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Old 18 Apr 2017, 00:09 (Ref:3727439)   #1
Razzzor
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Razzzor should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridRazzzor should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridRazzzor should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
F1's 2017 rising stars analysis

There's quite a lot of young talent in F1 at the moment, in particular with far more experienced team mates. So we're ending up with a lot of these young guys fighting each other in the mid/back field. I find it very interesting watching these guys, because in 5-10 years time some of them could be at the front of the field battling the likes of Ricciardo, Verstappen (who's still almost a youngster himself) etc. So I thought I'd make up a thread so we can discuss their performances post-race.

Ocon: paired with Perez who's really come on strong the last two years and become a bit of Frentzen in being able to outperform mid-field machinery. So to have three consecutive 10th place finishes and really not that far behind Perez in each race is very good so far. He even beat him in qualifying at Bahrain, although I think Perez might have not got his fast lap in. Certainly best of the new guys so far, which is surprising as he only had 3 starts last year and F3 to GP3 to DTM is a unique way to enter F1. I thought DTM would spell the end of his F1 hopes especially when he was sitting dead plum last in points before his F1 call-up. But good job so far.

Vandoorne: paired with Alonso it's going to be easy to see how good he is if he can get anywhere close to Alonso regularly. Unfortunately last in round one (I think he had some car issues), retirement in round two and then DNS in round three. We've hardly had a chance to see his skill thus far. But if qualifying is anything to go by, he's getting closer: 1 second, 0.5s, 0.3s. I hope the paddock don't forget his skill level because of the dud McLaren.

Palmer: paired with Hulk, very equal in talent with Perez so against another good comparison, especially as Hulk has been very good so far this year. Palmer looked terrible at Australia, but they fixed the issue for round two although it still only saw him 18th on the grid ahead of Max with issues and Ocon. Meanwhile Hulk is up in 7th. But Hulk had a terrible race and they finished 12-13, not so bad. Come China he finally starts showing some promise by making the top 10, although 1.2sec down on Hulkenburg 7th to 10th. I guess Palmer must have used all his good tyres up just getting there. But in the race he spent all day battling Kyvat, Ericsson, Alonso, maybe even Ocon and Wehrlein had featured around the mid-field battle. But ultimately they all somehow passed him and he ended up dead last. Hulkenburg in 9th. He did have front wing damage, don't know if they ever changed it (probably not) so it could have effected performance, but it was his own fault in mis-judging a pass. I still haven't given up on Palmer on being a good solid driver, his GP2 championship was strong and DAMS haven't been real contenders since. Even Rowland probably won't do what Palmer did in that team.

Magnussen: paired with Grosjean. Does anyone want to take a stab on who's best between Perez, Hulk and Grosjean? They're all great drivers. Magnussen and Palmer didn't stand out at Renault last year and the car was unreliable so hard to compare them. But now we can with Magnussen up against Grosjean. Qualifying, 1.4sec in Australia to Grosjean, but Magnussen actually out-qualified him in round two, but it was back to the rear at Bahrain while Grosjean was up in 9th. Apparently Kev didn't get his fast lap in because of the flags caused by Sainz. In terms of race results, they both DNF'd Australia, Magnussen was a standout at China taking 8th with Grosjean back in 11th, Magnussen again DNF'd Bahrain so it's hard to judge his performances so far based on one good result. I still think he's a good driver.

Stroll: paired with the "old retiree" as the commentators love to call him. Completely out of his league at Australia, over 2sec down on Massa and crashing in the race if I remember rightly (and qualifying or practise, much to everyones amusement). Started 10th in China, 1.2sec down on Massa, but another DNF. He looked okay again Bahrain, qualifying 12th although that ended up being 1.1 down on Massa's final lap. This time his crash in the race was 100% Sainz Jr's fault. Getting better for the pay driver but Williams is the fourth best car so he should be doing what Ocon is doing.

