[2018] Pecking order speculation thread

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Re: [2018] Pecking order speculation thread

Post by Phil » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:06 pm

Schuttelberg wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:36 pm
Phil wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:39 pm
I am just going to put my speculation on 2018 in as well.

I personally see RedBull as the biggest contender in 2018. Why? I think towards the end of this season, the RedBull was most let down by its engine and yet, despite this shortcoming, managed to contest for wins with genuine pace. Assuming the gap between engines will narrow down further, I can only see this making RedBull even stronger than they already are.

Ferrari already has a very strong package, perhaps the best package this year, but that package is aided IMO by a better engine vs the RedBull. Mercedes also had a very strong package despite the problems they had, but I think some things worked in their favor this year that may not next year:

1.) Qualifying pace put them on pole, even on tracks where they perhaps didn't have the quickest package under race conditions
2.) The car is following a different aero philosophy and with the ban on their suspension, they may face problems keeping up long term (unless they change it, but find themselves behind)
3.) They may still struggle with tires every now and then that is IMO also linked to the nature of their car.

I think these 3 factors may overall lead to less consistent results for Mercedes in 2018 and with stronger competitors may push them down.

So for now, purely by my speculation, I see RedBull slightly ahead, with Mercedes and Ferrari behind closely. Honestly, I wouldn't surprised to see Max or Dan take the win in Melbourne (inclined to say Max).

Or maybe Mercedes will just surprise us all again with even a more impressive PU (vs their rivals) in 2018...
Mercedes had 15 poles and 12 wins this year and Ferrari had the best package?

Sebastian Vettel must be an awful driver then!
That is one way to look at it, but IMO not quite accurate. Matter of fact is, Ferrari/Vettel led this years championship for the majority of it and that despite having less wins and pole positions, but because on average they were finishing in higher positions while Mercedes was trying to come to grips with its car. The Asia races changed all that, when Vettel/Ferrari failed to get the results the car was good for on 3 races.

At the beginning of 2017, I was overly confident Mercedes/Hamilton would pull it together and win both championships with margins. They did, but I have to admit my confidence was off the mark. That Ferrari should have put up that fight up to the very last race and it was down to a catastrophic few failures and imploding that made it so easy for Mercedes in the end.
Not for nothing, Rosberg's Championship is the only thing that lends credibility to Hamilton's recent success. Otherwise, he'd just be the guy who's had the best car. (Ask the average Vettel fan what that's like.) --- bhall II
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Re: [2018] Pecking order speculation thread

Post by Turtoise_Racing » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:06 pm

Mercedes - bad start into the season because of new car concept or peaked development of the old concept: either P3 due to difficult car, which Red Bull and Ferrari this time able to exploit, or P1 if the team manages to recover; Hamilton having fun fighting Vettel, Verstappen and Alonso, but not enough support from Bottas: Hamilton P1 if Mercedes delivers, P2/P3 if not
Ferrari - dominant start into the season, but reliability and personal little mistakes will build up bad vibes within the team, that leads to dropping down to third-best; WC if the lead of the first half of the season is big enough; Räikkönen loses motivation again, once marked as No.2, so Vettel ultimately lacks support to gain the title, finishing P2/P3
Red Bull - better car, better reliability: second-best team throughout the season, always scratching on P1, but ultimately P2; Verstappen & Ricciardo both fighting for the title till the end; Verstappen could finish in front, if his risky driving style pays off; Ricciardo may lose to many points to Verstappen to gain the title
Force - relatively the same gap behind the big three as 2017; in the end issues between Perez and Ocon will cost them too much to get away from on Renault and McLaren, so they all fight for P4 till the end
McLaren - top Chassis, top Alonso; good Aero, good Vandoorne, good engine with issues; just not good enough to reach the top 3, so it will be a tough fight for P4 with Renault and Force
Renault - enough improvement on car and pu to challenge Force and McLaren; Hulk and Sainz with some luck could step on the podium
Williams - Stroll & Sirotkin won't deliver much, as the car's development won't be enough to balance their inexperience
Haas - Grosjean & Magnussen take too many risks and thereby lose too many points; not much improvement on the car also
Toro Rosso - Gasly got talent and Aero & Chassis should work well enough, but I'm afraid Hartley and Honda will fail them
Sauber - Alfa-Romeo PU (ie Ferrari) should boost them, but the Aero and Chassis still won't be good enough; Leclerc should be a good substitute for Wehrlein to gain some lucky points

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Re: [2018] Pecking order speculation thread

Post by FightingHellPhish » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:54 am

