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Old 2 Dec 2016, 20:50 (Ref:3693199)   #46
S griffin
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S griffin has a real shot at the podium!S griffin has a real shot at the podium!S griffin has a real shot at the podium!S griffin has a real shot at the podium!S griffin has a real shot at the podium!
Montoya would probably take Lammers' record away
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Old 2 Dec 2016, 21:33 (Ref:3693210)   #47
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A couple of out there names especially as I doubt that Mercedes would be looking as closely as other teams at sponsorship and drivers wallets so how about.

Ant Davidson
Former WEC champion and has F1 race experience
Has a current Super Licence
Already on a Mercedes contract
Is already working on developing the 2017 car as Mercedes simulator driver (all the correlation you want there)
2 questions
1... would he want another crack at F1,
2... is his body up to driving and not just simulating a single seater

Paul di Resta
current superlicence
3 years of relatively recent F1 race experience
Mercedes DTM contract
Questions
Never raced a hybrid (his time was in v8s) but would be familiar as Williams reserve driver.
Would he stand up for himself, in his time at Force India he seemed to be lead by the team into poor choices.
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Old 2 Dec 2016, 21:55 (Ref:3693216)   #48
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spider should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridspider should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
First of all - brilliant for him. Fantastic. A bright guy, way too bright for F1, I never got the feeling he 100% wanted to be there due to his brain bandwidth to do so much more than just drive for a living - and he won the World Championship. Clearly a superbly sharp man - an expert in physics, multiple languages etc.

I can't think of someone in sport, recently, who won the ultimate prize in his prime, and moved on.

Such an intelligent move. Retiring at the top, getting out of what is just a sport bubble, at the age of 31 - love it.

Now, it'll be Pascal, imo.

May I just say Lewis' camp, predictably, was classless in his PR reply (like most motorsport PR it won't even have been his words, but his PR Manager writing it entirely)
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Old 2 Dec 2016, 22:29 (Ref:3693219)   #49
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Originally Posted by spider View Post
First of all - brilliant for him. Fantastic. A bright guy, way too bright for F1, I never got the feeling he 100% wanted to be there due to his brain bandwidth to do so much more than just drive for a living - and he won the World Championship. Clearly a superbly sharp man - an expert in physics, multiple languages etc.

I can't think of someone in sport, recently, who won the ultimate prize in his prime, and moved on.

Such an intelligent move. Retiring at the top, getting out of what is just a sport bubble, at the age of 31 - love it.

Now, it'll be Pascal, imo.

May I just say Lewis' camp, predictably, was classless in his PR reply (like most motorsport PR it won't even have been his words, but his PR Manager writing it entirely)
Agreed, you've got to respect the strength it takes to make a decision like this.

As for who gets the second seat, I'm holding out for the 0.001% of Felix Rosenqvist getting it..
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Old 2 Dec 2016, 22:34 (Ref:3693220)   #50
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djinvicta has a real shot at the podium!djinvicta has a real shot at the podium!djinvicta has a real shot at the podium!djinvicta has a real shot at the podium!
Talk over this "scoop" then!

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/formul...rnando-9382299
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Old 3 Dec 2016, 00:28 (Ref:3693239)   #51
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I really think we're overthinking this. Mercedes have two F1-blooded juniors. Alonso, Vettel, Ricciardo and Verstappen all have contracts for 2017. If they don't pick Wehrlein or Ocon, what on Earth is the point of having junior drivers?
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Old 3 Dec 2016, 02:55 (Ref:3693249)   #52
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Livery should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
It will probably be Wehrlein, but thinking from a North American point of view and potential car sales....if that has any bearing on the decision...I would take a serious look at Alexander Rossi!!...Super License check, Track Experience check, F1 Experience check.

Andretti is always chasing a buck, so I'm sure an agreement would not be an issue to get him out of his contract at Andretti Motorsports.

I would also throw Robert Wickens into the potentials...especially with his ties to Mercedes and DTM, but after the Stroll signing at Williams, I can't ever see two Canadians at once in F1.
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Old 3 Dec 2016, 02:59 (Ref:3693250)   #53
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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
My thoughts on the various options, in order of most likely...

Wehrlein: I think it has to be this guy. Although, Mercedes already picked Ocon over him for the promotion so maybe they haven't been satisfied with him for some reason. It's an easy choice though isn't it? No drama just chuck him in, might not take the constructors but Hamilton has no trouble with a teammate taking points like he had with Nico.

