Phil wrote: ↑
Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:04 pm
I've been a huge Hamilton supporter since 2008. Back then, I thought he'll easily win a couple of championships, but then came the RedBull domination period and I didn't think he'd get to 2 championships, let alone the 6 he now has, when he abandoned the McLaren ship (best ever decision, obviously).
While the number of championships is a product of the team and environment he is in, I do think Hamilton is easily one of the very best F1 drivers in a very long time and I am happy that he is being rewarded with the titles I think he and the team deserve. It's hard to compare his achievements with other drivers across different periods... they all have their strengths and weaknesses. Having said that, achieving 7 is going to be really tough. I am inclined to think he'll beat Michaels number of wins, but am less convinced on the number of championships. Not that he doesn't lack the talent, but if it's achievable or not, will come down to the team, the car and the competition. The Ferrari has been hugely competitive since the summer break and if this strong form continues into next, it'll be exciting to see if Mercedes can step up to the challenge. I also think Leclerc will prove to be perhaps a stronger opponent to Lewis than Seb has been while being in a competitive car (just IMO). RedBull will also be very strong contenders in my book and Max is proving time and time again what a ridiculous talent he is... the question for me, is will RB be up there at the beginning of the year and how consistent and calm will Max be able to perform, when a championship is at steak?
All interesting thoughts going into next year. It's going to be quite a season I think. I also wouldn't discount Bottas, though I think he may be a more fierce competitor if Mercedes end up with a dominant package once again. If it's a more level playing field between multiple teams, I think he'll suffer more which might hurt his championship ambitions. A very good start into a new season (like this year) could however be a powerful motivator and confidence boost that may yield a stronger competitor across the entire season...
In numbers Mercedes has been extremely dominating this year. I think we think to see some cracks because them winning every race is the new norm. Hamilton alone won more then half the races with a 0% DNF score. There are no big rule changes for next year (like the one that ended Schumachers reign). Where both Hamilton and Mercedes making the big differences is their ability to make less mistakes then the opposition. Leclerc is up and coming, but still made a lot of mistakes this year (and there is nothing wrong with that). RedBull is more of a contender, because they still have room for development with their Honda engine, while Ferrari should have reached the ceiling more after 6 years of hybrid power.
From all big teams I expect almost B-spec cars from this year, ramping up for 2021. Designing a new concept for the last year of a rule set only worked really well once, in 1988, when there was still unlimited testing and the teams a whole lot smaller.