Esteban Ocon, Renault, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Ocon: I could’ve finished the race on my first set of tyres

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In the round-up: Esteban Ocon says he could have driven the entire Portuguese Grand Prix on his first set of tyres.

What they say

Ocon did 55 laps on his original set of medium tyres and said he was still getting quicker on them when he had to make his mandatory pit stop:

It was a pretty decent race, pretty crazy I would say at the start. As soon as [the lights] got red, the rain started to drop. So I was like, ‘wow, good timing’.

So it was a very slippery couple of corners. But we managed to make those mediums last for a very long time and that was really good. Very pleased with that, the communication between myself and the team worked really well.

We did, I don’t know, 55 laps with the same set of tyres, still going faster lap by lap so very satisfying on that side. We had to pit, but actually I probably could have finished the race on that set, so that was nice. And to have both cars in the points on a weekend where we are struggling a bit for pace shows that even in tough moments we can perform and be in the points.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Red Bull need to swallow their pride and re-hire Alexander Albon’s predecessor, says @Fer-no65:

Gasly deserves another shot at Red Bull. What does he have to do to prove himself now?

Unlike Kvyat, he bounced back after being dropped from the main team. I like Albon, but he’s not done any better than Gasly, and they are giving him a lot more chances. Yesterday’s race was a very mature drive from him, taking care of the tyres well and battling his way up the order.

As much as I’d love to see the likes of Hulkenberg landing that spot at the second Red Bull, Gasly thoroughly deserves another promotion. After all, he’s a F1 race winner, the only one of those currently available for a seat next year (except for Kimi of course).

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  • 51 comments on “Ocon: I could’ve finished the race on my first set of tyres”

    1. János Henkelmann
      27th October 2020, 0:49

      “Modify the chicane at turn 11/12”???

      Sure, let’s circumcise the only great corner of the track.

      This idea is SO current F1.

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        27th October 2020, 7:59

        The only change I’d make to Albert Park would be keep all the painted lines on the circuit. They traditionally burn half of them off but I would keep all of them including the zebra crossing before Turn 3

      2. Agree 100%. Turn 11/12 is the BEST corner of the track by miles. I’d rather get rid of the corner 7 and make it a long turning straight (yes) from 5 to 9. But turns 11 and 12 should not be touched at all. Not only the best corners of that track but one of the best and fastest corners in all of f1. Under appreciated gems. Making it into a slow chicane is just a big mistake on all fronts. It is the same as making the 130R into a chicane, or eau rouge. Sacriledge.

      3. absolutely love everything about Albert Park. Just put modern barriers back on, as they used to do 5 years ago.
        Those scots really dislike Lewis… Maybe they appreciate Hams financial awareness…

      4. This track is perfect, the person who designs f1 tracks should not be allowed to change anything about it

    2. If Gasly returns to Red Bull, I wouldn’t be surprised if he underperforms again. That Red Bull car seems unapproachable and made to Verstappen’s specifications.
      I believe Red Bull won’t accept Gasly back for petty reasons. Red Bull must believe that accepting Gasly back would make them look foolish, even though that is the fair and rational thing to do. Marko and Horner don’t seem like straight guys to me. In my opinion, changing drivers mid-season is an exteme thing to do. Gasly has every right to feel mistreated.
      If I was Gasly, I would plan my exit strategy from Red Bull and follow the paths of Sainz and Ricciardo.

      1. Not to mention mid season driver changes are really tough. How well would gasly need to drive to prove something? That being said red bull would not really lose anything by swapping albon and gasly.

        Worst case scenario is that gasly does worse than albon. But even that would be useful info and would tell red bull that all of their alpha tauri drivers are not up to the task. Not albon, not gasly and kvyat not anymore either. Maybe get hulk to red bull while at it. Or put kvyat into the red bull. After all he did better than gasly and albon when he was at red bull. His seasons at toro rosso/alpha tauri have not done any good to him but he had more pace than the other two at red bull…

        Best case scenario gasly does well and red bull has a good driver for 2021. If kvyat beats albon at alpha tauri then next year they can run verstappen/gasly and kvyat/hulk. Or whoever they could put into the alpha tauri next to kvyat.

