live Infotainment Factory: The one thing that can stop Hamilton

Trending

>

Post Top Ad

Post Top Ad

Thursday, 29 August 2019

The one thing that can stop Hamilton


//

The Formula One circus rolls into Belgium this weekend, marking the end of the summer break, and the push towards the end of what's been an action packed season.

With nine races remaining in 2019, Wide World of Sports looks at the storylines that will dominate the coming months.

 Can anyone catch Lewis Hamilton?

The head says there's no possible way Max Verstappen can win this year's championship. But he's also the only realistic challenger to Lewis Hamilton, despite the fact Valtteri Bottas currently sits in second spot in the title race.

Hamilton is a commanding 62 points ahead of Bottas (25 points are awarded for a win) and 69 points ahead of Verstappen, so it's going to require a mechanical failure and/or crash from Hamilton to open the door even a fraction.

Realistically, Bottas, who was last night confirmed as a Mercedes driver again for 2020, isn't going to make up the deficit in the same car as Hamilton. But Red Bull's form prior to the summer break gives hope that maybe Verstappen can mount an unlikely challenge in the back end of the season. The Dutchman scored more points than anyone over the last four races, including wins in Austria and Germany, and is the only driver to have finished in the top five in every race so far this season.

Verstappen has been driving as well as anybody this season, and although it will be a stretch, if luck is on his side he can at least give Hamilton a scare.

 

Max Verstappen drove brilliantly to finish third

Will Ferrari win a race in 2019?

It's unbelievable that this is even a question after 12 races of the season. The Italian marque were the form team of the pre-season, and it seemed like the five year dominance of Mercedes had come to an end. But the pace went mysteriously missing on the flight to Melbourne for the opening race, and although there's been glimpses of it at times during the season, neither Sebastian Vettel or Charles Leclerc have been seriously able to threaten the leaders on a consistent basis.

Both drivers could point to races they should have won: Leclerc in Bahrain and possibly Azerbaijan, Vettel in Canada, but the next two races should suit Ferrari perfectly. The long straights in Belgium and Italy give the cars a chance to stretch their legs, and the top speed advantage enjoyed by the red cars should come to the fore.

Winning their home race in Italy would almost be enough to paper over the cracks, but there's no escaping the fact that 2019 has been a disappointing season, regardless of what transpires in the coming weeks.

 

Sebastian Vettel finished second for Ferrari.

How will Alex Albon fare at Red Bull?

It's the million dollar question. After months of speculation over the future of Pierre Gasly, the Frenchman was given the flick after the Hungarian Grand Prix, just weeks after receiving the full support of Red Bull management (NRL and AFL coaches could sympathise with Gasly's plight).

There's no doubt Gasly underperformed since replacing Daniel Ricciardo, he managed just 63 championship points compared to the 181 scored by Max Verstappen in an identical car. It left the team vulnerable, with Red Bull 44 points behind Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship, if Gasly had been performing at even three-quarters of the level of Verstappen things would be different. And this is serious business, the difference

for the team between finishing second or third in the championship is many millions of dollars.

But is Albon the answer? Nobody really knows. The 23-year-old has only driven in 12 races, never finishing higher than sixth. How will he go fighting with the likes of Hamilton and Vettel at the pointy end? In his favour is the fact that Gasly didn't set the bar very high, if Albon can bring the car home consistently in the top five he will be seen as an improvement.

With Red Bull yet to decide on a partner for Verstappen in 2020, Albon's career might depend on what happens in the next three months.

 

Can Daniel Ricciardo pull Renault out of the mire?

Speaking of million dollar questions (or in the case of Formula One, multi-million dollar questions), what can Renault do in the remaining races to salvage what's been a miserable season so far?

Neither Ricciardo or teammate Nico Hulkenberg scored a point in the final two races before the break, and the team has lost touch with McLaren in the Constructors' Championship. From a pre-season goal of closing the gap to the top three, the team finds itself languishing in sixth spot, and unless there's a massive turnaround in fortunes, fifth would appear to be the best they can hope for this year.

With Esteban Ocon confirmed last night as Ricciardo's teammate for 2020, Hulkenberg's future could be on the line in the remaining races of this season.

"It's time to get going again and I'm ready for the challenge," Hulkenberg said.

"These next two back-to-back races are almost a make or break for our season. We have to be on it."

For Ricciardo, it's been a difficult adjustment to life in the midfield, and he's targeting trouble-free weekends in a bid to put some points on the board.

"It's been a challenging season so far, we can't hide from that," Ricciardo said.

"There have been some positives, some things not so good, so the summer break was ideal for us.

"It was nice to take some time off, have a holiday in Los Angeles, and not think too much about racing. It was the same for the team, so hopefully we're all feeling refreshed now.

