The Roar
The Roar

Ben Waterworth

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Joined July 2019

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Ben is a journalist and radio host currently living and working in New Zealand where he thankfully has retained his Australian accent and normal admiration for sheep since moving there in 2018. He has a particularly strong passion (and somewhat obsession) with Formula 1, as well as North American sports. Ask him about his beloved Raptors winning the NBA Championship in 2019. He'll happily engage in conversation with you about it again and again and and again.... www.benwaterworth.com

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You should try watching F1 in this part of the world haha! Sunday evening races for the majority of the season, then we get 4am starts for Canada, US and Mexico, around the same for Brazil and then a midnight one for Abu Dhabi. The only good ones for us are obviously Australia, China and Japan being late Sunday afternoon. Singapore is decent too. But since living in New Zealand it’s even worse as it’s 2 hours later for every race! 1am starts basically for every European round…ugh.

Definitely remember Australia and Bahrain 2016. I was at the Australian race and everyone in the crowd was confused as to what was going on. It was good in theory, but in practice? Terrible. I actually was a fan of the one lap shoot out. I don’t see them bringing it back as this format generally works, but I’d like to see them scrap Q3 rules and let them have quali specific engines and tyres to let them go flat out like the good old pre-2003 days. Those sessions could be tedious, but they were still fascinating viewing and had a driver on the absolute edge of their capabilities for a hot lap. Really sorted the good drivers from the really great drivers.

I actually never attended a GP when there was a Sunday warm-up. My first ever race was 2003 in Australia when I was 16, and I remember there being the 2 hour test session on the Friday which was actually quite entertaining for a first taste of F1. But they somehow made it work back in the day so I’m not sure how they would do it today. Australia has a PACKED support race category. You don’t go more than at least 15 minutes without there being some form of action on the track. And I know they’ve added another category next year so yeah, it would be tricky. But I know having been to some other races around the world where there are barely any support categories, it would make it a bit easier. I remember attending my first Malaysian GP and there being like 2 support races and just hours of nothing. It was odd.

And thanks for the welcome! I’ve been floating around for a bit and finally decided to start writing and I’m definitely enjoying it and reading everything you guys have to write!

Five talking points from the Japanese Grand Prix

While I think you make some good points, I think it is a tad harsh from the last couple of races. Russia wasn’t really their fault, it just came down to pure bad luck. They would’ve surely had a 1-2 there had Vettel not broken down. As for Japan, Vettel’s bad start definitely cost them, but he still drove a very solid race to keep second place in what looked like a certain Mercedes 1-2. I think their qualifying pace flattered them a bit in Suzuka. Mercedes had the best car all weekend and are usually very dominant around there (haven’t lost at the track since the hybrid era) so it wasn’t too much of a surprise. I also don’t think Leclerc not coming had anything to do with the team rivalry. His pace was fine with the damage so he thought he could easily continue without having to compromise himself by losing 20+ seconds by changing his front wing.

I don’t think changing structure at the team will help, as they did exactly that this year by bringing in Binotto. This year is clearly another write off but also a real ‘what if’ season for them. You could argue they should’ve won another five races this year with the exception of bad luck (Bahrain, Russia) and one slight mistake (Canada, Germany) and then a line ball stewarding decision (Austria). Had all of those happened then we would be much closer. And while I agree with some of your points that lead to those races being lost (particularly Canada and Germany, although Canada was followed with a terrible stewarding decision and is a line ball option there), I really don’t think there is much going wrong as people are pointing out.

Another thing too is Ferrari are a team used to running a distinct number 1/number 2 driver combination and they seem to struggle with having two drivers battling each other. The only time since the Schumacher era they have attempted this was when Massa and Raikkonen were at the team, and that didn’t exactly pan out too well on the grand scheme of things. In 2007 the first half Massa dominated before Raikkonen caught up and overtook him and basically had the number 1/2 split. The reverse happened in 2008. So they didn’t really have to worry about it too much. In 2009 their car was rubbish so nothing eventuated, and then we had years of Alonso/Massa with Alonso clear number one, the one year of Alonso/Raikkonen in which their car was rubbish so nothing came from it, then Vettel/Raikkonen in which Vettel was the clear number one. Ferrari work better as a team with a distinct divide, and I think that we are seeing Leclerc slowly taking that mantle while Vettel struggles to come to terms with that in a similar way he did when Ricciardo came into Red Bull. So that is going to be the most interesting aspect moving into 2020, a year in which surely it won’t be surprising to see be the last of this partnership.

Ferrari need a change in philosophy to challenge again in 2020

I’ll be forever grateful for what Kawhi brought to Toronto, so I would hope that he can add a well overdue regular season MVP crown to his already stellar resume. I agree that it’s his title to lose this year!

Who will be the next NBA MVP?

Good point. Didn’t think of it that way. I guess it would be good to see maybe the old FIFA World Cup format when it was around 24 teams. Four team groups, top 2 progress and have the remaining spots filled with best third placed teams. That could be a potential way of changing it up a bit.