        Or just put hulk into the red bull and see how well hulk does for 2021.

      2. Yup red bull is incapable of supporting two drivers equally, they always puts all their eggs in one basket

    3. Disagree with CoTD.

      If Gasly goes back to RB, his performances may improve in comparison to his first stint, but it will still end in tears. It appears that Gasly in comfortable at AT, it seems like a nice place to be. Same for Kvyatt and Albon as well. RB is a high pressure environment, and some drivers may not respond well to that. It’s made worse when your teammate is consistently half a second ahead of you.

      In the last 5 years, RB have promoted 4 drivers, 3 of which have failed. Thats enough of a trend I feel. Whats the point in repeating the same mistake? Perez makes the most sense, steady hand who will score a good number of points and brings in a fair chunk of cash…however I think Haas or Sauber may need/want his money more…which leaves us with Hulk.

      1. If Perez get to choose i think he goes for RB but it all depends on Albon. If he does get beter in the last 5 races they will not replace him (small chance) Gasly should wait for 2022 before returning to RB as everything is reseted and the car isn’t Max trimmed.

    4. Re Cotd As I said in the other thread, I hope for Gasly’s sake that they don’t put him back in the Redbull. I feel like that seat is somewhat of a poisoned chalice for an up and coming driver – being pitted against and compared to an on-form and full of confidence Verstappen while having to drive a seemingly difficult car. I think Galaxy would benefit more from building his experience and reputation at Alpha, then look for opportunities elsewhere in the future.

      However, an experienced driver like Perez or Hulkenberg has less to lose, especially if they are otherwise out of a drive, so they would obviously jump at the chance to maybe score some podiums or wins in a front running car.

      1. @keithedin There is simply too much solid logic and common sense in what you say so therefore it will never happen, this is F1!!

        I think ego regarding the young driver programme has led to where we are, it does sound like someone has stepped back and decided to do what is best for RBR.

      2. You could be on the right track as they are planning to put Gasly in RB in 2022. So Perez (or Hulk) will be on a 1 year contract.
        But also it will be important if RB can use Honda’s engines in 2022.

    5. Please don’t change the turn 11/12 chicane at Albert park. It’s a phenomenal place to watch a formula 1 car both from the apex of turn 11 and the exit of 12. They are just impossibly quick through there and the direction change is incredible. The obsession with overtaking might detract from the spectacle in this instance. Watching an F1 car through that part of the track makes you realise not anyone can just drive an F1 car.

      1. @tommy-c

        The obsession with overtaking might detract from the spectacle in this instance.

        I think the same could be said with quite a few of the changes that have been made to circuits to aid overtaking for quite a while now.

        Take Imola as an example since it’s the next race. In 2006 they modified the Variante Alta chicane to make it a better overtaking spot, It used to be a fairly quick flick over the kerbs which was tricky to get right & now it’s just another fairly slow/tight chicane that has lost everything that made it as good as it used to be.

        The Bus Stop at Spa, Turn 10 at Barcelona, T1 at Nurburgring & the 1st 2 chicanes at Monza are other examples where I don’t think the corner/section we have been left with may well be better for overtaking but are certainly not as good a corner/section of track as what was there before.

    6. Verstappen will end Gasly’s career if they are in the same team.

      I’d like to see Hulkenberg in the second RBR to see him get that podium that has eluded him. I think Max will destroy him though.

    7. That second RB seat is a poisoned chalice until the design reset in ’22. Max has either got a tailormade car for an unorthodox driving style, or he’s a prodigious miracle worker in a car that wants to twitch into a wall when driven fast. That said, F1 isnt meant to be easy, and gasly might not get another shot at a frontrunning team if he doesnt get into RB before another young driver establishes himself next to Max

      1. I think reality is closer to that last bit – Max manages to coax speed from the car despite it not handling well at all.

