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Sakae

Event 01 Melbourne

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Local time.

15MAR

Race

16:10 - 18:10

14MAR

Qualifying

17:00 - 18:00

14MAR

Practice 3

14:00 - 15:00

13MAR

Practice 2

16:00 - 17:30

13MAR

Practice 1

12:00 - 13:30

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irst Grand Prix

1996

Number of Laps

58

Circuit Length

5.303km

Race Distance

307.574 km

Lap Record

1:24.125 Michael Schumacher (2004)

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What I am expecting:

A team in my focus is of course Ferrari. "My" favorite driver is with the team. I am hoping to have some better understanding (if that is possible at all after one race) of following:

1. How far are is Ferrari behind Mercedes (I take it for granted they aren't ahead of them).

2. Second concern is about anticipated interference from RBR and that team in pink. Pink people might be temporary nuisance falling off at later date due to inadequate 2020 car development, whereas I assume RBR is there for duration of the season.

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Gut feeling is that Mercs will not take Race 1. It will be either Ferrari or RBR

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F1 media have assessed after testing Mercedes and RBR as winners (in winter competition), and Ferrari are marked down as losers. Take your pick. I couldn't care less about British talking heads, but fact is, Ferrari has done very little so far to calm my mind. Not enough info was made public on fuel loads, tires, sector times, and ambient conditions. All what we got was just bare minimum from two guy tossing their opinions (I am sure very "unbias") on the F1 official website.

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Are we racing or not? Melbourne, Japan, Italy, US, China, Vietnam, Bahrain races are in doubt, and that's for start. UK with their coronavirus cases and most resident teams is on the schedule...???? Strange.

A specialist in virology predicted a year or more before establishment will understand how to tackle the issue. It doesn't look good at the moment.

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I have no stamina to launch a new topic on movement personnel, since my interest is very narrow, thus I put it in here.

It is reported about Sebastian Vettel:

  1. He wants to continue racing beyond 2020.
  2. Preliminary talks with Binotto have taken place.
  3. Seb, citing (without naming him) a case of Michael who has moved to Mercedes, therefore making a point there is life after tenure at Ferrari.

I am not sure about his options, but he and Torger are house-friends, and whether that means anything vis a vis his future remains to be seen. Being a keen observer of this fellow for over a decade, it sounds to me as there is sand in the relationship between him and Binotto (or higher management). Hard to say what exactly is going on. 

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Hamilton was reported to talk to Elkann. Why, unless he is pursuing his own agenda, setting Mercedes against Ferrari to do bidding for him. Then he came after Torger, asking for 60 MM/y. When Mercedes told him NO, now Hamilton turned around after he saw Ferrari in testing, and declared that he will be always "Mercedes man".

From the distance hard to tell who he is. I have some ideas, but lets stay polite in here.

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17 hours ago, radical-one said:

Vettel and Hamilton swap :)

All indications are that Hamilton is staying at Mercedes for the rest of his career and in some role after he retires as a driver.

Vettel is in the hot seat right now. If he does not match the pace of Leclerc in the first half of this season, he does not have a lot of good options.

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7 hours ago, Ruslan said:

All indications are that Hamilton is staying at Mercedes for the rest of his career and in some role after he retires as a driver.

Vettel is in the hot seat right now. If he does not match the pace of Leclerc in the first half of this season, he does not have a lot of good options.

Whether Vettel can match Leclerc or not is still in the air IMO, because if you look closely, it is not as bad as some on the sidelines are painting. In the evaluation of his performance characteristics of his car, and race strategy flukes ought to be taken into consideration when one evaluates results. 

From a different perspective, are you suggesting that Ferrari is desperately looking for someone who will destroy Leclerc? I do seriously doubt that. Vettel is eminently suited for Ferrari due to his raciness, collegiality, and genuine teamwork. You do not find  too many drivers on the grid like that. Raikonnen is one, but beyond that, I struggle to find another driver like Vettel. Whether Seb wants to continue with Ferrari is another matter. Hamilton has critiqued in the past his car (and by inference a team behind him), Alonso has done the same, and so has Verstappen. No driver of current generation will put up with a car which doesn't suits him, yet many are expecting Vettel to perform miracles. Balance of his car is off, he is not one with it, and I do not blame him. 

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Here we go again:

Quote

Binotto tells staff that Ferrari can't win in Melbourne!

I wish I could be a fly on the wall in certain meetings...

Quote

Scuderia boss believes that the SF1000's level of performance will be improved for the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort in early May.

Under full schedule that could be about 20% of the season handed as gift to rivals. Now we can wait when blaming Vettel begins.

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D/T 2020.03.08  18:24 CET

Looks like in 24 hrs we will know whether balance of Ferrari crew were permitted to travel out of Northern Italy. As of this time nothing negative is expected, but one never knows. It seem that Melbourne is Go as normal.

I am not a betting man, and especially after 6 days of testing I think it it waste of time engaging in speculation of that kind. Perhaps hours before race one gets better feeling how race develops, but I don't think it will be 2019 in répété. Pink cars and RBR are stronger than last year, and I have no idea where Ferrari stands on power grid. I have strong doubts that it was all sandbagging in Spain.

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And they are off...race is ON.  Now we will find out which teams are actually racing, and who is just participating. I will have my morning coffee with that surprise, which hopefully will not turn into confirmation of my darkest fears that car I was hoping to be top notch is ... well, not top notch.

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Melbourne predictions (in not any particular order), in contention for top five my candidates are:

Bottas, Verstappen, Hamilton, Perez, Vettel, and Leclerc.

Top three sequence: I leave after qualifications. Melbourne is not an easy track for overtaking, and a race might be decided on Saturday. We do not know whether new aero and more downforce will change much on results from last year.

RBR is certainly under fire

Racing Point is an improved team

Mercedes I see as ever the same

Ferrari = ?

Dark horse: Ocon; his re-immersion after sabbatical might need a few races for him to work up his racing comfort. Potential is there.

 

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Re:
Binotto tells staff that Ferrari can't win in Melbourne!

>Interesting thought.
Is this Binotto instructing his, Ferrari staff ??
Ferrari WILL ALWAYS get TV coverage WHATEVER, because of who they R - it IS Ferrari.
NOT tryin 2 sell a fizzy drink.

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Could be early damage control - if he (Binotto) really said so as quoted - by suppressing expectations on part of their support base. I am not that excited hearing this kind of excuse, because that's all what it is. Excuse without explanation for potentially poor performance in next several races. I am not sure anymore if Ferrari will be fighting for second or third place come end of the season, but championship ending in Feb is really a new thing even for me. What such talk does to drivers and people in Maranello one can only imagine.

If they have a problem which was identified already, wouldn't have been nice if they could instill countermeasures already in Nov last year? Instead, current rules just decimate teams, fans, advertisers... 

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