Formula 1 2021 Season Thread

Who will win the WDC?

  • Max Verstappen

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Charles Leclerc

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Valterri Bottas

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Daniel Ricciardo

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Spinbastian Vettel

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Carlos Sainz Jr

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Fernando Alonso

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    11

ura

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2021: A look at drivers and teams by uraharakisuke

McLaren-Mercedes

Following on from their best result since 2012, McLaren look to improve on their 3rd in the WCC this year. The goal is to finally fight for race wins which is a goal aided by the hiring of Danial Ricciardo and the transition from Renault power to Mercedes.

The car had strengths in fast speed corners and under braking last year and was consistently quick, especially in race trim. This year it will be the most changed car on the grid owing to the chassis changes mandated by the new engine installation. The brief look we had yesterday at the new car revealed a slimming on the side-pod area, larger air intakes around the driver's head resulting from the different cooling requirements of the Mercedes, a change in the nose to a more conventional type and a move toward a more Mercedes style coke bottle area at the rear of the car. Plus other stuff like the new slim, less aerodynamical floor.

Here are some comparisons between last years (MCL35) and this years car (MCL35M);
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Daniel Ricciardo
Rating-9.2/10
Danny Ric is one of the best drivers on the grid. He's fast, consistent, great race craft, excellent overtaker, fair, level headed and kept Verstappen honest throughout their time at Red Bull together. His biggest weakness is his relatively poor wet weather driving (compared to elites like Max/Lewis). Whether he's faster than Leclerc no one knows but he is certainly more consistent than him (and more consistent than Max too).

Lando Norris
Rating-8.7/10
Lando is a quick qualifier who struggled slightly at race starts compared to his team mate Carlos Sainz. Very young and with room to grow, he'll keep Danny Ric on his toes but I'd be surprised if he out drove him over the course of the season. Plus I think he's a bit of a twat.

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2021: A look at drivers and teams by uraharakisuke

McLaren-Mercedes

Following on from their best result since 2012, McLaren look to improve on their 3rd in the WCC this year. The goal is to finally fight for race wins which is a goal aided by the hiring of Danial Ricciardo and the transition from Renault power to Mercedes.

The car had strengths in fast speed corners and under braking last year and was consistently quick, especially in race trim. This year it will be the most changed car on the grid owing to the chassis changes mandated by the new engine installation. The brief look we had yesterday at the new car revealed a slimming on the side-pod area, larger air intakes around the driver's head resulting from the different cooling requirements of the Mercedes, a change in the nose to a more conventional type and a move toward a more Mercedes style coke bottle area at the rear of the car. Plus other stuff like the new slim, less aerodynamical floor.

Here are some comparisons between last years (MCL35) and this years car (MCL35M);
View attachment 19241

View attachment 19242

View attachment 19243

Daniel Ricciardo
Rating-9.2/10
Danny Ric is one of the best drivers on the grid. He's fast, consistent, great race craft, excellent overtaker, fair, level headed and kept Verstappen honest throught their time at Red Bull together. His biggest weakness is his relatively poor wet weather driving (compared to elites like Max/Lewis). Whether he's faster than Leclerc no one knows but he is certainly more consistent than him (and more consistent than Max too).

Lando Norris
Rating-8.7/10
Lando is a quick qualifier who struggled slightly at race starts compared to his team mate Carlos Sainz. Very young and with room to grow, he'll keep Danny Ric on his toes but I'd be surprised if he out drove him over the course of the season. Plus I think he's a bit of a twat.

View attachment 19240
I dont know that Danny Ric is more consistent than max anymore. Not that Ricciardo isn't consistent I just think max is now complete.

We shall see if the red bull can take more of a fight to mercedes and prove that, doubtful, but I think he's fully ready to be a dominant world champion at this point given the car.
 
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ura

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I dont know that Danny Ric is more consistent than max anymore. Not that Ricciardo isn't consistent I just think max is now complete.

We shall see if the red bull can take more of a fight to mercedes and prove that, doubtful, but I think he's fully ready to be a dominant world champion at this point given the car.
Yes you're right Max has improved his consistency since their time together. The potential caveat is that the lack of a strong team mate has made Max have even less pressure and less pressure tends to equate to better consistency. He's pretty much odds on for at least 3rd most races and can only look good challenging the all dominant Mercs, usually driving his own race. Whereas Danny is slap bang in the midfield fighting off strong team mates like Hulkenburg and Ocon.