Japan rescues World Cup from flames of disaster

Tier 2 teams need more chances against the tier 1 teams to gain the experience to be competitive. Give them more chances outside the World Cup to improve their performances. Georgia have completely overhauled their entire system in the last decade and rugby is now the most popular sport in the country. They completely dominate their regional competition and with inclusion into an expanded Six Nations, they would gain valuable experience to push them higher up the ladder. Canada too have shown to be a much better side, and they would’ve been fully able to show their ability against Namibia in what would’ve been a more entertaining clash than people give it credit for.

I think the Rugby World Cup needs to continue this format and possibly look at expansion and World Rugby then needs to give that incentive to other nations around the world to help increase the competitiveness of the sport. Japan is a classic example of a country being capable of improving, and clearly they are only going to get better. Don’t let the sport go the same path as cricket, who stupidly reduced the teams at the World Cup and basically all but ended any chance of the smaller nations improving on a global scale.

Japan rescues World Cup from flames of disaster

It is a shame about Kubica. So many people held such high hopes this year but it was always going to be a struggle. It still is such an incredible story though. Just a shame it didn’t have a happy ending

Finding a reason to watch the rest of the 2019 F1 season

Ha I can imagine, although you’re a short little hop and step away from the Netherlands so you could get some love there! Being a Ferrari fan usually sucks enough when you have to live with the British coverage, but then added to being an Australian Vettel fan when everyone still hates him based on the Webber days, yeah, it’s not a fun time!

And agree. It’s really just a matter of getting it over and done with really and thinking (and hoping) that 2020 can be a closer season

Lewis Hamilton wins a rather lacklustre Russian Grand Prix

Something about this pairing just works. So I think it will be great to see them coming back together again. But there was that sense when Honda came back with them, and then when Renault returned with Williams earlier this decade to bring back that sense of nostalgia for the good old eras when they dominated. Third time lucky perhaps this time around?

Can Mercedes take McLaren back to the top of Formula One?

I agree, controversy is interesting but when it’s the same old stuff coming from the usually pro-Hamilton/anti-Vettel media it gets a bit tired.

And I agree. Mexico is his safe-haven, although I’m sure he’d like to do it in the States given how much he loves it there

Lewis Hamilton wins a rather lacklustre Russian Grand Prix

Thanks so much Josh (Joshua? not sure which you prefer) for actually just reporting the facts rather than taking an anti-Ferrari tone which all the regular reports seem to be doing. The whole team orders situation was so overblown, and as you said in your comment “Ferrari’s Ferrari and they’ll never stop doing this”.
At the end of the day their race was compromised by Vettel’s retirement. Had that not happened I don’t doubt they still would’ve had a 1-2 with Leclerc no doubt taking the win. I fail to understand the narrative of making it into a bigger deal than it ultimately was. Perhaps with this season being a foregone conclusion, the stories need to come from somewhere.

Lewis Hamilton wins a rather lacklustre Russian Grand Prix

Which I still find incredible. My entire life has been filled with Richmond being that club that was always filled with so much hope and expectation and always didn’t live up to it (hello 9th again). So as a non-Tigers fan I find it great to see them doing so well. Always had a soft spot for the Tiges

The AFL's even millennium means more teams can hope for glory

Haha yes! That is so true! I remember all of Tassie got behind that as well. It was crazy. I bucked the trend and went for Romania, I’m pretty sure even numbered birthdays were meant to go for Namibia. Whoops…

World Cup expansion to 24 is overdue

The only ever RWC match I’ve been to was in 2003 between Namibia and Romania in Launceston. The stadium was packed, the game was entertaining and it was an absolute blast. I remember the players stopping to watch a Mexican wave, and the crowd going ballistic when Namibia scored a try towards the end, even though they were well and truly beaten. It was just great to watch.

I think expanding the competition helps these smaller teams get the experience they need to eventually fight against the bigger teams in much the same way the FIFA World Cup does. These tier 2 and lower teams never get a chance to play against the tier 1s outside a World Cup and need the experience. I think your idea of a 24 team model based on how the FIFA World Cup used to run is a great idea.

If only the Cricket World Cup would adopt a similar model and not limit the teams like they did this year…

World Cup expansion to 24 is overdue

That would be fascinating. It’s still hard to fathom this is the same side that only 3 years ago was in crisis mode

The AFL's even millennium means more teams can hope for glory

Thankyou!

The AFL's even millennium means more teams can hope for glory

Negative. I’m far less smart, far better looking but far more less famous

The AFL's even millennium means more teams can hope for glory

Yeah I remember that race well. Should’ve really been on the podium that day for sure

The Nico Hulkenberg question

Would definitely have to agree with all your points. Be great to finally see the Coyotes live up to some of the hype over the last few years and get back into the playoffs. Also very intrigued how New Jersey goes with Hughes and Subban there. Playoffs probably not likely but there is some excitement to be had with them I feel

The NHL is back: Looking at the big questions ahead of the 2019-20 season

Yeah agree. It’s sad, but that’s the nature of the sport. JEV has done great in FE, and I’m surprised it hasn’t put him back on the radar of F1, especially given the Red Bull situation with lack of young drivers in their talent programme.

The Nico Hulkenberg question

The greatest thing on the internet today by far!

There's a big, big meme: The best GWS song gags on Twitter