    8. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
      27th October 2020, 7:33

      More than anything else, whether they pick Gasly, Albon, or someone else, Red Bull need to figure out how to run a two-car team. It’s something they seem to have lost the knowledge to do somewhere between 2009 and early 2011. They keep running their 2nd driver into a wall and completely breaking them mentally, thanks to their immense favouritism. They did it to Webber, they did it (sort of) to Kvyat, they’ve done it to Gasly, and now Albon too. It takes a special sort of talent to make good drivers consistently look like they arent even worthy of an F1 seat. Red Bull need to realise that they are not the dominant team of 2010-2013 when this strategy could have won them championships. If they really want to challenge Mercedes, they will need 2 cars.

      On a different note, interesting how quickly Jackie Stewart has changed his opinion on Hamilton. Just 3 weeks ago he said it was “difficult to justify” Hamilton being the GOAT, and now he’s saying he’s undoubtedly one of the greatest? Interesting. I’ve always felt that the argument of “but he drives the best car, he should be winning all the time” practically only gets brought up with Hamilton. All the other greats of the sport (Schumacher, Prost, Senna, Clark) all had absolutely dominant cars underneath them for significant periods in their career, but no one really calls them out on that. I think it’s also important to remember that Hamilton has beaten the likes of Button and Rosberg while teammates, and was equal with Alonso in his rookie season. Is he the greatest of all time? That’s impossible to say, but he should certainly be in the conversation if it is ever mentioned.

      1. RBR aren’t breaking their drivers, Max is. He’s clearly the quickest driver on the grid in my opinion.

        Ricciardo is one of the best drivers on the grid but ran off to a midfield Renault team because Verstappen well and truly had the upper hand on him.

        So Vettel was favoured for 2009-13 then all of a sudden they decided to favour Ricciardo in 2014?

        Reality is Webber was the best placed driver to win the championship going into Korea 2010 but stuck his car in the wall. Webber only has himself to blame for never winning a championship.

        Even going into Abu Dhabi Webber was ahead of Vettel in the championship.

        Vettel on the other hand took his driving to another level in those final races of 2010 and from there was untouchable in 2011.

        1. Max didn’t soundly beat Ricciardo, if at all. I think Ricciardo could see or at least sense that Max had the potential to do so, but the reality is that they were very evenly matched in their time together. Max, being very young, can be excused his failings at that time and has started to mature into a very good racing driver, who is probably ahead of Ricciardo now.
          Agree re Webber – that crash in Korea is where it all went wrong for him. Invited pressure and the momentum left him. I wonder had he won that race what the next few years would have held?

          1. It would have been a different Webber for sure if he just brought the car home in the points that day. It probably eats away at him to this day that spin into the wall in Korea.

            What Vettel did at the tail end of the 2010 season was extraordinary. Going into Abu Dhabi it was Alonso, Webber, Vettel and Hamilton all in contention for the championship and Vettel was faultless. Just his second year driving for one of the bigger teams on the grid (Vettel turned RBR into a “bigger” team you have to say) and outdrove his more experienced rivals.

            As for Max and Ricciardo, Ricciardo was soundly trounced by the end of their time together. I remember Ricciardo being ecstatic when he stuck it on pole ahead of Max at Mexico 2018 because it broke a run of Max dominance more than than the pole itself. It felt like he was really doubting himself. Points don’t really do justice to the dominance Max had over Ricciardo during their time together.

            1. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
              27th October 2020, 17:50

              It is delusional to say that RBR became a big team because of Vettel. They became a big team because of Newey. RBR were a top team from 2009, when Newey got the new regs to perfection, and Vettel was promoted at the perfect time. He was incredibly lucky with his title win in 2010, as Ferrari made a tactical blunder by pitting Alonso early (what else is new) and then Webber was told to shadow him. If either of them had the same strategy as Vettel they would have won the championship. As to Verstappen and Ricciardo, as I said in my other comment, at the time Ricciardo announced his departure from Red Bull Ricciardo was still ahead of Verstappen in the standings, and up to that point the head to head was 3-3 that season in races both of them finished. I don’t really see domination in that. Ricciardo knew he was a good driver, who would at least have been able to challenge Verstappen in the coming years given an equal chance. However, he knew he wasn’t going to get that chance, so he left.

