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8 minutes ago, MJB said:

How about Bottas?

Solid driver, not spectacular. Has experienced playing the #2 role and would bring knowledge from Mercedes as well as de-stabilising them.

Seeing Toto Wolff is Valtteri's manager still(?), I genuinely doubt Bottas would ever go to Ferrari unless something crazy happens. Also, right now his job is safe. Of course it might change in the future as George Russell is the future for Mercedes, but right now Bottas seems like the most stable presence for Mercedes.

 

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Seeing such adulation from a winning team, rather than the "business as usual" response from Mercedes, is very refreshing.

you wrote round 21 twice. I can't take this thread seriously now

The big news coming out of the first half hour of testing is that Alpha Tauri have taken over the white team colour icon on the official F1 graphics, with Williams moving to a medium blue. If any

22 minutes ago, Jasonmufc said:

Seeing Toto Wolff is Valtteri's manager still(?), I genuinely doubt Bottas would ever go to Ferrari unless something crazy happens. Also, right now his job is safe. Of course it might change in the future as George Russell is the future for Mercedes, but right now Bottas seems like the most stable presence for Mercedes.

 

I'm pretty sure this isn't true anymore.

I will concede that his previous alignments make it unlikely. However, let's not forget that Wolff has recently purchased shares in the Aston Martin-Stroll collaboration and has himself been linked with a move away from Mercedes in recent times.

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I think Bottas' best move would be to try and have a conversation with Ferrari and see how much Mercedes are willing to pay to keep him. He would take more than just his driving skills across the divide.

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The Renault seat would be the interesting one. Presuming Renault sticks around, that is; I wouldn't be shocked if they pull out (and Ocon gets screwed again in the process).

I can't see Hulk going back there, somehow. If Merc want to move Russell up, it could be a nice spot for Bottas.

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I'm assuming Sainz will get the Ferrari seat, Danny Ric moves to McLaren (as he probably regrets not doing last year) and if I were Renault, I'd be looking at bringing the Hulk back. Safe pair of hands, won't rock the boat, all that experience. I'm still surprised that Haas didn't go for him instead of Grosjean, even if he does have issues with Magnussen, I'd have looked for a change.

Following DTS, Haas are my favourite team - I've previously gravitated towards drivers rather than teams.

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Ricciardo confirmed at McLaren from 2021 on 'multi-year deal' alongside Lando.

Carlos to Ferrari will presumably be announced later today.

 

EDIT: Confirmed. Sainz to Ferrari for 2021 & 2022.

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Outside of the two Mercedes drivers, Verstappen and Leclerc, Sainz is the best driver on the grid (outside of Kimi, but obviously with a lot more potential than Kimi!) so not a surprise to see Ferrari go for him.  Still surprised that Sergio Perez is never really discussed when these top 3 positions open up.

Will be interesting to see how Ricciardo copes at McLaren though, he was consistenly beaten by Verstappen in 2018, found more of a better level at Renault when he had Hulkenberg as his partner, but is now going back to a team with a young promising driver who will likely upstage him similar to Verstappen.  

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I think people see Perez as having his chance when he went to McLaren which went badly, although that could also be pinpointed as the season that McLaren's troubles started.

As far as Renault go I don't expect them to be around for much longer, so much time without any success at all for a major manufacturer isn't a good look and if they don't do any better when the new regulations come in then I expect the plug to be pulled.

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59 minutes ago, Katsuya said:

And Renault are apparently actually considering Alonso.

EDIT: nevermind

I can't see it personally. Fernando will want to win, Renault aren't going to win until 2022 at the very earliest and even that is a massive ask. I don't think he'll be happy fighting for P6 at best each weekend.

Plus, Renault's future is uncertain in the sport anyway and if they were apparently unsure about being able to match Ricciardo's current deal, I can't imagine them being able to afford Fernando.

The only way I could see it is if Fernando gets more involved in the team than just on a driver level.

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Sainz must be loving life, now he doesn't have to drive around in a Clio all day for sponsorship purposes.

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In shocking news, Lance Stroll has been confirmed to have a seat in Racing Pointon Martin next year.

Also, Leclerc might be getting a bit too into the streaming...