There is the possibility that Nico, Mercedes and Wehrlein knew about this for some time, and that's why Pascal has been left without a promotion yet. They were just waiting for Nico to officially announce it first. Still, they should have announced Pascal by now if it were the case. Instead they're saying they'll be taking their time to make a decision.

Ocon: I'm not yet seeing what everyone else sees. He was nowhere in DTM. The year before he won a single race to Ghiotto's five, a lot fewer poles and fastest laps but consistency got him the title, and a much superior car in the ART. 2016 has shown those ART's are the dominant team in GP3. Trident definitely not, although Fuoco has been good this year in that car - and looks where it's got him, 2017 GP2 Prema driver. That's just about a guaranteed second in points to Leclerc. Ocon's not a Merc young driver though, is he.

Where's Ghiotto now - kind of forgotten about in GP2 mid-field (testing this week for Arden... wtf?!) while Ocon is being considered for the best seat in F1. I don't know how that happened. Still, I haven't watched too much of Ocon's career so I don't really know him that well. He's still basically a F1 rookie. Merc seem to like him. I think they'd be silly to give it to Ocon.

Sainz/Perez: the two best young but experienced drivers in my opinion that are in mid-field teams. How strong are their contracts? In Perez' case he's had some dodgy seasons, a lot of mistakes and a failure of a season at McLaren. But he's pretty firmly established himself as a good driver with this season and some of his drives at Sauber when he could have won races. Sainz Jr, well, he's been consistent this year I guess, and throughout his career. Could be a good choice if RB want to let him go, since they do have Gasly as backup.

Alonso: if Alonso joins Mercedes next year, they'll have somehow got the rules wrong and the car will be a slug, while McLaren will have miraculously returned to the front. Alonso is the modern day Stirling Moss. Jokes aside, he's probably the best driver Mercedes could get for 2017. Will he beat Hamilton? Probably not, Hammo will be extra motivated after Nico beat him this year. But it would be very close, and could even take points from each other and cost them both the title to a RB next year. Hamilton at peak vs Alonso in twilight, even in his rookie season Hamilton (with a lot of luck) outscored Alonso. Will Alonso spit in the face of McLaren and desert them? He should. He probably believes he's the best in F1, in reality he would definitely be top 3. He's now hinting at WEC so 2017 might even be his final year, or final few years if he drags it out another couple. But when you're probably the best F1 driver overall over the last decade, and haven't had a single title in that time period, I wouldn't blame the guy to tell McLaren to bugger off they've wasted two years of his career, and go off to Mercedes. Would Lewis deny it? I think he would. There's not many drivers Lewis would refuse I think, but I bet Alonso is one (maybe the only one).

Bottas/Grosjean: They'll be okay but they're not really that consistent with their results to be honest. Couple of good races for Grosjean early this year, some great races from him vs Kimi. Esteban has beaten him a couple times and Kimi's head often isn't in the game some seasons. Bottas, he was hardly any faster than Massa.

Hulk: It's funny, two years ago Hulkenberg might have got this drive. But now that we've seen Perez cast him to the shadows he won't even be considered for this drive, I would think. No one has bought him up anyway.

Button: surely his motivation would be a big disadvantage? He hasn't been beating Alonso this year. From a fan perspective we've seen Button in top teams and mid-fields for 16 years, I don't need to see his name at the top anymore. We've seen him vs Hamilton and although the fans like to bring up that Button outscored him in points, for those actually watching the races it was clear Hamilton was the faster driver throughout those years. At this point of their careers with Hamilton probably at his peak now, Button far over it, there would be no competition for Lewis. Button might be a fan choice, but I could actually see him doing what he did with those years at McLaren where some races he'd be farting around in 10th and you're wondering wtf he's doing while Hamilton leads.

Verstappen/Ricciardo/Vettel: I doubt they can get out of their contracts could they? If Ferrari let Vettel leave, they might as well sit out 2017 because Kimi won't be winning a title with them. He got ******* lucky in 2007 with the amount of points Lewis and Fred threw away, and the Kimi of the 2000s is a different driver to the Kimi of 2010s.

