You race experts, I need help with Formula 1


nautoncall

GT Owner
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Apr 6, 2014
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So I’m looking for something to watch and it seems like on Sunday morning the Formula One race is always on and I find myself watching some of it. How does Lewis Hamilton‘s car always seem to be the fastest and him almost win every race. He would’ve won today but had a penalty that put him in the back and he almost moved back up the leaderboard again. If he had more laps he probably would’ve come back to win.
 

Tomcat

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May 23, 2013
937
North Carolina & Perdido Key
No expert, but the big three in F1 (Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull) over the past few years have had the resources ($), inclination, and long-term commitment to push the envelope in chassis development, engine technology, and attracting talent (drivers, engineers, and team personnel)...which has lead to the current state of affairs. Ferrari was unbeatable during the Schumacher years (Michael not Ralf, but I was a Ralf fan!) but (as you have noted) the new pecking order is MB then Red Bull then Ferrari.
 

centerpunch

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Sep 16, 2005
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Well, the car is good, but Mr. Hamilton is also very good, certainly one of the all-time best.

McLaren actually signed a development deal with him when he was 13.
 

KennethClay

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Oct 15, 2012
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No expert, but the big three in F1 (Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull) over the past few years have had the resources ($), inclination, and long-term commitment to push the envelope in chassis development, engine technology, and attracting talent (drivers, engineers, and team personnel)...which has lead to the current state of affairs. Ferrari was unbeatable during the Schumacher years (Michael not Ralf, but I was a Ralf fan!) but (as you have noted) the new pecking order is MB then Red Bull then Ferrari.
Mercedes has been on top since the turbo-hybrid era started a few years back. They certainly have the budget, but have also been very adept at finding opportunities in the rule book. I understand that they found a way to pre-spool the turbos just a bit quicker than the other teams, which has given them an apparent power advantage over the rivals. And this year’s steering DAS system (which adjusts the toe, as opposed to having it fixed) is legal for 2020, but not 2021.

Historically, F1 has been a showcase of engineering talent, governed only by the rule book. As the budgets have gotten more and more staggering, fewer and fewer teams can really compete (and forget about the privateers, which used to appear regularly on the grid). Liberty Media, the new owner of F1, realizes that you need actual competition to keep the fans watching and sponsors funding the teams. As such, the new Concorde agreement which governs the sport for 2021-2025 and has been signed by all 10 teams, has cost caps that should make for better competition and a wider group of race winners.
 
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nautoncall

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Apr 6, 2014
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Well, the car is good, but Mr. Hamilton is also very good, certainly one of the all-time best.

McLaren actually signed a development deal with him when he was 13.
Obviously he’s very good. Just seems like it’s almost unfair because he wins every race.
 

centerpunch

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Obviously he’s very good. Just seems like it’s almost unfair because he wins every race.
Historically that happens a lot, starting with Fangio. When the best guy gets the right ride, he wins a lot.
 
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KennethClay

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Oct 15, 2012
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Historically that happens a lot, starting with Fangio. When the best guy gets the right ride, he wins a lot.
Yep. Vettel won 4 years in a row (2010-2013) at Red Bull driving an Adrian Newey masterpiece of a car! It’s been tougher sledding at Ferrari.
 

extrap

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Jul 16, 2020
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Historically that happens a lot, starting with Fangio. When the best guy gets the right ride, he wins a lot.
It's the same in most/all sports: Valentino Rossi in MotoGP, Tom Brady on the Patriots, Michael Jordan's Bulls, Tiger Woods, etc. Top talent + just the right team / support can equate to extended domination.
 
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Austinj427

Well-known member
Feb 12, 2018
59
Colorado
Mercedes has been a powerhouse since the turbo hybrid era happened, and aside from a year where Nico Rosberg and Lewis swapped mechanics/engineers (and with some luck Nico won), it's been all Lewis every year. Mercedes is so good, every year you'd imagine the other teams would start to catch up but they take an even larger step forwards and create an even bigger gap.

Lewis is fast and consistent, but he is also somewhat protected. We see that every now and then where his team mate has pace and is held back, given a less preferred pit strategy or is asked to give up his position. I think Lewis would still win, but Mercedes doesn't mess around with team mate battles anymore and Bottas is happy to stay in second it seems.

This weekend was an interesting one, and one of my favorite races I remember. They changed the rule book to not allow engine mode changes during the race and it seemed to actually make an impact. Bottas was complaining that he couldn't pass anyone with the mode they were in, it may have taken a small edge away from Merc but they always find a way to bounce back.
 

nautoncall

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Apr 6, 2014
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Thanks for all the information. I guess in F1 the motors and chassis are somewhat different vs trying to make the cars almost equal and let the best driver win as In most other Motorsports??
 

Austinj427

Well-known member
Feb 12, 2018
59
Colorado
Thanks for all the information. I guess in F1 the motors and chassis are somewhat different vs trying to make the cars almost equal and let the best driver win as In most other Motorsports??
Yeah. 4 different engines (Mercedes, Renault, Honda, and Ferrari) and each team has their own chassis/aero/etc (for the most part).

This is a hot topic right now. If I remember right, Mercedes has won like 74% of the races since 2014, they are obviously the best but domination gets old after a while for a lot of people. There are talks of reversing the qualifying grids, basically flipping the order of the championship for a sprint, and the outcome of that sprint gives you qualifying order. Mercedes, as you can imagine, is against this. They have their car designed to work in free air and that works well when they qualify first and can blast off 30s ahead of the rest of the field and control any outlier (Max Verstappen in the Redbull) with a 2 car strategy.

This last race was a big deal because it had been since 2012 when there wasn't a Ferrari, Merc, or Redbull on the podium. Someone in Sweden had bet .20 euro on that podium and made 33,000.
 
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wmjim

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Yes, it can be predictable and a little boring, but the best car/driver combo should win. Please, please, PLEASE, no BOP like Ford GT had to endure!!!
 

nautoncall

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Apr 6, 2014
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Well guess who won today!!!