Clip The Apex
Following the Baku race, a number of drivers and team bosses have come out, complaining about the ban on communications about car settings and driver coaching. Drivers, including multiple world champions Hamilton, Alonso, and Raikonnen have been vocal recently about this ban, and they feel that it is ridiculous that given the complexity of a modern F1 car, and the number of available settings, that the engineers, with more information cannot tell them what to do- and this view has been backed up by Toto Wolff.
This does raise a question, but I don't think that the solution is to allow driver coaching again; if there are too many settings on an F1 car (which I have long believed), then they need to be simplified; the steering wheel has so many switches and controls on, that there are likely to be about a million different combinations of settings available to a driver- is this really necessary?
With 6 races in 8 weekends this summer, if ever there was a more appropriate sponsor for the 3rd race through this F1 endurance marathon it's Red Bull. We have arrived wide eyed and with the caffeine jitters back in Speilberg, Austria at The Red Bull Ring.
With around 10,000 miles traveled in the last 21 days the teams will be happy they are back in central Europe and may even be organised enough with there upcoming 'weekend off' into bringing some upgrade tweaks for the back to backs of Austria and Great Britain. Eyes peeled everyone for twiddly bits and go-faster stripes.
The race track is one of the shorter ones on the calendar at just 2.684 miles which gives us a beefy 71 lap race. A meer shadow of it's earlier 3.6mile iteration between 1977-1995, but we moo-ve on (bull joke for you there...sorry)
Last years race saw Lewis take pole in 1.08.455. It didn't help him in the race however as he made a poor get away (yup again) and Nico passed him into the first corner resulting in a follow the leader snooze fest up front for the remainder of the race. Williams have some form here with their front row lock out in 2014 and taking a podium 3rd place in both 2014 and 2015 they are certainly a dark horse to keep an eye on. Seb had a wheel nut problem last year which arguably robbed him of 3rd. Alonso will be hoping he can make it around the first lap without mounting Kimi as he did last year in what could of been a very serious crash. Actually with a DNF in 2014 as well, he will be hoping to simply finish.
So to this years race, Nico will be keen as mustard to build on his win in Baku, building on his earlier form and rebuilding that gap to Lewis. If he does take the win he will make it 3 wins in row at The Red Bull Ring, maintaining his record of being the one and only (F1) winner at this new iteration of the Speilberg track.
It's hard to see past a Mercedes win but the Ferraris have looked much improved since their token free 'reliability (in no way faster) upgrade' to their turbo. Who knows the Red Bull home advantage could finally kick in as well in what has been a poor event for them, finishing just 8th in 2014 and 10th last year. But if I was to have a cheeky each way bet it would be on Williams. I've just got a feeling.
Nico has rebuilt his championship lead to a snifter off a full win haul in points with 24 points clear. Seb is knocking on the back door just through shear consistency just 21 points behind Lewis. It certainly keeps the championship interesting, if Nico had lost the championship lead in Baku I can't help feel it would of been a slippy slope for him.
The CTA massive scored this one a 5.5 out of 10 in 2015 but a healthier 7 out of 10 in 2014.
I think we are well overdue a stonker so fingers crossed Spielberg can deliver.
Kimi & Alonso crash from last year.
Every decade there comes a point in F1 when we witness the start of the next superstar in F1 once they win their first race
Senna - Estoril 1985
Schumacher - Spa 1992
The two above stood above the rest namely because it was an era where drivers did not start F1 until they were 25 years old and raced until their mid to late 30's and got a longer career out of it so you had to be exceptional to be the next biggest thing to upset the establishment
Today it seems drivers start younger and they have a much shorter time to make it count in F1 before someone else gets their shot
Certain key moments I remember
2003 - F1 Magazine thought Alonso, Raikkonen and Montoya were the next generation of superstars
This was the first time for a few seasons that Schumacher ad some serious challenge to his supremacy and domination after Hakkinen's retirement
It also when Button was able to how his abilities when some thought his career was over when he was sacked by Renault (Flavio)
They were certainly correct with the exception of Montoya who's career went downhill and out . The other 3 have become world champions
2006 - Autosport reviewed the career paths of Hamilton, Rosberg, Kovalainen and Kubica as they have raced each other numerously in junior careers and were expected to match the jump
Vettel had not been mentioned at the time as he was racing in Euro F3 whilst they were in GP2 or WSR3.5 at the time and his moment came when he won for Toro Rosso in 2008 at Monza to become the youngest pole sitter and winner
Which brings me to 2016 Spain where Max Verstappen won to be the youngest winner and is this a sign that the era of Hamilton and Vettel is going to end soon
the BBC have outlined the 4 next generation of superstars and off course Max is one of them . Red Bull and Mclaren should be proud (except Mclaren needs to learn how to keep them)
The drivers competing to become Formula 1's next global stars
Do you agree?