"We're targeting a better second-half of the season to catch our competitors. I know we can do it, we just need cleaner weekends."

The Formula One circus rolls into Belgium this weekend, marking the end of the summer break, and the push towards the end of what's been an action packed season.

With nine races remaining in 2019, Wide World of Sports looks at the storylines that will dominate the coming months.

 Can anyone catch Lewis Hamilton?

The head says there's no possible way Max Verstappen can win this year's championship. But he's also the only realistic challenger to Lewis Hamilton, despite the fact Valtteri Bottas currently sits in second spot in the title race.

Hamilton is a commanding 62 points ahead of Bottas (25 points are awarded for a win) and 69 points ahead of Verstappen, so it's going to require a mechanical failure and/or crash from Hamilton to open the door even a fraction.

Realistically, Bottas, who was last night confirmed as a Mercedes driver again for 2020, isn't going to make up the deficit in the same car as Hamilton. But Red Bull's form prior to the summer break gives hope that maybe Verstappen can mount an unlikely challenge in the back end of the season. The Dutchman scored more points than anyone over the last four races, including wins in Austria and Germany, and is the only driver to have finished in the top five in every race so far this season.

Verstappen has been driving as well as anybody this season, and although it will be a stretch, if luck is on his side he can at least give Hamilton a scare.

 

Max Verstappen drove brilliantly to finish third

Will Ferrari win a race in 2019?

It's unbelievable that this is even a question after 12 races of the season. The Italian marque were the form team of the pre-season, and it seemed like the five year dominance of Mercedes had come to an end. But the pace went mysteriously missing on the flight to Melbourne for the opening race, and although there's been glimpses of it at times during the season, neither Sebastian Vettel or Charles Leclerc have been seriously able to threaten the leaders on a consistent basis.

Both drivers could point to races they should have won: Leclerc in Bahrain and possibly Azerbaijan, Vettel in Canada, but the next two races should suit Ferrari perfectly. The long straights in Belgium and Italy give the cars a chance to stretch their legs, and the top speed advantage enjoyed by the red cars should come to the fore.

Winning their home race in Italy would almost be enough to paper over the cracks, but there's no escaping the fact that 2019 has been a disappointing season, regardless of what transpires in the coming weeks.

 

Sebastian Vettel finished second for Ferrari.

How will Alex Albon fare at Red Bull?

It's the million dollar question. After months of speculation over the future of Pierre Gasly, the Frenchman was given the flick after the Hungarian Grand Prix, just weeks after receiving the full support of Red Bull management (NRL and AFL coaches could sympathise with Gasly's plight).

There's no doubt Gasly underperformed since replacing Daniel Ricciardo, he managed just 63 championship points compared to the 181 scored by Max Verstappen in an identical car. It left the team vulnerable, with Red Bull 44 points behind Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship, if Gasly had been performing at even three-quarters of the level of Verstappen things would be different. And this is serious business, the difference

for the team between finishing second or third in the championship is many millions of dollars.

But is Albon the answer? Nobody really knows. The 23-year-old has only driven in 12 races, never finishing higher than sixth. How will he go fighting with the likes of Hamilton and Vettel at the pointy end? In his favour is the fact that Gasly didn't set the bar very high, if Albon can bring the car home consistently in the top five he will be seen as an improvement.

With Red Bull yet to decide on a partner for Verstappen in 2020, Albon's career might depend on what happens in the next three months.

 

Can Daniel Ricciardo pull Renault out of the mire?

Speaking of million dollar questions (or in the case of Formula One, multi-million dollar questions), what can Renault do in the remaining races to salvage what's been a miserable season so far?

Neither Ricciardo or teammate Nico Hulkenberg scored a point in the final two races before the break, and the team has lost touch with McLaren in the Constructors' Championship. From a pre-season goal of closing the gap to the top three, the team finds itself languishing in sixth spot, and unless there's a massive turnaround in fortunes, fifth would appear to be the best they can hope for this year.

With Esteban Ocon confirmed last night as Ricciardo's teammate for 2020, Hulkenberg's future could be on the line in the remaining races of this season.

"It's time to get going again and I'm ready for the challenge," Hulkenberg said.

"These next two back-to-back races are almost a make or break for our season. We have to be on it."

For Ricciardo, it's been a difficult adjustment to life in the midfield, and he's targeting trouble-free weekends in a bid to put some points on the board.

"It's been a challenging season so far, we can't hide from that," Ricciardo said.

"There have been some positives, some things not so good, so the summer break was ideal for us.

"It was nice to take some time off, have a holiday in Los Angeles, and not think too much about racing. It was the same for the team, so hopefully we're all feeling refreshed now.

"We're targeting a better second-half of the season to catch our competitors. I know we can do it, we just need cleaner weekends."

https://ift.tt/34ajqIY
//

No comments:

Post a Comment