The Roar
The Roar

Bayden Westerweller

Roar Guru

Joined May 2011

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Journalist. Formula One fanatic since 1998. I also enjoy running - eighteen marathons and a 2h 34m PB at last count, always looking to the next one! Twitter @BaydenJW

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There have been recent reports that Ricciardo is set to ramp up negotiations with Red Bull in coming weeks, who knows whether there’ll be a swift extension or that his employer for 2019 won’t be known for some time. Mercedes looms as the strongest alternative with Ferrari content with its current lot and an eye on Leclerc sooner than later.

It’s what Bottas makes of his victory that is more crucial than Hamilton, who won’t be deterred in the slightest. If the Finn can harness his strong finish and apply himself to that level across an entire season, he can change the perception that he’s merely a steady set of hands.

Bottas sends timely reminder as curtain falls on 2017

Not to be pedantic though Palmer did indeed contribute points at Singapore – though very few will remember this in years to come!

The acrimony between Toro Rosso and Renault makes the scrap for P6 even more intriguing. To that end, it’d be amusing if Haas usurps both – a la Vettel on Alonso and Webber in 2010, if they continue to engage in politicking. It’s difficult to see the former adding further points to its haul this weekend following the nightmares of recent events, coupled with concerns over the Renault components even lasting through Sunday.

Abu Dhabi's $12 million question

Most of the sceptics equate the sport’s relevance with the costs and automatically decree any reduction as representing a failure, when the purpose is to be the most efficient and indeed relevant at the lowest cost. Formula One’s extravagant bottomless pit of funds is something from the past, and there’s no reason why more economical regulations can’t work.

Ferrari should be grateful to have received free publicity from its presence in the sport if nothing else. Ultimately it exists to sell cars rather than promoting any correlation to everyday vehicles, and that it continues to do in abundance, though it doesn’t entitle them to a direct passage to victory.

Mercedes stands to lose the most through a switch in regulations which can level the field again, as this season’s shakeup has done little to quell its’ dominance, which makes rivals’ reluctance to embrace change even more confusing.

Why Formula One must keep evolving

That Red Bull didn’t have a viable alternative within its ranks is the first misstep, though the notion that they’ve turned to an ex-alum suggests they blundered when they initially cut Hartley loose. He deserves the drive as it is and it’s a win win for both parties if they enjoy a successful collaboration.

Hartley nod provides hope to other F1 discards

There’s an obvious expectation to deliver, and most teams are sceptical that an ex-F1 driver may still not cut it if they were given a second chance, though many are unprepared for its rigours when they receive their initial opportunity, so it’s rough when a 22-year old is exiled from any future.

By extension, if as is certain and Kubica returns, he will need to perform at some point through the season to justify his retention, once the novelty wears off he is the same as any competitor, yet on pure talent there’s no doubting he deserves to show everybody what he has, and what we’ve missed out on the past seven years.

Hartley nod provides hope to other F1 discards

A lot of the outcries seem to be dictated by those who are simply comfortable with the familiarity of the present and scared of an unknown future.

Instead of pandering to a particular portion of the sport’s stakeholders, its participants should relish pioneering a new formula, so to speak, and whichever benefits that translate to the public will follow.

The World Championship is rising seven decades whilst undergoing countless revolutions, there’s no reason why whatever the next direction the sport settles on should be treated any differently, and those who don’t like it can leave, whilst others will enter as in the past.

What is Formula One — and what should it be?

A lot depends on which terms Alonso negotiated based on his fortunes over the past few seasons. Perhaps he has the flexibility to compete where he sees fit within reason, though you’d hope that McLaren’s switch to Renault proves successful enough that the Spaniard prioritises F1. As I suggest, a hitout at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps ahead of Le Mans might be enough to sate his appetite.

Could Alonso dovetail WEC with F1?

Dovi can solidify his ascension to the top tier by sustaining this form in 2018, and it’ll be fascinating to see whether Lorenzo can lift his game having acclimatised. If he can’t, this only increases the former’s reputation as one of few capable of taming the Ducati, and if that entails a title, he’s in rare company.

Andrea Dovizioso is MotoGP's spiritual champion

So many drivers experience those ‘what if’ moments, and Massa is no exception. Had he claimed the 2008 title, it’s difficult to fathom how the rest of his career would have transpired. He is one of the household characters foremost who will be missed from the paddock.

This time Massa retires 'for sure'

He certainly departs with a richer reputation following his Williams stint than had he retired at the conclusion of 2013. His seventh at Brazil was a fitting fashion to say thanks to his fans.

This time Massa retires 'for sure'

He was similarly on my esteemed radar until mid 2016, when the chronic whinging stepped up a gear, it’s a shame that his progress has subsequently stagnated. Giovinazzi is a near certainty for 2019 if he doesn’t land a Sauber seat for next season, Grosjean would be wanting to move up the grid by then otherwise his career is effectively over at his age.

'Moaning' Romain Grosjean: Real or projection?

It’s a vicious game, there’s no room for altruism in the sport as we’ve discussed previously, though it’s difficult to read much into the past few races. For all we know, Renault could bounce out of the blocks next season with a vastly improved package having called others’ bluff until they only have to look out for themselves!

No Bull as Toro Rosso and Renault square off

Surely removing the circuit from the calendar would be sufficient for the promoters to realise the measures they need to install and how much they’re missing out on, upon which returning it to the roster can be considered. Bernie Ecclestone would certainly like to snap up the rights at a bargain price!

These mooted paddock upgrades should also be prioritised if the circuit has a long-term future on the calendar.