            2. Thats just a dream. The added value of Max over Daniel was very clear

        2. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
          27th October 2020, 17:41

          LOL Ricciardo didn’t “run off” because Max had the upper hand. He wanted to leave the team because he could see that they were building the team around Verstappen. He was still above Verstappen in the championship in 2018 when it was announced he would move to Renault. Now I do think Verstappen is an exceptionally talented driver, bested perhaps only by Hamilton’s consistency and mental strength to the best driver on the grid at the moment. But I also think Ricciardo is a very talented driver, who had both the good luck that he arrived at Red Bull in a year that Vettel really struggled, but is also very strong mentally and thus was able to prevail. Indeed Webber was strong in the 2010 championship, but even then the hints were there of RBR’s future plans, with Webber getting the blame for Vettel’s mistake in Turkey and also being put onto a worse strategy in the final race (if he had had the same strategy as Vettel he would have beaten Vettel to the championship). From then on RBR focused exclusively on Vettel (I think beforehand they were still unsure whether he was mature enough to lead the team completely on his own) and built cars that suited Vettel much more than Webber. I do not entirely fault them for this, Vettel clearly had a much higher ceiling than Webber, but Webber was screwed over much more than was necessary.

          1. Now review this storyline with todays knowledge of a very mediocre Vettel. He lucked into 4 WDC and has never won a race starting outside of the top 3 I believe. Just wow. If ever someone needed the best car to win.. so RIC beating him was maybe not expected but in retrospect very very logical. We were all fooled by the combination of RB dominance and an utter utter poor Mark Webber. My grandma is probably better than Webber. So good luck to Aston. You would imagine them being able to look beyond the romantic image of having a WDC driver, but hey if nostalgia is what you are prepared to pay for..

      2. I think you said exactly what Stewart said: is he the GOAT? That’s impossible to say. But he’s one of the best. And I agree.

        1. The LOAT for sure (luckiest). And one of the very best

      3. @leonardodicappucino
        Actually, Stewart did not change his opinion, because he already said those few weeks ago that he counts Hamilton as one of the greatest. He only questioned the GOAT label, stating that it is impossible to compare drivers across eras, which is true IMHO.

        1. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
          27th October 2020, 17:31

          @pH my bad then, from what I remember from Stewart’s comments he didn’t really rate Hamilton much at all, but that must have just been me.

          1. @leonardodicappucino
            No problem. The reaction here on Racefans was as if Stewart did deny Hamilton, so you felt the general take on it. It gets a bit hot here when Hamilton is the topic :-), and Stewart was sometimes a bit…non-generous.

      4. @leonardodicappucino Convenient of you to leave out Ricciardo in your argument as that goes against it, right? There is nothing based on any fact that you have said that makes sense re RBR. They haven’t forgotten at all how to run a two car team, and they were doing that wonderfully with MV/DR, which is why they so wanted to retain him. DR moved on, however, and they have been trying to get back to a two car team ever since. They simply have only had relative rookies in their pool with which to do so, for now.

        They may take on Perez or Hulk and set aside their junior programme for now, if rumours have any basis, which is yet another reason to say you are wrong and that they do indeed want and know they need to get back to a two car team. Your phrasing ‘immense favouritism’ is pure unfounded rhetoric. Max gets no more favouritism than any top team has given their top driver as they have throughout the decades, with some exceptions like MS/Ferrari of course. No more favouritism than you yourself would give your top driver if you were in charge and you wanted to take advantage of his talent while you have it, as well as try to hang on to said driver for as long as possible by providing the necessary equipment that does justice to his talent. Or lose him.