 

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Meanwhile, depending on who's talking, Toto is being pressured into signing Vettel to Mercedes by:

- The Mercedes/Daimler group

- The FIA

- Liberty

- Bernie Ecclestone

- Everyone commenting on any tweet they make

- Not Lewis Hamilton

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LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) - Formula One's 10 teams have agreed cost-cutting measures including a budget cap of $145 million for 2021, the BBC reported on Friday. The measures have yet to be approved officially by the governing FIA's World Motor Sport Council, by an e-vote due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that is seen as a formality and likely next week. Formula One's managing director for motorsport Ross Brawn said this month that the $145 million figure had been agreed and the sport would look for further reductions in future seasons.

The BBC and motorsport.com, citing multiple sources, said teams had agreed to reduce the cap to $140 million in 2022 and $135 million for the period 2023-25. Formula One's season has yet to start, with the first 10 races postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A major rewrite of the technical regulations has been delayed to 2022, with teams carrying over this year's cars to 2021. The budget cap, which does not include driver salaries, had been set initially at $175 million but some teams had wanted a more drastic limit closer to $100 million to ensure the sport survives the crisis.

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Formula One's post-coronavirus future took shape on Thursday after racing's governing body, the FIA, ratified several unprecedented measures in the technical and financial regulations.

In 2021 F1 will introduce a new sliding scale for aerodynamic development and a $145 million budget cap for all 10 teams, which will be steadily reduced over the next five years. It is hoped that both measures will help close Formula One's competitive order, while also protecting teams financially in the post-coronavirus world.

The sliding scale will ensure the lower a team finishes in the championship, the more wind tunnel and CFD development time it will be permitted the following year. The concept is modeled loosely on a draft-style system in U.S. sports.

Teams already face restrictions over the amount of aerodynamic work they can complete at their factories, but from 2021 the restrictions will be biased against the previous year's championship position on a sliding scale.

The budget cap had already been agreed to in principal but over recent months the initial figure of $175 million was negotiated down to $145 million. That will then be scaled down to $140 million for 2022 and then $135 million between 2023 and 2025.

The budget cap will lead to a trimming down of F1 teams. McLaren has already confirmed it will have to cut jobs in response, while Ferrari is considering entering IndyCar in order to find jobs for those it will inevitably lose from its own F1 team.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown says F1 had to think of the bigger picture.

"Formula One wins today," Brown said. "This is a crucially important moment for our sport.

"F1 has been financially unsustainable for some time, and inaction would have risked the future of F1 and its participants, who are to be commended for resolving this issue collectively and determinedly.

"A uniform budget cap, in concert with more even distribution of revenue among the teams, will ensure greater competition and more people wanting to watch live and on TV, driving more sustained revenues to underpin the long-term financial health of the teams and the sport. Ultimately the fans win, and if the fans win, the whole sport wins too."

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The Williams F1 team have been put up for sale following their dismal on-track performance resulting in an even more dismal financial performance. They've also cut ties with Rokit as their main sponsor, perhaps as a way to make them a more attractive purchase for all forms of business.

Meanwhile Renault are cutting a lot of jobs but have pledged to stay in F1.