Wehrlein: well we're not spoilt with pairing him with Ericsson, in my opinion the weakest driver in the field. If Wehrlein can't beat him, he shouldn't be in F1. And after pulling out of the first two rounds he's probably lost some fans. 0.6s faster than Ericsson in quali, 11th in the race beating Kyvat, Palmer, Alonso. He was ahead of Ericsson before his teammate retired. Decent result for his first race of the season. Sauber only managed two finishes better than that in 2016 - 9th for Nasr, 11th for Ericsson.

Giovanazzi: his race one performance was great, but I think he pretty much ended his F1 career in China with multiple crashes. Poor Gio, but hey he's got more experience than Stroll who came straight from F3, same goes for Verstappen, Kyvat, Bottas when they first entered F1. Giovanazzi was nearly GP2 champion last year. He'll be lost in the WEC classes now.

Those are my thoughts on the first 3 races. Ocon standing out the most just from consistency, although he hasn't beaten his team mate yet. All the others have had to deal with DNFs.
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Old 18 Apr 2017, 10:08 (Ref:3727516)   #2
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My two cents on your post above:
To answer your question I really rate Grosjean, but he needs to keep his head together. He is one of those drivers, and there's a fair few on F1 at the moment, when things aren't going that well seem to fall to pieces completely, rather than just trucking on and getting a solid finish.

And I don't think (hope at least) that this will be the last we see of Giovinazzi. He showed huge promise in Australia and everyone was talking about him and almost writing of Wehrlein. A bad weekend and AG is gone forever? I really hope not. I'd st least like to see him get another test with Ferrari, or perhaps a Sauber seat next year to see what he's got. He was under such huge pressure to do something special after Australia I think it must have got to him. A driver needs at least a season to build with a team to prove themselves. Usually two.

And Palmer. I'm not sure on this boy. He had a crap car last year but struggled to match his team mate. This year with a much improved car it is just not looking good for him so far. I know he has had issues getting the car set up, and with the broken ARB in Australia, but he needs to do something good soon.
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Old 18 Apr 2017, 13:44 (Ref:3727561)   #3
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Ocon is showing well so far, certainly being consistently not far off Perez, shows he's taking the right approach so far. Didn't he give Max a good run in F3?

Vandoorne's talent is being wasted with that Honda engine so far. A great character who deserves better

Palmer is certainly competent enough for F1, but seems to be missing that final bit that separates the good from the very good. Up against a team mate as talented as the Hulk is not going to be easy either

Magnussen off track preparation has been questioned, but on the track he is doing well, especially in China. He should be around for a few seasons yet

Stroll, well you've got to break a few eggs to make an omelette. You can't be F3 champion without talent and he has got it. He seems to be learning from mistakes and can only get better. The fact he's got a rejuvenated Massa as team mate could help him

Wehrlein, after all the gossip over his fitness which forced him to miss the first couple of races, he responded in the best way possible, with a great drive to 11th after getting into Q2

Giovinazzi will surely be back, he's good enough not to be left on the sidelines. A couple of mistakes in China, but other rising stars have had weekends when they were young when they kept making mistakes
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Old 19 Apr 2017, 14:01 (Ref:3727763)   #4
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For me, the big question is, will any of the "up and coming" youngsters be a major star, or will they be among the ranks of the journeymen on whom F1 relies? I think Vandoorne and Ocon have real potential; the jury's out on Stroll but I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt for the moment; I think the others will shuttle between mid-grid teams unless they somehow end up in a dominant car.
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Old 22 Apr 2017, 08:40 (Ref:3728357)   #5
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Originally Posted by BSchneiderFan View Post
For me, the big question is, will any of the "up and coming" youngsters be a major star, or will they be among the ranks of the journeymen on whom F1 relies? I think Vandoorne and Ocon have real potential; the jury's out on Stroll but I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt for the moment; I think the others will shuttle between mid-grid teams unless they somehow end up in a dominant car.
Tend to agree BSF. Nowadays it's more about opportunity arising as much as it is about god given talent.

Be interesting to see how Ocon and Wehrlein compare at the end of the year. Ocon has started well at Force India relative to Checo, but Pascal illustrated he is still very serious about his career last weekend.

If they impress regularly it is not inconceivable that they could still end up as the Mercedes pairing in a couple if yesrs.
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