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Old 13 Jan 2017, 16:03 (Ref:3702375)   #1
Biscuits In A Red Bull
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An Open letter to Toto Wolff

Before I write this, I'd just like to make it clear that I haven't bothered reading the entire of the "who should replace Rosberg" thread(s) on this forum. So sorry if I'm repeating some claims made there and going over old ground. But recently I have been wondering as to exactly when Mercedes will announce their 2017 driver, and then Gerhard Berger came out publicly with this:

http://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/we...berger-865150/

And I couldn't help but agree, for various reasons. So without further ado, here is my somewhat passive aggressive open letter to Toto Wolff:

Dear Toto Wolff

I'm sure you know Christian Horner as a professional, and perhaps a personal level. If so, you can as him what happens when you gamble on a junior driver.

-- "But what about Daniil Kvyat???" interject the same voices who have seemingly infected top teams in Formula 1, preventing them from snapping up midfield stars, out of fear that "they could be the next Frentzen." --

For the record, here are the stats for the ones deemed as mistakes, or erroneous signings. Frentzen just wasn't good enough for Williams in 1997, claiming just one win and 6 further podium finishes in a top car across the season. Yet he finished 3rd in the WDC, elevated to 2nd after Schumacher was disqualified. He'd go on to claim 3rd in the championship for Jordan in 1999... For the record, Daniil Kvyat outscored Daniel Ricciardo in 2015 and had claimed Red Bull's only podium at the time he was demoted in 2016. If this is classed as "failure", then surely you should promote Wehrlein immediately?! He is young, and will mature and learn with experience and age. What's the point of grooming junior drivers if you're not going to promote them into your team? You may as well not bother investing in such a scheme, and if you're not going to bother, for all of his obvious talents, there are a handful of drivers I'd rather have in a top team than Valterri Bottas.

Having made that point, now think about Sebastian Vettel. Or Daniel Ricciardo. Or Max Verstappen. Or perhaps your own driver Lewis Hamilton. How much of a gamble did top teams take when choosing to hire them? Could it have backfired? Of course. But along with those 4 drivers, you have a total of 7 WDCs from 2 of those drivers, and the 2 drivers who most pundits and fans alike would say are likely to be the next first-time WDCs. So did the gamble pay off?

I've made a case there for what happens should the gamble succeed, and what happens when a gamble is deemed to have failed according to top F1 teams. If Wehrlein really is such a large risk that you are considering making your junior programme somewhat obsolete, then does it reflect on how highly you rate Wehrlein? Is he not deemed good enough? Otherwise he'd surely hire him? Wehrlein has tested F1 cars for a few years now, has experience racing in F1, spending a year overachieving for the underdog team. He knows how to win a top tier professional championship in DTM, and is part of Mercedes' junior driver programme.

-- To underline this point, what more he could have done in the circumstance Mercedes themselves have provided him? Because now Mercedes are debating signing him up because of, effectively, the circumstances aren't right. Who's to blame for that? And is it beyond comprehension, or even likelihood, that Wehrlein could overcome that? --

If Wehrlein is to become a genuine flop in a top team, and becomes known as another Frentzen, then he'll at least be able to bring your team the WCC home. If he's the next Kvyat, then he'll even outscore Hamilton! If he's worse than that, he'll be the biggest flop a top team has hired in modern F1 history. Yes, it could happen. But it shows a huge lack of faith in the driver and a academy if you are too scared to even allow it to happen.

-- There is a Michael Korda quote I find particularly relevant here. "The freedom to fail is vital if you're going to succeed."
By offering Pascal that freedom, he has the chance to succeed and fulfil his obvious talents - the talents Mercedes have been so keen to push into F1. And should he fail, then I can guarantee it won't be wasted. Both driver and team will learn something, and both driver and team will move on and, given time, it shall be another string to their bow. Is this really what Merecedes are afraid of?

