Grand Prix 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

So its thats time again, the offseason is almost over as this time next week, we will be a few hours from Bahrain qualifying where all the guessing stops & we know the pecking order. although we have had some rescheduling before we had even started because Australia has been moved to the end of the season instead of the start & test got moved 2 weeks later. but i believe this years season opener unlike 2020 will go ahead as scheduled, not have a dramatic press conference 3 hours before FP1 was due to take place & austria will go back to being 9th round not the season opener

but hopefully we have got a great season to look forward to firstly we have the longest F1 season in its history, 23 races which is massive. jackie stewart on winning world championship in 1969 & 1971 were collectively only 22 races. shows how far F1 has expanded. in those 23 race we will be going to imola & portimao getting a 2nd chance after stepping in so well during the pandemic last season. finally get to have our 1st look at zandvoort albeit 16 months later than we thought, but vietnam is the casualty of the pandemic, because that has been binned & weirdly the only evidence of the it will be in F1 2020 video game & go to saudi arabia for the 1st new race not designed by herman tilke since 1995 argentine GP . also after an enforced sabbatical in 2020 we will finally get back to Monaco, Baku, Canada, unfortunately france, Singapore, Japan, USA, Brazil, Mexico & Australia in 2021

maybe just maybe. we could have our 1st interteam title battle since 2012, which is ridiclous to think that F1 has gone 9yrs, you cant imagine hypothetically going into jerez 1997. as the 1st title battle since prost senna 1989. it seems massive gap but that what we have currently have & as great as lewis hamilton as been, just like Schumacher or Vettel domination its not great for the sport as a whole. but maybe we have got season long fight between red bull & mercedes, likely the young pretender v the old expert. that we have been hoping for ever since max won the spanish gp in 2016. (but young pretender might be stretching it as Max would be 6 weeks older than vettel was next sunday, when he won his 1st world title in 2010 & in abu dhabi if he won, would be only 3 weeks younger than alonso in 2005) but besides that we have best teammate to verstappen on paper since riccardio & Bottas who if he could string a season together instead of just individual races could have a chance.

down the rest of the grid it doesnt look like there is much change , mclaren still look the best of the rest, Alpha Tauri could have jumped ahead of ferrari looking very good with great pairing of gasly & tsunoda who is highly rated, Aston Martin mayve dropped abit after struggle in testing. Williams look like they are on the way back & Haas the signs dont look good as they had stop developing the 2021 car before testing. as nice as it is to have a schumacher back on the grid, so could be a hard year for Mick Schumacher but it didnt do George Russell any harm. could help him to make his mistakes & learn out of the limelight. which if he was in the midfield with that surname could do more harm than good

on Bahrain, well we all hope that it wont be as eventful as our last trips to circuit 4 months with grosjean accident then heartbreaking bad luck from russell after stunning debut drive then perez rollercoaster ride from retiring from 3rd on the penultimate lap to 7 days later getting taken out then getting back to the pits coming through the field to win his maiden victory & that all 20 drivers are safe come the end of the race. the trends bode well because 7 of the 9 winners since 2012 have won the world title after winning in Sakhir & also bar 2008 (crash & 13th) & 2010 (4th). world champion has stood on every sakhir podium. but in aload of pre season uncertainity, i guarantee 1 thing 2021 season opener cant be any worse than 2010 the last time Bahrain started the season. it was such a dull affair that there was talk about a mandatory 2 stop to bring some entertainment:sleeping::sleeping:

but welcome to 2021, hope that you enjoy another year of F1 & the last before the biggest overhaul of F1 regulations since 1998
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Mod Chat.

I have deleted all of the posts related to Mazepin's off track behaviour as they were starting to derail the thread and were in breach of site rules.

Users are welcome to discuss Mazepin and relevant incidents in a separate thread however, I remind posters that the maxim of "attack the post and not the poster" should always apply.


Regards

CaT the Mod.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
The problem with all of this is that it raises the spectre of "It was just the car" -
Vettel is still going to remembered for

-Youngest pole sitter
-Youngest world champion
-Youngest double wc
-Youngest triple WC
-Youngest 4 Ă— wc

Which are unlikely to be broken given he drove in the perfect Newey car for him...the more we see it now it is clear the car being perfect for him is critical to his performance..already he is finding the Aston Martin not to his liking so this season could be painful for him if it does not improve
 

Titch

World Champion
Premium Contributor
Unfortunately the longer he drives and has unnecessary accidents at the back of the grid, the more the memory of his glory days slide away. It must be a very hard to decide that you’re beyond your best and step back with dignity. Especially if you still feel fit and healthy and full of enthusiasm for your sport.
 

