Wallio wrote: Salamander wrote:
You don't understand the hype? After he totally showed Bottas up despite having next to no time at all in the Mercedes Bottas had been driving all year? Yeah, Bottas is no Hamilton, but he's still a good driver.
I'm afraid I don't. I don't view beating Bottas as all that impressive (he is the Finnish Rubino afterall) and old Georgie-porgy finished below Kubica in the WDC in 2019 and was sitting in P21, plumb last in the WDC this year before his Merc drive, behind Latifi who is....well Latifi. Now I'm not saying Russell is the worst guy on the grid or anything, but I don't get why everyone thinks he's going to win 8,9,10 titles. He's another Trulli, fantastic qualifier, and really pretty meh on Sundays.
In at least some quarters, the lobbying to have Russell replace Hamilton seems to be motivated more by a desire to get rid of Hamilton than a belief in Russell...
With regards to Russell's wider performances and that one off race for Mercedes, I do agree that there is some element of caution that could be taken with his performances.
It is worth noting that Russell has taken part in quite a lot of tests for Mercedes over the years - I believe that he is estimated to have done about 5,000km of testing for Mercedes over the years - so he already has a fairly well established presence in Mercedes's operations and, as Mercedes's designs over the past few years have been iterative, experience of cars such as the late season W10 would potentially have already set him up in relatively good shape to drive the W11.
He also has undertaken simulator work for Mercedes in the past, and talked about knowing what components Mercedes were developing for the W11, including the DAS system that Mercedes had on their car in 2020 - so, in terms of a simulated experience, Russell will likely have already had some knowledge of how the W11 worked. The commonality of the power unit between the Mercedes works team and Williams, as their customer, would also have worked to his advantage.
As a comparison, consider how easily Hulkenberg slotted back in to the Racing Point team and managed to get up to pace so rapidly - he hadn't driven for them since 2016, but both he and the team found it pretty easy to work together and for Hulkenberg to adjust to the car, and that was with the disadvantage of having not driven an F1 car for 8 months.
On the other side of the coin, there is the question of how well Bottas performed and whether his performance was entirely representative either. The press as a whole were pretty aggressive towards Bottas throughout that weekend, and I do think that Bottas let that get to him - he was noticeably more agitated and erratic than usual, such that there is the question of whether it was a case of Bottas underperforming rather than Russell overperforming.
As you note, there was also a mismatch between his heroics on a Saturday and performances on a Sunday, notably when compared to Latifi. In terms of the time gap between the two, Latifi was often able to keep up a fairly decent pace relative to Russell and finished within a respectable distance more often than not - now, some of that will be a reflection of the necessities to manage aspects of the car, such as the tyres, fuel load etc., and I do think that Latifi isn't quite as poor as he is often portrayed (you'd think that he could barely drive at all from the way that some have portrayed him), but it is a little overlooked that the gap there isn't quite as large as you might expect.
Frogfoot9013 wrote:I wouldn't exactly call this an unpopular opinion. I think a lot of people, not just us forumites, miss the days of the FIA putting the fear of god into the teams (albeit with the exception of Ferrari) and dishing out harsh penalties like BAR being thrown out for two races or McLaren being stripped of their constructors' points, or even as you point out, actually making use of the black flag where it's called for. But by this point, I don't think any prospective FIA Presidential candidate running on a ticket of a more Mosleyish approach to leadership would stand a particularly good chance of being elected.
I would say that opinions seem to have shifted on that point, because there was definitely a sense at the start of the shift from Mosely to Todt that people welcomed the idea of a less interventionist and less combative FIA, and I would say that it did include people on this forum too. I wonder whether a Mosely style figure might initially be thought of in a positive way, but then might be considered as a return to "the bad old days" over time.
I do wonder, though, how the investigation into Ferrari's 2019 spec engine would have gone if we had seen the FIA acting in the way it did under Mosely.