Last edited by Biscuits In A Red Bull; 13 Jan 2017 at 16:11.
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Old 13 Jan 2017, 18:40 (Ref:3702392)   #2
billy bleach
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Originally Posted by Biscuits In A Red Bull View Post
Before I write this, I'd just like to make it clear that I haven't bothered reading the entire of the "who should replace Rosberg" thread(s) on this forum. So sorry if I'm repeating some claims made there and going over old ground. But recently I have been wondering as to exactly when Mercedes will announce their 2017 driver, and then Gerhard Berger came out publicly with this:

http://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/we...berger-865150/

And I couldn't help but agree, for various reasons. So without further ado, here is my somewhat passive aggressive open letter to Toto Wolff:

Dear Toto Wolff

I'm sure you know Christian Horner as a professional, and perhaps a personal level. If so, you can as him what happens when you gamble on a junior driver.

-- "But what about Daniil Kvyat???" interject the same voices who have seemingly infected top teams in Formula 1, preventing them from snapping up midfield stars, out of fear that "they could be the next Frentzen." --

For the record, here are the stats for the ones deemed as mistakes, or erroneous signings. Frentzen just wasn't good enough for Williams in 1997, claiming just one win and 6 further podium finishes in a top car across the season. Yet he finished 3rd in the WDC, elevated to 2nd after Schumacher was disqualified. He'd go on to claim 3rd in the championship for Jordan in 1999... For the record, Daniil Kvyat outscored Daniel Ricciardo in 2015 and had claimed Red Bull's only podium at the time he was demoted in 2016. If this is classed as "failure", then surely you should promote Wehrlein immediately?! He is young, and will mature and learn with experience and age. What's the point of grooming junior drivers if you're not going to promote them into your team? You may as well not bother investing in such a scheme, and if you're not going to bother, for all of his obvious talents, there are a handful of drivers I'd rather have in a top team than Valterri Bottas.

Having made that point, now think about Sebastian Vettel. Or Daniel Ricciardo. Or Max Verstappen. Or perhaps your own driver Lewis Hamilton. How much of a gamble did top teams take when choosing to hire them? Could it have backfired? Of course. But along with those 4 drivers, you have a total of 7 WDCs from 2 of those drivers, and the 2 drivers who most pundits and fans alike would say are likely to be the next first-time WDCs. So did the gamble pay off?

I've made a case there for what happens should the gamble succeed, and what happens when a gamble is deemed to have failed according to top F1 teams. If Wehrlein really is such a large risk that you are considering making your junior programme somewhat obsolete, then does it reflect on how highly you rate Wehrlein? Is he not deemed good enough? Otherwise he'd surely hire him? Wehrlein has tested F1 cars for a few years now, has experience racing in F1, spending a year overachieving for the underdog team. He knows how to win a top tier professional championship in DTM, and is part of Mercedes' junior driver programme.

-- To underline this point, what more he could have done in the circumstance Mercedes themselves have provided him? Because now Mercedes are debating signing him up because of, effectively, the circumstances aren't right. Who's to blame for that? And is it beyond comprehension, or even likelihood, that Wehrlein could overcome that? --

If Wehrlein is to become a genuine flop in a top team, and becomes known as another Frentzen, then he'll at least be able to bring your team the WCC home. If he's the next Kvyat, then he'll even outscore Hamilton! If he's worse than that, he'll be the biggest flop a top team has hired in modern F1 history. Yes, it could happen. But it shows a huge lack of faith in the driver and a academy if you are too scared to even allow it to happen.

-- There is a Michael Korda quote I find particularly relevant here. "The freedom to fail is vital if you're going to succeed."
By offering Pascal that freedom, he has the chance to succeed and fulfil his obvious talents - the talents Mercedes have been so keen to push into F1. And should he fail, then I can guarantee it won't be wasted. Both driver and team will learn something, and both driver and team will move on and, given time, it shall be another string to their bow. Is this really what Merecedes are afraid of?
Where is the evidence that Wehrlien is up to it? He has not won a top line single seater race, lucked into a DTM title and frankly didn't spank Haryanto as he should have. Journeyman at best
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Old 13 Jan 2017, 18:41 (Ref:3702394)   #3
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in part playing devil's advocate but also there is an element of this i do actually believe this...but why is there this expectation for a driver who was once part of a development program to get a seat in F1?

but that aside, Wolff was with Williams when Bottas first signed on as a test driver and Wolff was his manager (through his own driver development/sports management company).