        But anyway it should be painfully obvious by RBR’s language and actions with PG and AA, that they fully want a much stronger performance from Max’s teammate, whoever that is. And they don’t fear that for they know Max can handle himself out there and isn’t threatened by a strong teammate. They don’t need to favour Max other than to ‘favour’ him with a WDC level car, that being the WCC car, which is what all teams strive to do at all times for their drivers, particularly ones that are consistently not squandering the equipment and are even out-driving it and getting podiums with it.

        1. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
          27th October 2020, 17:30

          @robbie I left Danny Ric out not because I don’t think RBR tried running a two-car team at the time, but that imo Ricciardo is just a good enough driver (especially mentally) that he wasn’t broken by that, plus Vettel having an especially poor season before he left so they switched their focus to Ricciardo, that is until Max came in. The main reason that Ricciardo left was that he could see RBR was building the team completely around Max. I’m not criticising Red Bull for having a number 1 and number 2 system. Mercedes have that, Ferrari has that all the time. However, Red Bull are mentally destroying the confidence of these young guns causing them to be far below their level. It is clear that Gasly is a good driver, definitely top 10 on the grid, but he looked like one of the worst drivers in F1 in that RB. Same story with Albon. My point of Red Bull needing to learn how to run a two-car team is that they need to make sure that their second driver is given good enough conditions that they can perform mostly at their level, which is not what has been happening lately.

          1. @leonardodicappucino


            DR has never stated a concern that the team was being built around Max. Never complained about lesser treatment. We all saw him handle himself quite well alongside Max, seemingly unhindered to do so. He has stated that the decision to leave RBR was not just his hardest racing decision, but his hardest life decision. That does not at all sound to me like someone who simply knew he had to go because they were skewing things towards Max. He has cited several small reasons that added up, and he didn’t even want to call them ‘concerns’ as he thought that sounded unfair towards RBR. He called them ‘unknowns’ like the Honda engine coming and that he was going to lose his engineer who was moving on. He just felt he needed a change. The rhetoric that he was running away from Max and/or that the team was going to be only about Max, is simply that, rhetoric by fans that you are buying into, but which is not based on fact.

            So given that it is not nearly the Max-centric team that you claim, I reject your notion that they are not trying to run a two car team and are being unfair to PG and AA. Max’s outstanding performances and abilities may make it look like RBR are ‘destroying’ PG and AA, but in fact with Max’s exceptional talent in mind they are being understanding and nurturing to AA. By all accounts PG just wasn’t ready for a top team, and my goodness look at how well it has worked for him to have been retained and given the chance to get himself back together at AT. That’s kudos to the RBR program too.

    9. I see where the COTD is coming from, but unlikely to happen. He doesn’t appear to have a chance of a re-promotion, hence why I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some truth to the rumor of him moving to Renault for next season already, even if I think it’s more likely to happen for 2022. I still go by the expectation that he’s at AT next season as well, but time will tell.

    10. To copy and paste from the other thread into one consolidated list, here is the winning percentage of each of the most recent world champions (inc Senna just because…) comparing their individual win tally to the combined wins achieved by their teams (ie them plus their team mate).

      M Schumacher
      91 wins out of 107 = 85%
      Various – 0 (1991-1994)
      Herbert – 2 (1995)
      Irvine – 2 (1996-99)
      Barrichello – 9 (2000-05)
      Massa – 2 (2006)
      Rosberg – 1 (2010-12)

      32 wins out of 39 = 82%
      Trulli – 1 (2003-04)
      Fisichella – 2 (2005-06)
      Hamilton – 4 (2007)
      Nelson Piquet Jnr – 0 (2008-09)
      Massa – 0 (2010-20
      Raikkonen – 0 (2014)
      Button – 0 (2015-18)

      53 wins out of 68 = 78%
      Bourdais – 0 (08)
      Webber – 9 (09-13)
      Ricciardo – 3 (14)
      Raikkonen – 1 (15-18)
      Leclerc – 2 (19-20)

      41 wins out of 56 = 73%
      Various – 1 (1984-1987)
      Prost – 11 (1988-89)
      Berger – 3 (1990-92)
      Various – 0 (1993-94)

