7th: FELIPE MASSA
    Top prediction: 6th (Dieter Rencken)

    DIETER RENCKEN: The Brazilian has every motivation to prove that F1 had no right overlooking him for this year, but he isn't getting any younger. Still, he will grab his last shot at a Williams drive with both hands.

    EDD STRAW: The Williams looks strong, and while there are question marks over whether the out-of-retirement Massa was the best choice, he has the experience to bang in consistent points finishes. But he remains a wild card, because last year his performances were unconvincing when it was clear he was going to be out of F1 at the end of the year. The fear is that the same happens in 2017.

    SCOTT MITCHELL (@ScottAutosport): These new cars suit him. It's easy to forget how spectacular 2008-spec Massa was - and one of his best friends in F1, Williams performance chief Rob Smedley, reckons that's what we'll get this year.

    MATT JAMES (@MattJMNews): He has offloaded his bus pass to Nico Rosberg and ridden in to 'rescue' Williams. The car is fast, but a top-six finish in the drivers' championship will be the best Massa can hope for.

    DAMIEN SMITH (@Damien__Smith): He'll enjoy his final season and be unspectacularly mediocre. Again.

    6th: KIMI RAIKKONEN
    Top prediction: Champion (Anthony Rowlinson)

    EDD STRAW: It could be a very close top six in the championship, if Red Bull comes on as expected. While Raikkonen's qualifying was stronger in the second half of last year and he scored well relative to Vettel, his peaks were not those of the Kimi of old. If it's the same again, that could leave him crowded out of the top five.

    KEVIN TURNER: There's little reason to think Raikkonen will do anything different to what he has done in recent years: score points and drive consistently, a bit slower than his team-mate. He'll finish fourth if Ferrari's edge over Red Bull is maintained all year, but I think the quality drivers in the two RB13s will take them ahead if the gap closes.

    STUART CODLING: You should never read too much into testing, especially since Ferrari almost inevitably shows well and then goes on to disappoint, but Kimi looked happy in the new car. He might be motivated enough to do the business in what's probably his last year in the sport.

    DAMIEN SMITH: We could see some 'old Kimi' performances this year, but week in week out? I doubt it.

    ANTHONY ROWLINSON: Let's party like it's 1999. Sebastian Vettel falls off his push-bike and dislocates a shoulder in an Alpine training accident near his Swiss home. Seb is forced to miss four grands prix, making Kimi Raikkonen de facto lead driver for a Ferrari team that has delivered on its pre-season promise. The Scuderia pulls together to back its last world champ for a stunning second title run, ten years after his first. Of course it'll never happen, but...

    5th: MAX VERSTAPPEN
    Top prediction: 2nd (Gary Anderson, Jonathan Noble, Matt James)

    KARUN CHANDHOK: F1's most exciting new talent since Lewis Hamilton was superb in 2016, but we must remember that he was regularly outqualified by his team-mate last year. Since overtaking will be more difficult in 2017, he'll have to get on top of that.

    EDD STRAW: Verstappen will not be far behind Ricciardo, but he's still a little behind on experience and there might be the odd error (albeit not as many as some think). Verstappen is a class act, and like Ricciardo, if the Red Bull improves he will be right up there in the battle for the title.

    GARY ANDERSON: He's a very talented individual. He has the speed, the racecraft and now the experience. The only thing that could let him down would be the Renault power unit, but although it won't be the best in the pit lane, Verstappen and Red Bull should be able to bridge the deficit.

    SCOTT MITCHELL: Red Bull will surely match anything the manufacturer teams can offer in the development race, but over a season Verstappen will have to raise his game in qualifying if he's to defeat team-mate Ricciardo - let alone anyone else in a top car.

    MATT JAMES: Unstoppable talent, and an unstoppable career trajectory. Seems to have the upper hand over Ricciardo already, and is now ready to set his sights on bigger foe.

