The Roar
The Roar

Jawad Yaqub

Roar Guru

Joined November 2013

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Motorsports writer, collector of caps (and fez) and one half of the 'Hit The Apex' F1 podcast. Follow me on Twitter @Doctor46th and or @HitTheApexMedia.

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G’day Jacko,

Holden are locked into the championship until the end of 2021 and with Triple Eight as their factory team. Beyond that, who knows. I guess it ultimately depends on the direction in which Supercars go in with their Gen3 regulations. Because the Opel Insignia is badged and sold in Australia as a Holden Commodore, they are well within their right to race it as a Holden Commodore.

I’m guessing you’re referencing the Chevrolet and the Camaro? Well, again that one can only really happen when the regulations and the control chassis for Supercars will change. It was difficult enough for Ford to convert the Mustang bodyshape to the required spec to race in the category, so when you look at the shape of the Camaro and what it’d have to do to be applied on top of the control chassis – it is more unlikelier.

Teams can totally still race the Falcon, though from a competitiveness point of view there is no point really – given all the aero changes we’ve seen this year. An example of that would be last year when MSR mid-season switched from their Falcon FG X bodywork to the Commodore, but in VF spec while all the other Holden teams were running ZB. Their results weren’t too great with that old aero package in the end.

Five talking points from the Bathurst 1000

Confirmed now too. Kelly Racing will switch to Mustangs, with their own in-house engines to be developed for future use. They’ll be also scaling back to 2 cars and selling off the other 2 RECs.

Five talking points from the Bathurst 1000

For a while I actually thought the #12 may be in a good position towards the end of the race, given all the fuel saving that D’Alberto achieved during the middle of the race.

Five talking points from the Bathurst 1000

Triple Eight have the garages at the end of the pit-lane because they won the team’s championship last year. The garage order is decided by where you finish in the team’s standings, so it is pretty crucial to finish as high as possible.

Five talking points from the Bathurst 1000

Well the matter has been escalated and there will be a hearing before the Gold Coast 600 to determine if it was a breach of the regulations (which yes it was) and to see what the penalty will be.

At this stage, it’d most likely be a docking of team’s championship points and a very hefty fine. Though I don’t think they’ll strip the win from McLaughlin and the same was the case for Alonso in 2008 for Singapore’s Crashgate.

Five talking points from the Bathurst 1000

Qualified seventh, so will be the fourth driver to go out in the Shootout.

Bathurst 1000 top ten shootout preview

Be interesting to see what next set of regulations looks like then, particularly with Walkinshaw trying to get GM to homologate the Camaro. Gen2 to me has been a failure.

Bathurst 1000: The Great Race of great unknowns

Kind of kills their whole argument about parity doesn’t it?

Bathurst 1000: The Great Race of great unknowns

Totally my bad that one! Great opportunity though for them as a team to step up into Supercars on the biggest stage of them all.

Bathurst 1000: The Great Race of great unknowns

I’m really looking forward to see how they fare, given the limited testing time that they have had. If anything, it’ll be their experience that should carry them because the WAU car this season hasn’t exactly been a rocket-ship.

Bathurst 1000: The Great Race of great unknowns

You never know mate. Anton was very fast last year in the race, though a few rookie inconsistencies hurt them overall. I do think he and Brown will be in a stronger position this year though.
There’s always a narrative that plays out, even if it is going to be one of the two heavyweights that win it. Coulthard/D’Alberto would be a big one, given that they’re an underrated combo – while cars the drivers of #17 and #97 (excect Tander) are yet to win the 1000. Whincup/Lowndes winning too would be huge.
Definitely, Bathurst is like a Grand Final event and it is absolutely one of my favourite tracks in the world to watch any form of racing. Supercars, regardless of its unpopular foibles in regards to parity, is still pretty special and those cars tackling a lap of that circuit just looks spectacular.

Bathurst 1000: The Great Race of great unknowns

Hey Damo,

After all these parity adjustments throughout the year, we’re finally at the race that matters for those who aren’t Scott McLaughlin and vying for a championship. I expect the same as you, if we see Commodores dominate all three sectors throughout the weekend there would be plenty of fallout from the fans.

It’s actually things like the whole parity debacle throughout the year, that as a prospective manufacturer that I’d hesitate to enter Supercars with a fresh project. As much as the Supercars product is one of the best touring car categories in the world, it does need to open the door a bit to what’s going on outside of our shores a little. They can totally advance themselves, without jeopardising the core values – but it is the hesitance of accepting e.g the Mustang, that category looks like a bit of a joke at times.