      92 wins out of 136 = 68%
      Alonso – 4 (2007)
      Kovalainen – 1 (2008-09)
      Button – 8 (2010-12)
      Rosberg – 22 (2013-16)
      Bottas – 9 (2017-20)

      15 wins out of 27 = 56%
      Various – 0 (2000-2005)
      Barrichello – 2 (2006-09)
      Hamilton – 10 (2010-12)
      Various – 0 (2013-17)

      21 wins out of 48 = 44%
      Heidfeld – 0 (2001)
      Coulthard – 2 (2002-04)
      Montoya – 3 (2005-06)
      Massa – 9 (2007-09)
      Alonso – 0 (2014)
      Vettel – 13 (2015-2018)
      Giovinazzi – 0 (2019-20)

      23 wins out of 55 = 42%
      Various – 0 (2006-12)
      Hamilton – 32 (2013-16)

      1. Schumacher was on another level. Never got the respect he deserved in particular countries.

        Mercedes have had 80 front row lockouts in the hybrid era.

        Ferrari had 15 front row lockouts between 2000-04. 2003-04 qualifying rules were different in that you had to qualify with your race fuel, but 2000-02 when it was based on raw pace Ferrari had 9 front row lockouts.

        This season alone Mercedes have had 10 front row lockouts in 12 races!

        What’s extraordinary about Schumacher is that in 1998, McLaren (who lapped the field in the opening race) had 9 front row lockouts in that season alone yet Schumacher still won 6/16 races and took the championship to the final round.

        I don’t see Hamilton coming close to accumulating 92 wins if he spent 1996-2006 at Ferrari, but I see a prime Schumacher easily averaging 15 wins per season from 2014-20 in the Mercedes.

        1. Oconomo/BigJoe, Schumacher won 24 of the 209 races that he won from the period from 2000-2002 from the front row of the grid, meaning that the percentage of races that Schumacher was winning from that front row is effectively the same as that of Hamilton – yet Schumacher is to be praised and Hamilton condemned for doing the same thing?

          What is really motivating your posts here? What is really behind your hatred of Hamilton and the all-consuming need to constantly criticise him? Is is just because of Verstappen, or is there something else – the comments about the “lack of respect” that Schumacher got in “particular countries” perhaps suggesting a nationalistic element as motivation for your actions?

          1. Oconomo/BigJoe, Schumacher won 24 of the 209 races that he won from the period from 2000-2002 from the front row of the grid, meaning that the percentage of races that Schumacher was winning from that front row is effectively the same as that of Hamilton – yet Schumacher is to be praised and Hamilton condemned for doing the same thing?

            I assume you mean 24/29 (I don’t know the correct number).

            Schumacher won from the front row with lesser machinery. F1 has never seen dominance as we have seen from Mercedes 2014-20.

            I think you have to look at the front row lockouts as well when you want to determine the dominance of a particular car.

            Ferrari didn’t have anywhere close to the number of front row lockouts as Mercedes (80 in 6.5 years compared to 9 in 3 years).

            I’m surprised anyone outside of hardcore fans still watch F1. How they allowed this kind of singular team dominance exist for what is closing in on a decade is mind boggling. They went to all kinds of lengths to stop Schumacher winning at the end of 2002 and 2004.

            the comments about the “lack of respect” that Schumacher got in “particular countries” perhaps suggesting a nationalistic element as motivation for your actions?

            I really hope those there’s not a race element towards the negativity towards Schumacher over the years. That would be appalling.

            1. David Bondo You have to acknowledge that what MS had along with the dominant car was a teammate under contract to not compete. And by granting MS that, then by extension they designed the car strictly with MS in mind, no need to concern themselves with what the other driver needed. Sure Reubens had a great car too…the same one that was built for MS. For proof of the contract see the post-race interview of Austria 2002. Further to that MS eventually enjoyed designer tires for his designer car, with unlimited testing to boot.

              So aside from MS having more advantages over his teammate and the rest of the grid than any driver has ever enjoyed, he still needed to be a bully on the track.