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      In September 2016, Liberty Media purchased a minority stake in the sport from CVC Capital Partners ahead of a hoped-for full buyout in time for the 2017 season. As part of the deal, the sport adopted a model similar to that used by the US National Football League and Major League Baseball, with teams entitled to purchase a stake in the sport As a response to widespread changes in the technical regulations expected to increase cornering speeds by up to 40 km/h (24.9 mph), the FIA requested that every circuit on the calendar undergo revisions to update safety features.
      TECHNICAL REGULATION CHANGES:
      The technical regulations governing bodywork design were revised for 2017, with the objective of improving lap times by four to five seconds over the 2016 generation of cars. These changes include: An increase of the width of the front wing to 1,800 mm (70.9 in). Lowering the rear wing by 150 mm (5.9 in) and moving its position back by 200 mm (7.9 in). The leading edge of the barge boards being brought forward to allow teams more freedom in controlling airflow. An increase of the width of the front and rear tyres to allow cars to generate more mechanical grip. The minimum weight of the car including the driver being raised by 20 kg to 722 kg, with teams allowed to use 105 kg of fuel to account for the increase in minimum weight. The token system used to regulate power unit development — where the power unit was divided into individual areas, and each area assigned a points value with development of these areas deducting points from a manufacturer's overall points quota — will be abandoned. Restrictions are to be placed on the dimensions, weight and the materials used to build each individual component of the power unit. Teams are restricted to four power units per season regardless of the number of Grands Prix in the season. Previous seasons had included a provision for a fifth power unit if the number of Grands Prix in a season exceeded 20; from 2017, this provision is to be abandoned. The cost of a power unit supply is reduced by €1 million in 2017 ahead of a further reduction in 2018. Cameras will no longer be permitted to be mounted on stalks, located on the nose of the car.
      SPORTING REGULATION CHANGES:
      Under rules introduced in 2015, grid penalties for exceeding a driver's quota of power unit components carried over from one race to the next if the penalty could not be fully served when issued. When this carry-over system was abandoned, teams could build up a reserve of spare components by introducing several at once while only serving a single grid penalty. From 2017, teams will only be able to use one new component over their quota per race, with any additional components incurring further penalties. This change prevents teams from "stockpiling" spare power unit components. Power unit suppliers will have an "obligation to supply", mandating that they supply power units to any team, should a team end up without an agreement. The rule was introduced following the breakdown in the relationship between Renault and their customer teams Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso at the end of the 2015 season that left both teams in limbo until deals could be arranged. In the event that a race is declared wet and must start behind the safety car, the grid will follow normal starting procedures once conditions are declared satisfactory for racing. Drivers will line up on the grid for a standing start once the safety car pulls into pit lane, although any laps completed behind the safety car will count towards the total race distance.
    • By Jasonmufc
      Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team (Mercedes)
       #44 Lewis Hamilton
       #6 Nico Rosberg

       Scuderia Ferrari (Ferrari)
       #5 Sebastian Vettel
       #7 Kimi Räikkönen
       
       Williams Martini Racing (Mercedes)
       #19 Felipe Massa
       #77 Valtteri Bottas
       
       Red Bull Racing (Renault, TAG-Heuer branded)
       #3 Daniel Ricciardo
       #26 Daniil Kvyat (Round 1-4) /  #33 Max Verstappen (Round 5-21)
       Sahara Force India F1 Team (Mercedes)
       #11 Sergio Pérez
       #27 Nico Hülkenberg
       
       Renault Sport F1 Team (Renault)
       #20 Kevin Magnussen
       #30 Jolyon Palmer
       
       Scuderia Toro Rosso (Ferrari 0594/4, 2015 spec)
       #33 Max Verstappen (Round 1-4) /  #26 Daniil Kvyat (Round 5-21)
       #55 Carlos Sainz, Jr.
       Sauber F1 Team (Ferrari)
       #9 Marcus Ericsson
       #12 Felipe Nasr
       
       McLaren Honda (Honda)
       #14 Fernando Alonso (Round 1, 3-21) /  #47 Stoffel Vandoorne (Round 2)
       #22 Jenson Button
       
       Manor Racing MRT (Mercedes)
       #88 Rio Haryanto (Round 1-12) /   #31 Esteban Ocon (Round 13-)
       #94 Pascal Wehrlein
       Haas F1 Team (Ferrari)
       #8 Romain Grosjean
       #21 Esteban Gutiérrez
      CALENDAR
      22th-25th February 2016
      Pre-Season Testing 1 - (Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona)
      1st-4th March 2016
       Pre-Season Testing 2 - (Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona)
      20th March 2016
       Round 1 - Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne)
      3rd April 2016
       Round 2 - Bahrain Grand Prix (Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir)
      17th April 2016
       Round 3 - Chinese Grand Prix (Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai)
      1st May 2016
       Round 4 - Russian Grand Prix (Sochi Autodrom, Sochi)
      15th May 2016
       Round 5 - Spanish Grand Prix (Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona)
      29th May 2016
       Round 6 - Monaco Grand Prix (Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo)
      12th June 2016
       Round 7 - Canadian Grand Prix (Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal)
      19th June 2016
       Round 8 - Grand Prix of Europe (Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan)
      3rd July 2016
       Round 9 - Austrian Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring, Spielberg)
      10th July 2016
       Round 10 - British Grand Prix (Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone)
      24th July 2016
       Round 11 - Hungarian Grand Prix (Hungaroring, Budapest)
      31th July 2016
       Round 12 - German Grand Prix (Hockenheimring, Hockenheim)
      28th August 2016
       Round 13 - Belgian Grand Prix (Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot)
      4th September 2016
       Round 14 - Italian Grand Prix (Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza)
      18th September 2016
       Round 15 - Singapore Grand Prix (Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore)
      2nd October 2016
       Round 16 - Malaysian Grand Prix (Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur)
      9th October 2016
       Round 17 - Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka)
      23rd October 2016
       Round 18 - United States Grand Prix (Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas)
      30th October 2016
       Round 19 - Mexican Grand Prix (Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City)
      13th November 2016
       Round 20 - Brazilian Grand Prix (Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo)
      27th November 2016
       Round 21 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - (Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi)