    4th: DANIEL RICCIARDO
    Top prediction: 3rd (Dieter Rencken, Ben Anderson, Damien Smith)

    DIETER RENCKEN: Arguably the best driver of the current crop, the Australian will again be let down by a power deficit from Renault even if the Red Bull chassis proves up to scratch. He will win races, though.

    DAMIEN SMITH: Despite Ferrari's testing form, I still reckon Red Bull will be Merc's closest challenger - and Ricciardo will outperform Verstappen again over a season.

    BEN ANDERSON: Everyone will expect Max Verstappen to blow Ricciardo away this season, but the wily Australian will use all of his natural qualifying speed and calm under pressure to remain just about ahead. He'll win in Monaco and Singapore, and come on strong late in the season as Red Bull wins the development war, but will ultimately just fall short thanks to a slow start with an underpowered engine.

    KEVIN TURNER: Red Bull was underwhelming in testing, but it's hard not to think it will be stronger when things get serious. Ricciardo is a class act and deserves a title-challenging car. He'll marginally pip his talented team-mate by avoiding headline-grabbing scrapes.

    ADAM COOPER: Before the Barcelona tests Red Bull was widely considered a title contender, but we didn't see much pure pace in Spain to back that up - and there were some Renault issues. Both partners have the potential to raise their game, and no one will be better than Red Bull at finding aero performance, so the team may get stronger and stronger, but it might be too late. Will Ricciardo outscore Verstappen? I honestly can't split them...

    3rd: VALTTERI BOTTAS
    Top prediction: 2nd (Damien Smith)

    KARUN CHANDHOK: Bottas looked pretty comfortable in his new car in testing, but ultimately I'm not convinced that across the season he's going to beat Lewis.

    BEN ANDERSON: Bottas will take time to fully find his feet at Mercedes, after spending his entire career so far at a much smaller team, but he will gather momentum steadily and really push Hamilton in the second half of the year. By that time he'll be out of title contention, though, so will have to play rear gunner, but he'll take enough poles and race wins to help Mercedes retain its constructors' crown.

    EDD STRAW: Bottas will be better than many people think, but I suspect it will take him a little time to get fully up to speed - and used to the challenge of having someone as relentless as Hamilton as his team-mate. There will be some impressive wins and poles, but it would be remarkable for him to beat Lewis in his first season at Mercedes.

    ANTHONY ROWLINSON: Forced into a wing-man role beside Hamilton, he'll rarely be able (or allowed) to outscore Lewis. Destined to finish in Hamilton's exhaust vapour.

    JONATHAN NOBLE: Expect a year of progress from Bottas, who will end the year strongly but will face some challenges early on in getting up to speed and extracting the most out of his Mercedes team.

    2nd: SEBASTIAN VETTEL
    Top prediction: Champion (Karun Chandhok, Gary Anderson, Scott Mitchell)

    EDD STRAW: If the Ferrari is as good as it looks, and it looks very good, Vettel is unquestionably capable of winning the championship. But the doubts remain over Ferrari operationally and developmentally, so that might prove his undoing.

    STUART CODLING: If things don't go well for him from the off, the toys will come flying out of the pram.

    GARY ANDERSON: From what I've seen in testing, Ferrari has at last given him a car to match his talent. When he was at Red Bull in the exhaust-blown diffuser era it suited his driving style to a tee. He likes to turn in and get on the throttle early with the rear of the car sticking. That's what the Ferrari looked like to me.

    SCOTT MITCHELL: Vettel's been an easy target since 2014, but he is an explosively brilliant talent. Last year he was a lion locked in a cage, an anxious and restless animal that should be feared if ever let loose. Let's hope Ferrari has found the key.

    KARUN CHANDHOK: The car is genuinely fast and Sebastian has plenty of experience of being in a championship fight. Besides, choosing Lewis is the easy option and that's just not fun!

    BEN ANDERSON: Ferrari messed up last season, but it will get back on track this year, with a fast and consistent car. This will energise Vettel, who will replenish his champion's credentials, win several races, and push Hamilton all the way to the final race - where Ferrari will mess up his strategy and he'll lose the championship stuck behind Jolyon Palmer's Renault in Abu Dhabi.