              The reason you see fewer front row lockouts with MS is because he never had teammates of anywhere near his level, by design, and they were driving a car much less suited to them. They weren’t to compete, by contract, a contract no actual potential WDC would have ever agreed to, but that was the trade off. Reubens would never have had Ferrari’s interest unless he were to agree to be a boot licker for MS. As well, in MS’s era there were teams closer to Ferrari and thus taking away front row lockouts, compared to the gulf between Mercedes and the rest of the teams throughout this hybrid era that has largely seen both Merc drivers at the front and then there’s everyone else.

              So for me MS proved that in order to compile the numbers he did, he needed a designer car with designer tires, unlimited testing, and a teammate under contract to not compete. And to be a bully as well. So when in your last paragraph you claim LH would not have done what MS did in his era, and MS would have done better than LH in the hybrid Mercedes, I have to thoroughly disagree. Put LH in MS’s era with all the same advantages and yeah he would have done just as well. As would other top drivers. Put MS in LH’s era, and it would have been something more like we saw with Rosberg Vs MS. Once MS didn’t have the designer car and tires and the unlimited testing, nor the subservient teammate but a teammate that actually was allowed and did indeed compete against him, he looked ordinary.

              Obviously LH has enjoyed a dominant car too. My takeaway is that such were MS’s advantages and such are LH’s car wise, that I don’t see what they have done as being something that no other driver could have done given the same circumstances. Not saying any driver, but many top level drivers, given their equipment and treatment on the team, would have also compiled big numbers. But alas, only a very few are lucky enough and are in the right place at the right time, combined of course with their hard work and talent, to get those very select opportunities and run with them. That’s just how life works sometimes.

    11. If Ocon can drive a race in a one set of tyres how can Valtteri struggle so much…

      1. He is a great driver but I’m not sure if the problem is with this generation of tyres, his driving style or something else. He has said it many times that he doesn’t know why he is slow. He should be experienced enough to know if there is something off. Is Mercedes really doing something that he can’t challenge Hamilton. Yes he is much slower but there is something odd about Bottas not knowing what is the problem..

        1. One would expect that Ocon would have been managed by the team to push the tyres to the point that they were trashed at 55 laps. It sounds like he should have gone quicker.

      2. I have an opinion
        28th October 2020, 7:02

        If only Ocon did not have to pit at all. On his new softs, he couldn’t pull away from Ricciardo on old mediums. Perez may also have done better had he stayed out on his old mediums, rather than pitted a second time.

    12. Cant help but feel Red Bull deserve their current predicament by taking Gasly over Sainz and letting him leave the stable entirely. Madness.

    13. I still think people are being too harsh on Albon. When Kvyat was demoted to Toro Rosso it obviously didn’t do him very good at all, and he was largely bashed throughout the media. Gasly too went through a long period of being attacked for being generally terrible, faced with questions on his ‘poor performances’ every weekend and people wonder why it damaged his confidence. Gasly has gone back to AlphaTauri – a much lower pressure environment and has excelled, showing how damaging that pressure had been. Kvyat meanwhile never seemed to recapture the spark he had.

      And now, showing we all learnt nothing from that experiement, people are now tearing down Albon. Like they guy’s quite young, and compared to both Kvyat & Gasly, enormously inexperienced and yet people are bashing him so hard? It seems enormously cruel. I’d say I’m a fan of Red Bull but I’m not a fan of how they handle their drivers – mentally and emotionally it seems enormously destructive, a meat grinder of talent. Kvyat & Gasly deserved better treatment during their time at Red Bull, and so does Albon.

      1. @rocketpanda I just can’t go along with your ‘meat grinder’ analogy. But I’d also ask for some clarity to your comment wrt ‘people’ being too harsh or ‘people’ this or that. If by people you mean fans, then you’re right and that’s just fans being fans with their varying opinions. I highly doubt PG or AA would allow what fans think to destroy their confidence, and so if by ‘people’ you mean those inside RBR, then I have to disagree.

        Look, Kvyat had his chances and he blew it with too many ragged performances. But the point is, he had been and has been given his chances. And he’s still in F1 and still at AT. He has had ample opportunity to impress, and has only taken that so far.