That's not to take anything away from Max. He's my second favourite driver behind Lewis. And yeah he's very complete these days. I just think Ricciardo is still even more consistent mostly as a consequence of his stronger mental game and experience.
 
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Yes you're right Max has improved his consistency since their time together. The potential caveat is that the lack of a strong team mate has made Max have even less pressure and less pressure tends to equate to better consistency. He's pretty much odds on for at least 3rd most races and can only look good challenging the all dominant Mercs, usually driving his own race. Whereas Danny is slap bang in the midfield fighting off strong team mates like Hulkenburg and Ocon.

That's not to take anything away from Max. He's my second favourite driver behind Lewis. And yeah he's very complete these days. I just think Ricciardo is still even more consistent mostly as a consequence of his stronger mental game and experience.
I hear you. Max just strikes me as a guy that won't let pressure get to him.

Itd be interesting to see how he deals with real adversity though. As you said these last few years he's been in his own little world. He's just so confident that I'd imagine it'd take a lot to rattle him.
 

ura

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Feb 25, 2020
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The Mercedes issues with the PU were confirmed recently by the team. However they seem to be on top of it even though you wouldn't expect them to come out and tell everyone they're in trouble anyway.
 

Jay

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I hear you. Max just strikes me as a guy that won't let pressure get to him.

Itd be interesting to see how he deals with real adversity though. As you said these last few years he's been in his own little world. He's just so confident that I'd imagine it'd take a lot to rattle him.
I think Max doesn't like adversity - he doesn't always make the best decisions. I think it was Sakhir where he was just too impatient to pass, and ended up spinning by trying to pass at a stupid place. Otherwise he'd have been odds on to win that race, as Hamilton was badly struggling at the time (although went on to utterly dominate in the end).

Maybe over 1 perfect lap, Max can edge out Lewis. But F1 is way more than that. Lewis owns the track; makes decisions and then delivers. When he overruled his team to stay out, start smashing purple after purple laps, and built up a huge enough gap that he could pit and still come out in first? I don't see Max doing it. I don't see Max being able to make the right decisions when he's neck and neck, both in race and in championship, without losing his head and going for something ridiculous before spinning off or crashing.

He's still unbelievably young for his experience, but at the same time, he is one of the most experienced on the grid now, and yet you feel that it's just a matter of time before he does something similar. I would back Lewis to be able to drive on the 99.5% edge without crashing in high pressure. I'd expect Max to try and drive at 100% and fuck up overdoing it.
 
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I think Max doesn't like adversity - he doesn't always make the best decisions. I think it was Sakhir where he was just too impatient to pass, and ended up spinning by trying to pass at a stupid place. Otherwise he'd have been odds on to win that race, as Hamilton was badly struggling at the time (although went on to utterly dominate in the end).

Maybe over 1 perfect lap, Max can edge out Lewis. But F1 is way more than that. Lewis owns the track; makes decisions and then delivers. When he overruled his team to stay out, start smashing purple after purple laps, and built up a huge enough gap that he could pit and still come out in first? I don't see Max doing it. I don't see Max being able to make the right decisions when he's neck and neck, both in race and in championship, without losing his head and going for something ridiculous before spinning off or crashing.

He's still unbelievably young for his experience, but at the same time, he is one of the most experienced on the grid now, and yet you feel that it's just a matter of time before he does something similar. I would back Lewis to be able to drive on the 99.5% edge without crashing in high pressure. I'd expect Max to try and drive at 100% and fuck up overdoing it.
Sakhir being the outer loop of Bahrain. Yeah I rememeber that. I had to go back and look at it again. That one was totally on LeClair. Matter of fact max backed out of a 3 wide situation and still got taken out.

You aren't going to get any arguments from me on Hamilton not still being the best driver on the grid by the way.
 

Jay

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Sakhir being the outer loop of Bahrain. Yeah I rememeber that. I had to go back and look at it again. That one was totally on LeClair. Matter of fact max backed out of a 3 wide situation and still got taken out.

You aren't going to get any arguments from me on Hamilton not still being the best driver on the grid by the way.
Sakhir being the outer loop of Bahrain. Yeah I rememeber that. I had to go back and look at it again. That one was totally on LeClair. Matter of fact max backed out of a 3 wide situation and still got taken out.

You aren't going to get any arguments from me on Hamilton not still being the best driver on the grid by the way.
I'm an idiot, I meant Turkish GP actually, when he was trying to get past Perez. I was wondering if I had it wrong but didn't bother checking before posting..
 