to be fair i dont know the time line of whether or not Bottas was part of Wolff's program before signing at Williams or not.

anyways, i am not making a case for one over the other, just pointing out that while one has a direct link to Merc's development program the other was part of the Merc Team Principle's driver development program.

either way it seems like a driver who was developed/managed to be in F1 will get one of the top seats in the sport.

surely that is a success story for development programs no?
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Old 13 Jan 2017, 19:15 (Ref:3702408)   #4
Biscuits In A Red Bull
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Where is the evidence that Wehrlien is up to it? He has not won a top line single seater race, lucked into a DTM title and frankly didn't spank Haryanto as he should have. Journeyman at best
Where is the evidence that he isn't??? He's done what Mercedes have asked of him so far, so for them to say that's not enough could also suggest perhaps they didn't ask enough...

...as for Bottas, I know that there is the added complication of Wolff managing him.
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Old 13 Jan 2017, 23:28 (Ref:3702446)   #5
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...... with Toto having managed and being basically Bottas s boss he truly has developed him as a driver and taking a gamble by signing him. Merc is making the right choice

I totally agree with chilli.


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Old 13 Jan 2017, 23:53 (Ref:3702448)   #6
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...as for Bottas, I know that there is the added complication of Wolff managing him.
Not anymore.
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Old 14 Jan 2017, 00:00 (Ref:3702450)   #7
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Where is the evidence that he isn't??? ........
in case you didn't read post #2:
'He has not won a top line single seater race, lucked into a DTM title and frankly didn't spank Haryanto as he should have.'

Perhaps you'd care to rationally critique this rather than a simple rebuttal with no substance?
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Old 14 Jan 2017, 00:25 (Ref:3702453)   #8
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in case you didn't read post #2:
'He has not won a top line single seater race, lucked into a DTM title and frankly didn't spank Haryanto as he should have.'

Perhaps you'd care to rationally critique this rather than a simple rebuttal with no substance?
Why should he waste time refuting such a garbage post anyway?

"He has not won a top line single seater race"

Since Mercedes plucked Wehrlein from F3 (where he was a regular winner), he raced in DTM and a season at Manor in F1. When and where was he supposed to win a 'top line single seater race' (whatever that is supposed to mean, it's a very vague description)?

"lucked into a DTM title"

This is another rubbish take. Luck had little to to with it and it wasn't even that close in the end. He accumulated 19 more points than any other driver over 18 races (and the gap was even greater when he clinched the title). That's how you earn titles.

"didn't spank Haryanto as he should have"

And how should he have 'spanked' Haryanto? They were close in qualifying, but Wehrlein was much faster in races and regularly finished 30+ seconds ahead of a more than competent driver in Rio Haryanto. That's more than you should expect from any driver in F1 these days.
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Old 14 Jan 2017, 00:39 (Ref:3702454)   #9
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Not anymore.
I believe Mika is his manager now and he is (or was) a partner with wolff in that sports management/development company when Bottas was first signed.
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Old 14 Jan 2017, 01:42 (Ref:3702459)   #10
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I believe Mika is his manager now and he is (or was) a partner with wolff in that sports management/development company when Bottas was first signed.
Didier Cotton is primarily Bottas' manager. Bottas has been under Cotton's management since 2008. Cotton, Wolff and Hakkinen co-own ACES Management Group, and Bottas has been under that management structure until about June last year when Bottas decided to take matters more into his own hands. He is still under ACES management, but will make the decisions effecting his future.

Bottas' decision in June 2016 was a result of the approach from Renault for 2017. ACES Management Group (AMG) was not interested. Bottas was.

And the soon to be made public decision by Mercedes F1 means Wolff is no longer part of Bottas' management structure. It is in Wolff's contract with Mercedes F1.
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Old 14 Jan 2017, 10:20 (Ref:3702499)   #11
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in case you didn't read post #2:
'He has not won a top line single seater race, lucked into a DTM title and frankly didn't spank Haryanto as he should have.'

Perhaps you'd care to rationally critique this rather than a simple rebuttal with no substance?
What on earth do you mean? Unless you want me to elaborate, but Beryl has done a goob job of that now...