        As to PG and AA, these guys were not RBR’s first choice to be put in the RBR seat beside Max. They really wanted DR to stay, and if they had their way he’d still be there, and that would have allowed more time for their younger drivers in their programme to grow and learn and be more ready for a top car beside Max.

        So anyway rather than thinking of this as a meat grinder, I think they are just playing the cards they’ve been dealt, and are trying their best to nurture their young charges, but all the while knowing this is now the big leagues and there’s only so much hand holding they can do before they have to move on. It’s not ideal. They have spoken on how tough these driver decisions are, especially when they feel the need mid-season, but they earnestly do support and work with their drivers and give them all the help they can, and have to leave the rest up to the driver at some point. It is not malicious. It’s business. And they’d have far preferred to have retained DR and kept nurturing PG and AA so they’d be more ready. I think of RBR far more as nurturers than confidence or career destroyers. They’re providing the tools and the support and sometimes that can’t replace experience, but these are the cards they have right now, and it’s not their ideal, nor was it their master plan. But I believe they are very much behind AA and are helping him. That doesn’t mean he will have done enough, but I don’t think we will hear AA say they were unfair to him.

        1. I think it’s very easy to lose confidence in yourself if every weekend at your job you’re getting people asking you about the status of your seat, or why you aren’t able to match your team-mate, of whether you are concerned about losing your job. Red Bull themselves haven’t helped by becoming known for replacing people despite talking well of them, so that’s a natural fear to hold.

          No, neither Albon or Gasly were the first choice. Both are quite young, both with less experience of F1 machinery than Verstappen had at the time of promotion and both could have done with longer time to prepare in a lower pressure environment. Gasly being dropped may have been too fast, and now media and fans are calling for the same to happen to Albon? What happens if Gasly returned and underperformed and Albon excelled again at AlphaTauri? It’s just a ridiculous thing to do to keep swapping drivers in and out and hoping one of them will work, instead of actually working with someone to help them improve.

          I think calling Red Bull’s driver programme a meat grinder is being kind. They burnt through Alguersuari, Buemi, Vergne, Da Costa and Sainz – all of whom had decent enough talent to stick around for a lot longer than they did. I get Red Bull are looking for ‘special’ talent, but Marko especially has no patience for anyone and seems unable to ‘nuture’ a talent. Vergne, Da Costa & Buemi have shown they had more talent than they were given credit for, Sainz has moved on to other things and Gasly has shown a different environment got the best out of him. So I think it’s pretty fair to say the culture in the senior Red Bull team may have difficulty growing a talent or helping an underperforming one.

          And for Albon, and Gasly to a certain degree this is bad news. Albon’s only in his 2nd year, had very little F1 preparation compared to other rookies and already finds himself in the 2nd best team on the grid. He has no time to learn and doesn’t have the benefit of the experience the other ‘rookies’ did. His performances have been spiky – sometimes very good, other times a little poor. In a lower pressure environment he’d be doing great, and in fact to be where he is against Verstappen I’d say isn’t bad for someone of his experience. Personally I’m happy to read Red Bull are eager to keep him, despite the questions over his future. I’d like him to stay.

          1. @rocketpanda Yeah I want Albon to stay too. I do think you are being a bit harsh towards RBR, for even if they appear to have chewed up and spit out drivers such as you have mentioned, the fact is they gave them the opportunity to begin with, so it’s hard for me to be as harsh on RBR for that. It would be interesting to hear what these drivers have to say about their experience, and I’d be surprised if they didn’t at least acknowledge their own responsibility in their opportunity and what they did with it.

    14. Very encouraging about the Renault tyre wear. Of course this was on an ultrasmooth surface and Ocon was saving, but still. Speaks of good car balance. Hope this continues.

      1. Maybe also not going fast enough. The tyres would probably last 200+ laps at SC’s pace. Esteban Ocon seems to have lost his mojo (if he ever had it) and is being vastly inferior to Dan Ric

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