Dartman

Pole Sitter
Vettel has an Achilles heel in that under pressure to either stay infront or progress he is prone to errors, probably the first indication of this was Canada 2011 with Button closing him down, he has then had many under pressure incidents where a more clinical driver would have used the cars superiority to stay ahead. He was no better than Webber just the chosen one in that team, by was ,Webber retired and Vettel should have done he's just a Michael Schumacher without the skill to execute the killer blow he seems to have the Red Mist in tense situations, or just brain fade.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Vettel has an Achilles heel in that under pressure to either stay infront or progress he is prone to errors, probably the first indication of this was Canada 2011 with Button closing him down, he has then had many under pressure incidents where a more clinical driver would have used the cars superiority to stay ahead. He was no better than Webber just the chosen one in that team, by was ,Webber retired and Vettel should have done he's just a Michael Schumacher without the skill to execute the killer blow he seems to have the Red Mist in tense situations, or just brain fade.
I think Schumacher was much better than Vettel, as he was able to lift a car that wasn’t perfect to heights it shouldn’t have achieved.

Vettel reminds me of Alboreto - albeit with much more success. Success in a less than fancied car ( Tyrrell/Toro Rosso), then moved to a top team (Ferrari/Red Bull), and challenged for championships.
 

Titch

World Champion
Premium Contributor
Schumacher was ruthless when he needed to be, I think Vettel would like to be ruthless but just can’t quite pull it off.. I don’t think that Hamilton is ruthless, his talent lies in becoming part of the machine he’s driving.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
It is something that nearly every champion has had to contend with.
I wonder just how much
Schumacher was ruthless when he needed to be, I think Vettel would like to be ruthless but just can’t quite pull it off.. I don’t think that Hamilton is ruthless, his talent lies in becoming part of the machine he’s driving.
Vettel can be ruthless like Malysia 2013 but as Webber pointed out he was getting protection...when he comes unstuck in the race he is more rattled than the other top drivers especially at Ferrari although I would say Schumacher was protected by Todt and Brawn.

I wonder if Aston Martin will suffer like Haas did in that they have to design their own car without excess copying this season
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
i take nothing away from because i dont think there is any doubt that vettel was best driver on the grid between 2010 & 2013. car suited him & as a frontrunner. he was brilliant & with the by far the best car on the grid.

but like is always said about alonso but for fine margins he couldve been a 5 time world champions, vettel is the polar opposite he probally shouldve been a 2 time world champion but was on the right side of fortune, in 2010 when if DRS existed vettel wouldve finished 2nd & 2012 its miracle he finished with a cracked exhaust

i always thought that vettel under pressure he is not good & for some reason looks immense leading 1 of the best. but from too many experiences to mention, thats just 2018, you put him in the pack & he makes too many errors which if the same driver without world championship, had the same record, he would be taking alot of stick
 
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Il_leone

Champion Elect
What might derail Red Bull and Verstappen this season is the Honda engine so it seems as Perez shut down on the formation lap whilst Verstappen was not comfortable inside the car when Hamilton was sticking to him and feeling the engine was not right
 

Dartman

Pole Sitter
Vettel was never the best driver on the grid, he had the best car, Webber was as good as him if not better Monaco proved that, Button Hamilton and Riakkonen were better, even Alonso LOL
 

The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
While this would be best on the Vettel thread, my two pence worth.

The driver we are seeing today is not the Vettel of 2009 - 2013. As for the best car point, maybe, maybe not, maybe not consistently, but that is a point which will be thrown against any WDC, as far as I can see based on whether you like him or not.

Personally, I think that there are 2 things, firstly his drive to achieve, possibly because he has a child, possibly because he is older and has less to prove, possibly because he has not been enjoying things as much, but he has not got anywhere near the edge he once had, however much of an edge you think that may have had, he is nowhere near the level of old. secondly, the regs have not played to his strengths, and he has not been able to adapt, clearly a marker that separates him from the true greats, but something that he is not alone in.

Personally, I am not sure why he persisted this season, its clear that he no longer has what he used to have, and is not changing anyones mind about him, still it is a long season, and who knows what might change, but it is getting a little bit wacky races now.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
The old feeling was that drivers who drove for Ferrari where it does not end well fail to recover their career and reputation from the experience.

Lauda Arnoux Tambay Alboreto Capelli..the only exception were Mansell and Prost but both essentially came out of retirement to win in the best car...would they have done the same in lesser cars

Looking at current drivers Kimi really struggled with hus time at Ferrari.. Alonso is still trying to repair his damaged reputation..you have to wonder how much does Vettel want to prove he still has got it or has Ferrari burned him out mentally
 
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