...If you want me to rationally critique a bizarre counter argument, when and where has Pascal Wehrlein had a chance to win a "top line single seater race?"

The reason I'm not dismantling your argument but instead asking you questions is to get you to think critically about your argument. Which bits are strong points, which bits are weak? This is quite simply a woeful argument because the moment you look into Wehrlein's "top line single seater" races, you'll realise that he has never raced in GP2 or FR3.5. His season in F1 was with the team which could only score points thanks to a phenomenal drive by Wehrlein himself at the Austrian Grand Prix. What do you expect him to win? As I have already said, these are also the circumstances that Mercedes themselves provided for him. If they wanted him to win top line single seater races, why put him in DTM? Pascal was also runner-up in the 2012 F3 Euro Series, but perhaps this just doesn't count as "top line?". He won a race in his second DTM season before winning his DTM title with a race to spare. Please could someone explain to me how you luck into a title before the season has finished???!!!

I don't really think there's much to say beyond that. I have repeated Beryl in places but since you're seem so desperate to have me die on the cross I've made as I'm obviously not providing anything of rational substance, there you go.
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Old 14 Jan 2017, 10:51 (Ref:3702505)   #12
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Personally I don't give a fig - I'm not an F1 fan. But I enjoy reading good debate with the cut and thrust of facts, argument and counter-argument. Equally I despair when I read a question (however good or daft) countered with simply a reversal. Beryl has done the work for you but thankyou for confirming.
PS - I reckon Toto knows what he is doing.
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Old 14 Jan 2017, 11:09 (Ref:3702509)   #13
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Personally I don't give a fig - I'm not an F1 fan. But I enjoy reading good debate with the cut and thrust of facts, argument and counter-argument. Equally I despair when I read a question (however good or daft) countered with simply a reversal. Beryl has done the work for you but thankyou for confirming.
PS - I reckon Toto knows what he is doing.
Fair enough, my style of debate isn't as confrontational as you may like then

I'd be surprised if Toto doesn't know what he's doing. At the end of the day, he knows Wehrlein, Bottas, and other drivers on the grid. He knows Hamilton too, and will be able to figure out who would partner him effectively (at least in his mind...), as well as the sort of driver the Mercedes team want to work with and could work with. He will have stats on drivers too, and will therefore know the strengths and weaknesses of his potential signings.

At the end of the day, this was simply an opinion piece designed to stir up discussion, a deliberate devil's advocate piece if you like - which is partly why I'm asking questions rather than defending my stance in the "letter", but again it is just an extension of my debating style.
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Old 14 Jan 2017, 11:34 (Ref:3702511)   #14
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I don't see Wehrlein being promoted now he has signed for Sauber. If not Bottas, then who?
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Old 14 Jan 2017, 15:31 (Ref:3702537)   #15
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What on earth do you mean? Unless you want me to elaborate, but Beryl has done a goob job of that now...

...If you want me to rationally critique a bizarre counter argument, when and where has Pascal Wehrlein had a chance to win a "top line single seater race?"

The reason I'm not dismantling your argument but instead asking you questions is to get you to think critically about your argument. Which bits are strong points, which bits are weak? This is quite simply a woeful argument because the moment you look into Wehrlein's "top line single seater" races, you'll realise that he has never raced in GP2 or FR3.5. His season in F1 was with the team which could only score points thanks to a phenomenal drive by Wehrlein himself at the Austrian Grand Prix. What do you expect him to win? As I have already said, these are also the circumstances that Mercedes themselves provided for him. If they wanted him to win top line single seater races, why put him in DTM? Pascal was also runner-up in the 2012 F3 Euro Series, but perhaps this just doesn't count as "top line?". He won a race in his second DTM season before winning his DTM title with a race to spare. Please could someone explain to me how you luck into a title before the season has finished???!!!

I don't really think there's much to say beyond that. I have repeated Beryl in places but since you're seem so desperate to have me die on the cross I've made as I'm obviously not providing anything of rational substance, there you go.
This is exactly my point He has not competed at a high single seater level so who knows how talented he is? In the end Bottas or Werhlien - if you had to face the merecedes board who would you chose? ....
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