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I'm an idiot, I meant Turkish GP actually, when he was trying to get past Perez. I was wondering if I had it wrong but didn't bother checking before posting..
How dare you haha

I missed that race and had to look it up. He got caught out by dirty air which got him on the green paint. Aggressive but I don't know how stupid it was because I don't have the context to go with it.

Yeah max is aggressive but so was Hamilton. Hamilton aggressiveness in his early days are why I became a fan in the first place. It's only over the years that he has honed his race craft to ridiculous levels as well.

Shit. I couldn't find the clip but I rememeber him trying to dive bomb massa at the hairpin in monaco. Which was all kinds of dumb but also pure entertainment.

Whether max gets to Hamiltons level remains to be seen. But even if he doesn't he should win a title if given the car. Maybe not 7 soon to be 8 but you get my point.
 
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ura

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2021: A look at drivers and teams by uraharakisuke

Red Bull-Honda


Red Bull will once again be looking to finish at least 2nd this year. Honda are being aggressive with their engine this year with a rumoured +40hp upgrade from the first race. Red Bull's major issue for the last few years has been a slow start, only catching up to Mercedes, and sometime Ferrari, by mid/late season. By then the championship is out of reach and Mercedes have moved development onto next year's car, compounding the advantage and thus the cycle repeats.

Luckily they know this. Unluckily they haven't been able to fix it. In 2020 the reason was that the aero became imbalanced during certain corners, resulting in a loss of grip, more difficulty in handling and, in the worst case, outright spinning. The compounding effect of this was a lack of confidence from the drivers in the car; unpredictability compromises speed and consistency, it makes the driver hesitant to push the limits, and for good reason.

I personally think Red Bull will be closer to Mercedes than they were last year. I like what I'm hearing from them and Honda, they are still the best team in an operational capacity in race trim (you can see this in their pitstops which tend to be better than Mercedes' conservative approach), they still have in my opinion the very best strategist on the grid Hannah Schmitz, they have the next king of F1 Max Verstappen and they have genius Technical Director Andrian Newey. Though whether Adrian is still more effective than Mercedes' James Allison is another question. Hannah Schmitz is certainly light years ahead of imbecile James Vowles for Mercedes who relies too much on computational data outcomes and therefore is less flexible and adaptive than Hannah. I hate him.

Finally, it's interesting to see who's design philosophy reacts better to the new floor regulations and therefore who recovers the lost downforce quickest. McLaren claim they are already close to recovering all the lost downforce.


Max Verstappen
Rating-9.4/10
Max is becoming a complete driver and arguably the outright fastest man on the grid. Though it's easier the look good when not having the stress of fighting for the Championship, Max is consistently on it every single race, absolutely destroying his team mates both in on track performance and off track political standings within the team and general confidence. Blazingly fast in qualifying and consistently quick lap after lap in race trim, excellent tyre management and car control, strong defending and overtaking and elite wet weather skills. He's the complete package. In theory. Though I'd bet on him to not crumble under the challenge of a Championship run. Though many said the same about double World Champion and Schumacher slayer Fernando Alonso before the start of the 2007 season before he let rookie Lewis get in his head.

Not that he really crumbled but considering the title was lost by a single point and that Alonso seemed more concerned about Lewis than Kimi it was a decisive factor.

Segio Perez
Rating-8.8/10
Perez is one of my favourite drivers. He's known as the tyre whisperer because of his great tyre management resulting mainly from his excellent throttle application under traction; he consistently manages to apply just the right amount of throttle without inducing wheel spin or rear end lateral slip, aiding greatly in minimising thermal degradation. His qualifying is probably his weakest skill so don't expect him to topple Max in that regard.

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Jay

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Fuck Max! :mad2

I don't actually care about him one way or other, but I despise how he's pretty much an unofficial multi world champion, because if it wasn't for Mercedes, he has a divine right to it.

Cracking driver, but I genuinely think he would crack under pressure if he went up against Lewis or someone capable of beating him, of which there's a few on the grid.
 
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ura

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He can be difficult to like. Horner and Marko come across as smug ruthless twats, constantly favouring their golden boy, his dad Joss is a bit of a bastard too (understatement..) and his fans are quite rabid. I've noticed from too much time browsing F1 forums that he has slightly more idiots supporting him and only him; they seem to care less about the wider sport of F1, exclusively focusing on their man. They also are very Dutch.

Regardless of all that though I really like him. My second favourite driver on the grid. I really like his blunt honesty like in Brazil a few years ago when they asked him "did you see the yellow flag" and he immediately is all like "yeah I did and so what?".