    JONATHAN NOBLE: Ferrari will start the year as the team to beat, but it still has ground to make up in teams of strategy and development potential - and having two competitive team-mates will result in them taking points off each other.

    MATT JAMES: Forget the hype, Ferrari will do its usual trick of raising hopes and then failing to deliver the results it promises. Once that happens, the frustration sets in and the German will start delivering comedy radio messages again.

    CHAMPION: LEWIS HAMILTON
    Top prediction: Champion (Dieter Rencken, Ben Anderson, Edd Straw, Stuart Codling, Kevin Turner, Damien Smith, Adam Cooper, Jonathan Noble, Matt James)

    BEN ANDERSON: Mercedes won't dominate in quite the same way as in recent seasons, but Hamilton will still have the best engine, and should have near enough the best car too - once the pre-season testing creases are ironed out. Hamilton should have been champion last year; reliability willing, he will be this year - but let's hope it's a dogfight all the way with Ferrari and Red Bull.

    DAMIEN SMITH: I can't see beyond another Mercedes championship - and Lewis must surely be the man.

    DIETER RENCKEN: The class act at the moment, with the best car and team - which no longer has split loyalties. But the season won't be a cakewalk.

    KARUN CHANDHOK: If I were a risk-averse person, I would choose Lewis as the winner. He's incredibly fast and driving for a brilliant team which has dominated the last three years of F1.

    JONATHAN NOBLE: Mercedes' development potential, allied to having a team-mate that will take time to get fully up to speed, will hand a revitalised Lewis Hamilton the edge in the title battle

    EDD STRAW: It looks like it could be harder for Mercedes than the past few years, but it's a team that knows how to win championships and Hamilton can make the team his own. So he has to start the year as favourite.

    KEVIN TURNER: Despite Ferrari's testing pace, Hamilton will at worst have a car that is on a par with the SF70H. He will also be hungry to get the title he believes he should have won in 2016. A motivated and focused Hamilton will take some stopping.

    GARY ANDERSON: Although Lewis is probably as quick as anyone in the pitlane, I think Mercedes will miss the workhorse that was Nico Rosberg - and Paddy Lowe's shoes won't be easy to fill. From a technical point of view, I believe Paddy kept the team focused on the priorities and didn't let it wander off-course.

    MATT JAMES: A class act in the best car. It's difficult to see him getting derailed, particularly now that his self-proclaimed nemesis has cashed in his chips.

    ADAM COOPER: Ferrari and Red Bull will clearly present a stronger and more consistent challenge in 2017. However, on balance I believe Mercedes will still get the job done over the season - and Lewis Hamilton will ultimately make the difference.
    Guess Matt James is a Lewis fan/Ferrari hater? Can someone verify... I can't be sure by what he's written.

  27. #1317
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    Another thing is that it looks like most are rating Seb very well and Kimi very poor(most assuming Merc will be the faster car) Seb 2nd and Kimi 6th. I believe they will be one after the other in the rankings, like they were in the last 2 years(Max did better than both since he joined RBR). Hopefully 1st and 2nd.
    Kimi has closed the gap nicely and even winning the qualy battle last year. I believe the only way they will not be one after the other in the rankings, is if one has the chance to be WDC, and the other sacrificies himself if out of the hunt.
    Last edited by IulianFerrari; 21st March 2017 at 18:05.

  28. #1318
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    Everyone thinks the Ferrari was lighter than other cars. I hope they are proved very wrong... only a few days before we know.

  29. #1319
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    Quote Originally Posted by jragona View Post
    Everyone thinks the Ferrari was lighter than other cars. I hope they are proved very wrong... only a few days before we know.
    Even if lighter we had 1 second in hand

  30. #1320
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    Interesting, maybe we can have good developements during the season

    http://www.gptoday.com/full_story/vi...rmer_engineer/

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