It's time Formula One reconsidered the Brazilian Grand Prix

It certainly does a nice job of retaining the desirable elements of the current regulations whilst making it more efficient, it’s just the inevitable outlay for new technologies which has the manufacturers up in arms.

There’s a lot of attractive aspects to what is in place, it’s simply a matter of refining this so it’s more sustainable to a wider field.

There has been talk of expediting the rules to take effect from 2020 rather than postponing as you suggest. Though it’d be tough to see if the regulations aren’t finalised for at least a further twelve months.

Formula One future plans drive familiar fears

He might make some questionable decisions though he’s great publicity for Formula One, and so long as he’s dedicated behind the wheel, credit to him. The next few years will be something if Vettel can take it to the wire with Verstappen and co from the next generation in it up to their eyeballs.

Lewis Hamilton: F1's flawed champion

He was a little patchy early season, though he’s been faultless since Britain. Even without Ferrari’s butchery in recent times, he’s done enough to deserve the title. What he does off track is his business, though it’s hard not to respect him as a driver.

Ferrari must hold up its end of the bargain and follow through on a promising first half in 2018!

It wasn't pretty, but Hamilton seals fourth title

It had been thirty three years since a Kiwi had last competed so it was a huge moment, which alongside an Australian in Ricciardo is great for the local interest and hopefully creates a friendly rivalry. Hartley is much more rounded than his initial ‘stint’, when he didn’t really get an opportunity yet did little wrong.

They start young these days, look at Verstappen and Stroll, though the super license restrictions now make it difficult to enter the top echelon too soon, but if he’s good enough, no reason why F1 shouldn’t be on the radar in a few years.

End of the line for Daniil Kvyat?

Wherever Ricciardo shakes out in 2019, the next agreement is the most definitive of his career as he’s just entered his prime.

It’s unfortunate that we’ve been unable to gauge his true standing alongside Verstappen this season, though Red Bull has already indicated where it sees the ledger. The opening races in 2018 will be crucial otherwise he’ll become de facto number two.

What is certain is that he deserves a car at his disposal which is capable of championships to demonstrate where he lies, regardless of his status within the team, and if he catches whichever team-mate offside for being too competitive, that’s tough luck.

As much as Mercedes and Ferrari are the logical suitors, there’s something about Renault and making it his own project which is attractive, though Hulkenberg and Sainz already indicate towards a formidable partnership into the future.

Has Verstappen pushed Ricciardo out of Red Bull?

He was always on a hiding to nothing, though the manner in which Red Bull handled him was pathetic, if anything replacing him with Verstappen ahead of the 2016 season would have been more humane. It doesn’t change the fact that he’s been unable to redefine himself in the time since.

Who knows how he would have fared had he remained at Toro Rosso through 2015 and been in a position to make the jump to the senior outfit at a later date with a lot more experience to his credit.

End of the line for Daniil Kvyat?

It’s better that he’s been released now rather than led on for any hope of a reprieve, and for what it’s worth, he can pursue alternatives.

Hartley has been off the scene for a while, though he deserves the opportunity at the final races to prove he can be counted on. and Red Bull would secretly be willing him to do so to vindicate his earlier presence in its programme.

End of the line for Daniil Kvyat?

Nobody can begrudge Mercedes for prioritising the hybrid era upon entering the sport in 2010, whilst its opposition chose to focus on the rules of the day. That Ferrari has only presented legitimate competition in the fourth season of these regulations speaks to the lead time necessary to thrive, this is how long the German marque had to invest for their results.

Regarding Mercedes’ standing amongst other dominant eras, if it hasn’t already solidified its reputation as the greatest, one more title whilst countering multiple threats season long would legitimise its claim, though again, it’s testament to the Silver Arrows that it can endure over the course of a campaign whilst others wilt.

Is Mercedes AMG the most dominant F1 team of all time?

Whilst Red Bull isn’t for everybody when it comes to racing philosophy, they’re absolutely on point regarding entertainment. Content of the nature you describe would certainly have merit, the more discreet aspects of the sport which are unappreciated.

F1 set to unveil streaming service, but will things really change?

As long as everything is done in moderation, rather than some contrived instant gratification, each event can create its truly unique footprint. Cycling through various aspects of each nation and its culture rather than repeating the same act each season will keep the concept fresh.

The bombastic nature of proceedings at Austin was certainly appropriate, that’s how they go about it over there, so long as it knows it’s place, there are plenty of other aspects to American culture which can be showcased at the next edition.

Formula One goes troppo in Texas

Any programming along those lines would be fantastic. I daresay Hamilton would lend himself towards ‘extra curricular’ content, as much as it might be perceived as cheesy, it’d draw a sizeable audience. The cultural aspect can be exploited through the drivers from varying nations, even if they now reside in Europe, to see how it shapes their daily lives.

Comedy is an area which has a lot of potential if it can be done the right way, and I’m sure such non-racing content could be freely available to all, it’d just be the Grand Prix weekends which would be off limits for the duration of existing contracts.

F1 set to unveil streaming service, but will things really change?

The Australian commentators are, or more accurately, were thankfully relegated to anchoring and post-commercial break recaps, and now it’s solely the direct simulcast from the UK whether through Ten’s highlights or Foxtel’s Sky feed.

Mark Webber has been a revelation as a special comments pundit for Channel 4, though there aren’t too many other locals, perhaps Leigh Diffey, who are world standard. I wouldn’t mind a handful of British commentators on the streaming service, though a blend of nations being represented – notwithstanding language barriers, would be far more insightful rather than the conspicuous love in for Hamilton through Sky.

F1 set to unveil streaming service, but will things really change?

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