He doesn't give a fuck and he seems slightly mentally unhinged at times. I love it.
 

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2021: A look at drivers and teams by uraharakisuke

Mercedes

The reigning champions look to finish up this final year of these regulations with another double win and are once again the favourites. A few things standing in their way; the budget cap will presumably have a negative effect on them, though this is mitigated by the fact that these cars are evolutions of last years so most of the ground work has been done.

The new wind tunnel stipulations which have a proportionately negative impact on teams successful in 2020. So Mercedes have less time in their wind tunnel, Williams have the most.

The new floor regulations may effect Mercedes more or less than a team like Red Bull. From what I can gather, I'd guess that Mercedes may be slightly less effected, for a couple of reasons. One, there's already talk of teams, like McLaren, opting for a longer wheelbase like Mercedes to counter the reduced downforce from the floor this year. A long wheelbase means more floor and more floor is more space for downforce generations. Two, the lower rake philosophy may aid in sealing the floor as the higher rake asks more out of the generated air vortices that move down the side of the car, which are now compromised by the slimming down of the rear of the floor.

Then again, maybe in the complex interactions of fluid dynamics the higher rake, shorter wheelbase may actually benefit this year, as a result of something else on the car (presumably from the front).

My final guess; Mercedes will win but Red Bull will be dangerously close this year. At the very least I expect it to be closer this year. A gut feeling more than anything.

Lewis Hamilton
Rating-9.5/10
Lewis is the king of F1 and the universally regarded best driver on the grid and possibly of all time. He's older now and will start to slow down at some point. Is this his last season? I think it may be. Going out on a high with 8 WDC will be an incredible way to finish such a great career. It's too good a prospect to pass up I think. Unless he wants to try Ferrari once before he quits...

Valtteri Bottas
Rating-8.9/10
Bottas has fast become one of the most underrated drivers in F1. It's not easy being Hamilton's team mate (ask any one of his team mates). Bottas is very fast and consistent in qualifying but suffers from higher tyre degradation in the race relative to Lewis, but so do most drivers. If it was easy to drive as fast with such relatively controlled tyre usage as Lewis, then the grid would be full of Alonso's and Max's and Lewis'. But it's not. The grid has people called Stroll on it.

Another issue Bottas has is a lack of aggression. His safer approach is good for picking up points but he often gives up points a more aggressive driver like Max would get.

19365
 

ura

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Mika Salo let slip that last year's Ferrari engine was not a new, weaker version hastily put together as a result of the FIA behind closed doors agreement, but was actually just the same engine as 2020 but with the fuel flow allowance turned down. If true, it's an amusing karmic punishment considering the main illegality of the engine was an illegally high rate of fuel flow.

Apparently, he also claims this year they can turn it back up. Presumably not to 2018/19 illegal levels.
 
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Mika Salo let slip that last year's Ferrari engine was not a new, weaker version hastily put together as a result of the FIA behind closed doors agreement, but was actually just the same engine as 2020 but with the fuel flow allowance turned down. If true, it's an amusing karmic punishment considering the main illegality of the engine was an illegally high rate of fuel flow.

Apparently, he also claims this year they can turn it back up. Presumably not to 2018/19 illegal levels.
I wonder how they worked that loophole

Someone I can't remember who ran a second computer back in the 80's to regulate a higher fuel flow in race and then had another for the FIA to check
 
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ura

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I w

I wonder how they worked that loophole

Someone I can't remember who ran a second computer back in the 80's to regulate a higher fuel flow in race and then had another for the FIA to check
I think the theory was that they manually increased the fuel flow at the beginning of straights where power is more important than it is at the middle/end of a straight. Then they perhaps decreased it after so that the average reading given to the sensor was legal. After the FIA introduced a second fuel flow sensor during the USA Grand Prix suddenly their engine was miraculously weaker.

So they managed to fool the first sensor but couldn't or didn't want to risk trying to fool the second sensor.
 
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ura

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Mercedes' new car has been revealed. Interestingly, the floor is covered so as to not reveal anything to the other teams. James Allison says it gives them a few more weeks before the other teams copy it.

The reveal also confirms the Mercedes insider's talk, the guy I mentioned earlier in the thread, about their new PU/engine restructure; back in October he said the fuel pump will be moved backward on the engine which will in turn compromise the bodywork to an extent. However, the horse power gains will outweigh any aerodynamic loss.

You can see on the images the, as Allison puts it, "sexy bulge" around the engine at the rear. Plus Allison made direct reference to the gains made by HPP on the engine side.


The car looks sexy.
 
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