Phil wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:41 pm
i’m unsure if RedBull can make that jump. Given i’m not sure who will replace Hamilton at Mercedes when that happens, i wouldnt be surprised if perhaps Max eventually gets poached. I’m not convinced Bottas is ruthless enough to ever step up as much as i like the guy, nor am i convinced Ocon is really that good (going by his performance against Perez and his habbits of getting himself into trouble). Russel may be good or better, but judging him at Williams is extremely hard. Beyond that, i dont really see any drivers that show that spark like Leclerc and Max do.
They've been grooming Max for ages to be their new Vettel. They will definitely keep him. He's young enough that he's less likely to pull an Alonso/Ricciardo/Raikonen and jump to a slower team to get the corporate dummies off his back, while he's on the up, at any rate.
McLaren's my darkhorse pick though, they really have pulled through their issues and are right where they need to be a lot of the time. I expect, being a factory team with a brand that is extremely hungry to fight ferrari in the streets that they'll continue to put the effort into the program that it needs till it comes good.
The big variable going forward is which team has the internal knowledge and technique that's going to allow them to not just Brawn the first year of new regs but thoroughly make the most of the new formula in a way that they can progress their development program without plateauing. Merc is currently the fastest, and certainly the most well managed team, but their edge is dulling, they've barely got pace advantage despite constant improvement. And McLaren seems to be the ones building the most pace per race, and I can definitely see them bringing that forward.
In short I think the first year won't tell us who's going to be dominant until near the end, but that it will be the teams with the best pace of intelligent development that will show who will be dominant in the next chapter.
I fully expect Merc to actually give up at their peak the same way Porsche did with LMP1H. They may stay on as an engine supplier though. Figure '22-'23 to start hearing rumours, particularly if the Merc engine advantage wanes.
1- McLaren - 5 years of general dominance
2- Redbull - Much like ferrari this year, keeping Mclaren sweating in the later part of the 5
3- Ferrari - low phase, tying with the Merc effort till the next reg change where they win everything again, Shcumi era lapping the field etc, unless the FIA has a real change of heart and stops subsidizing the wealthiest team.
Not sure how the rest would shake out but I feel fairly confident in the above.