The traditional midfield is utterly boned. With a resurgent McLaren and Renault.. All top 10 slots will be taken.
RedBull, Ferrari, and Mercedes will fight for top honors with glimpses of McNault. If their engines all hold together that 6 spots gone off the bat.
McLaren will usually be 7/8 but will have times that its on the podium (100:1 they win a race or 2), and Renault will usually be 9/10 but will end up with 4th, 5th, and 6th place finishes while flirting with the podium.
Force India will get some 9ths and 10ths but, in the end they arent going to be 4th this year.
Haas will be fighting for 8th again based on average finish unless something happens in front of them and they take advantage and get a couple points.
Sauber will likely be resurgent and will be legitimately fighting with Haas especially with Sauber having Ferraris current engine.
Williams will just be in 7th. Enough to 'get by' but not enough to go anywhere. Theyre in for another mediocre season.
Lastly, theres Torro Rosso. STR is being used as a test bed for RedBull's A-team to see if Honda will work for 2019-2020. Honda fixing its issues is.. a flip of the coin. It could have but I really dont see STR doing better than the last 3 years Honda was with McLaren.

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Re: [2018] Pecking order speculation thread

Post by TAG » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:20 pm

Phil wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:06 pm
At the beginning of 2017, I was overly confident Mercedes/Hamilton would pull it together and win both championships with margins. They did, but I have to admit my confidence was off the mark. That Ferrari should have put up that fight up to the very last race and it was down to a catastrophic few failures and imploding that made it so easy for Mercedes in the end.
You were right in the end. I think you've got it backwards, I know you're on the pessimist side when it comes to your analysis but let me put it this way.

Mercedes' struggles last year heating up (balancing the heat) tires came from having to redo their suspension at the last minute. They saw more of an impact with that than Red Bull did. Despite that they more than held their own once they figured things out from Spain on. (for the most part).

Given the off season development that you know took place, given the additional strain on PU components and given that Mercedes has proven to be a cut above in the PU reliability dept I think that is going to hurt Renault and Ferrari PU most. Their development had to go into reliability increases, more than speed.

Additionally something that hasn't been discussed much is the loss of movable aero components in the front suspension, lowering the ride height during turns; both Ferrari and Red Bull will lose that this year with the new regulations.

As much as people are going to hate it, it's another Mercedes season with the same two players fighting for second and third, and a wide open mid field with Force India, Renault, McLaren and Williams fighting for the bottom half of the points each race. Even Haas and Sauber will be tighter up the grid, so I think we're going to see a good season if one can overlook the continuation of Mercedes's streak and... GASP! ...another Hamilton title.
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Re: [2018] Pecking order speculation thread

Post by Joseph Hudson » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:53 pm

Hi New Member this is how I feel the season will go
1 Mercedes- can't see how anyone can beat them
2 Ferrari-Can't see them beating Mercedes or
3 Red Bull-Can't see the Renault engine making that much improvement
4 Force India-The mercedes engine is brilliant and they have great driver line up with Ocon and Perez
5 Renault- No way their going to let McLaren beat them
6 McLaren- Chassis not as good a people think and they still don't have great engine
7 Haas- Not as bad some people think but still brilliant
8 Willams-bad drive line up will cause them to struggle
9 Sauber- bad but not as bad as last season
10 Torro Rosso-Honda engine and bad driver line up= last place

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Re: [2018] Pecking order speculation thread

Post by NathanOlder » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:48 pm

Can see all of that happening for sure. Id hope Mclaren and Renault to be in front of Force India though, with all the money they are spending and i see the Renault and Mclaren drivers making equally strong pairings as the Force India pair
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Re: [2018] Pecking order speculation thread

Post by Zynerji » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:04 pm

Williams (SURPRISE!)
Red Bull
Torro Rosso (SURPRISE!)
Force India

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Re: [2018] Pecking order speculation thread

Post by Brenton » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:02 pm

1) Mercedes. Design doesn't work as hoped, but they sort out the chassis issues well enough. PU improvements keep their PU edge solid, and Hamilton wins the WDC through consistent podiums. Their team is just too strong overall in resources, personnel, and organization.

2) Red Bull. Verstappen is often the fastest on race pace. But Renault holds them back too much in Q3 and reliability issues. Overall they have the best aero, and the PU is very good but not good enough. Loses the WDC and WCC due to a few particularly heartbreaking dnfs, such as engine failure while leading a race.

3) Ferrari. Internal issues as mentioned by others in this thread become a problem. Not enough improvement over 2017, though Vettel wins some races. Raikkonen loses motivation as #2 and gets dominated by the other 5 drivers at the top.

4) McLaren. Significantly behind #3 but enough for a few podiums. Finishes the season close on pace to Ferrari.

5) Renault. Driver lineup and continued improvement puts them well ahead of the bottom 5 by season end.

6) Force India
10) Toro Rosso struggles with Honda