      General changes:
      The FIA and Formula One Management will be granted greater power to change the Sporting and Technical Regulations and to make decisions affecting the governance of the sport. Technical Regulation changes:
      Cars were required to be designed with a separate wastegate for exhaust gases to pass through in a bid to increase the noise of the cars following criticism since the introduction of the 2014 generation of engines. Tyre supplier Pirelli introduced a fifth tyre compound known as "ultrasoft", with the manufacturer stating that they would only be available on street circuits. Pirelli changed their approach to tyre supply in 2016, bringing three dry compounds to races instead of two. The compounds are made public two weeks before each event. Pirelli assigns two "choice" compounds, and a third set (the softest available regardless of Pirelli's selection) are given to teams reaching Q3. Drivers select their remaining ten tyre sets for the event between the three compounds and must use two dry compounds during the race, provided that at least one set is from the Pirelli "choice" selection. The FIA has opted to increase the number of tokens available for power unit development starting in 2016. While the initial plans would have given manufacturers fifteen tokens for the season, the number was raised to thirty-two, the same number as 2014, in order to allow struggling manufacturers such as Renault and Honda to improve their development. This decision also allows further development on parts that were initially planned to be closed off, including the upper and lower crankcase, valve drive, crankshaft, air-valve system and ancillaries drive. Sporting Regulation changes:
      Starting in 2016, the number of pre-season tests were reduced from three to two. The FIA formally increased the maximum events allowed in a season from 20 to 21 to accommodate the calendar's approval. The stewards are given greater powers in enforcing track limits, with drivers required to stay between the white lines marking the edges of the circuit, except in cases of driver error. The change was introduced after an investigation by Pirelli into Sebastian Vettel's high-speed blow-out at the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix that concluded that Vettel's off-track excursions had been a significant factor in the incident. The FIA is also exploring a number of solutions to discourage drivers from abusing track limits and aid in their policing, including GPS tracking, the reprofiling of kerbs, the installation of pressure-sensitive sensors and the use of high-speed cameras. Any driver who causes the start of the race to be aborted will be required to start the race from pit lane at the restart. The procedure for issuing gearbox penalties will be amended so that penalties are applied in the order that they are awarded, bringing the system in line with the wider grid penalty system. The Virtual Safety Car system is to be used in practice sessions as well to avoid the unnecessary use of red flags and session stoppages. The drag reduction system, which is deactivated when under Virtual Safety Car periods and full-course yellow flags, is to be available as soon as a Virtual Safety Car period has ended; drivers previously had to wait two laps before the system was reactivated. The qualifying process was heavily revised two weeks before the season began. The three-period format first introduced in 2006 was retained, but with a progressive "knock-out" style of elimination. Despite widespread criticism of the format at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, and a vote from the teams to revert to the pre-2016 format, the FIA's F1 Commission chose to maintain the system ahead of a full review later in the season. The stewards' powers to monitor pit-to-car communications were broadened for the 2016 season, with race control able to monitor the radio feeds for each driver in real time and consult with engineering advisors to further monitor the content in a bid to crack down on driver coaching and the use of coded messages. The process new drivers go through in order to qualify for a superlicence will be changed, with additional restrictions put in place as part of the wider FIA Global Pathway. The changes were introduced following controversy surrounding Max Verstappen qualifying for a superlicence at the age of 16 after a single season competing in European Formula 3.
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