Verstappen/Ricciardo would be awesome at Mercedes, and actually I think it's possible either one of them could beat Lewis in the same car next year, depending on how much the rules effect Lewis. But we won't see them leaving RB. Alonso is the only other driver I could see beating Hamilton in the same car.

Kimi: I'm surprised even Ferrari still cling on to him actually. He just isn't a workerbee, the motivation we might see from someone younger will be far greater.

Vandoorne/Magnussen: ahhh, two strong but not yet proven drivers, in my opinion. It would be hilarious for Vandoorne to repay McLaren and their overlooking of him for 2016 to go and reject the seat and go straight to Mercedes. Awesome. Magnussen I still think is pretty good, probably another Grosjean/Hulk/Bottas/Perez quality driver. You'd probably go with any of those four above him though, due to experience.

Leclerc/Gasly: again, RB don't even want to promote Gasly so why would Mercedes. How about Leclerc then? Lance Stroll got the promotion straight to F1, Leclerc is arguably one step up the ladder and dominated GP3. Every other GP3 champion except Mitch Evans and Alex Lynn went straight to F1, why not Leclerc? Does he NEED a GP2 championship as well.

Montoya: no one even wants him in Indycar or Nascar, why would the top F1 team want him? Pagenaud would be a better bet.

Lotterer: he got his chance, if you blinked you missed it. For him to get the top seat in F1, he kind of needs to be winning that other single seater series he's competed in for 14 years (you know, the Japanese one), not being beaten by Japanese drivers that no one has ever heard of every year. 1 title in 14 tries isn't flash. WEC isn't a good indication of talent, too hard to compare drivers.

In fact if it ends up any driver that isn't currently in F1, I'll eat my hat. Ant Davidson, Di Resta, no way.

Last edited by Razzzor; 3 Dec 2016 at 03:19.
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Old 3 Dec 2016, 05:34 (Ref:3693262)   #54
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Armco Bender:Current F1 Fantasy Champion.Lack of F1 experience could be a disadvantage,however I have been watching it for years and it doesn't look to hard to pick up.Will provide Mercedes with an opportunity to sell cars to sheep farmers.Will also help Mercedes to tap into the O.A.P market,F1 needs more older drivers.....Am sitting by my phone waiting for the call.
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Old 3 Dec 2016, 05:47 (Ref:3693263)   #55
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Originally Posted by BSchneiderFan View Post
I really think we're overthinking this. Mercedes have two F1-blooded juniors. Alonso, Vettel, Ricciardo and Verstappen all have contracts for 2017. If they don't pick Wehrlein or Ocon, what on Earth is the point of having junior drivers?
The constructors championship is more important to Mercedes. They are used to one-two's every race and the front row to themselves in Q. Whoever steps into Rosberg's seat needs to deliver that from day one, are their junior drivers ready for that?
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Old 3 Dec 2016, 05:52 (Ref:3693265)   #56
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It sounds sort of romantic, but Button's head is in retirement mode, he has already said that he doesn't want to trail around the world anymore on an F1 schedule and he will be mindful of Rosberg's comments on how much commitment it took to get on terms and beat Hamilton.
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Old 3 Dec 2016, 06:44 (Ref:3693272)   #57
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kurski should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Finland F1 commentator Oskari Saari says according to his research yesterday, Valtteri Bottas is the first candidate to take Mercedes seat.
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Old 3 Dec 2016, 08:43 (Ref:3693284)   #58
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What's the betting that he will decide not to retire after all ? it's probably worth putting a couple of bob on it !
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Old 3 Dec 2016, 08:56 (Ref:3693286)   #59
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Originally Posted by BSchneiderFan View Post
I really think we're overthinking this. Mercedes have two F1-blooded juniors. Alonso, Vettel, Ricciardo and Verstappen all have contracts for 2017. If they don't pick Wehrlein or Ocon, what on Earth is the point of having junior drivers?
Mercedes have always had countless junior drivers. Yet they still hired Rosberg, Hamilton and Schumacher over them. Have any Mercedes junior drivers actually been able to drive a Mercedes? It was pretty rare even in the McLaren days. They had all those juniors so put de la Rosa in the car.
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Old 3 Dec 2016, 09:00 (Ref:3693287)   #60
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What's the betting that he will decide not to retire after all ? it's probably worth putting a couple of bob on it !
but is he retiring from F1 or all motorsport?
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