As far as the 12 Hour race is concerned, I’m not sure about the TV viewing numbers, but trackside there doesn’t seem to be a fraction of the crowd you get for the 1000. I wish more people would attend actually, because it’s been one of my favourite motorsport events to attend over the last few years and this year it felt as if there was not many people around. The access is amazing, especially considering the international exposure and depth of talent in the field.

Crystal balling Bathurst in 2019

Yeah Joshua, it’s the number 1 and 2 culture at Ferrari that I fear may cause the implosion. Let the boys race when push comes to shove.

The impending implosion at Ferrari

Drivers will be drivers, though it is how Binotto and co manage this is where my concern is at. Personally, I’d love to see Vettel and Leclerc duke it out for a championship and with no chains or pre-race agreements in place. For me, I’d want all high-profile teammate rivalries to be like Rossi and Lorenzo at Yamaha in 2009. But unless Ferrari adopt a different approach, I don’t see this happening.

The impending implosion at Ferrari

Underwhelming in that Renault’s reliability is still sub-par when compared to Mercedes and Ferrari in the hybrid-era and also McLaren’s future with Renault will only lead to a dead end. Perhaps in the same way Red Bull felt their performance was, when they elected to switch to Honda power?
Conditions will change for 2021, but the engine formula should largely stay the same and even if Ferrari have the best PU, Mercedes are not too far behind – so for McLaren there is more scope to move up the order with them than Renault.

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

I did see this permutation and did have a little giggle. Never say never! Though I do predict Hamilton will have claimed his sixth title in either Mexico or Austin.

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

Agreed. Looking back too now, the timing and lead up to the start of the last Honda partnership was just all set for failure. Not to mention also that the McLaren management structure of the time played a significant role in the lack of synergy between the two parties. With Mercedes this time, McLaren have a known entity and also their new management seem a lot more open to adapting and overcoming than their predecessors.

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

If the engine formula stays largely the same, as being predicted for 2021 then yes, as you say that there at least will be no loss of performance. Plenty of room for them to make gains though with Mercedes, whereas I believe with Renault it seems like a dead end – given that the works team itself still hasn’t got itself into a competitive position yet. Here’s to hopefully a lot of smooth operator!

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

Hey Ben!

Getting the feeling now that Hulk can add himself to that list alongside JEV, Wehrlein and Nasr. It has been great to see those guys do well in other high profile categories, especially Vergne who’s now a two-time Formula E champion. Perhaps Hulkenberg’s success now lies away from F1, as he is already is a Le Mans 24 Hour winner which is no easy feat. Unless of course he can land a top drive in F1 which as the situation stands is unlikely.

The Nico Hulkenberg question

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Ferrari, Red Bull and the tale of two contrasting constructors

I’d only give Ferrari hope of winning at either Spa or Monza, where their low-downforce car should suit the circuit. But regardless of the car, their execution once again has been pretty poor and chiefly their strategy calls and driver errors.

Otherwise, if Mercedes don’t win on any given weekend for the remainder of the season, it’s highly probable that we’ll see Max up there – unless he is hampered by grid penalties, which even Red Bull have admitted that they have to brace themselves for in the second half of the season.

It’s good for Red Bull though, as it stops them from having a whinge about their engine partner for at least the short to mid-term. They might be the better executors if in a position to challenge for the title, as we might as well forget about Ferrari winning a championship this decade.

Ferrari, Red Bull and the tale of two contrasting constructors

And Russell doesn’t get enough of a mention given how poor Williams have been this season. I reckon next year, if their car does make a step forward into the low-end of the midfield, we will see him star.

If Bottas is retained, I could see Ocon at Renault and then Hulkenberg to Haas replacing Grosjean. Hard to predict really, but once one team announces what they’re doing, then all the dominoes will fall into place!

The drivers under pressure to keep their seats

Hope that it means one of Phillip Island or Winton gets to stay. QR might have benefitted from switching over to a night race, though as you say that without those extensions/upgrades the place isn’t up to scratch.

Supercars Ipswich SuperSprint talking points

You got me there actually, as I did feel a few cringes when having something positive to say about Triple Eight this season.

They benefitted at QR moreso from the Parc Ferme regulations, than the latest COG changes. As I’ve said previously, the continual changes this year have been quite tiresome and that Supercars should leave them as is until 2020.

Supercars Ipswich SuperSprint talking points

The only logic behind that move from the outside, would be the expectation for WAU to become a powerhouse like DJR Team Penske have. It did take those guys a couple of years before becoming a race winning force, so despite WAU not really impressing currently – perhaps in another year they could be up there with a driver like Mostert and gun engineer like Adam DeBorre.

Supercars Townsville 400 talking points