Eight time champion already?And breath out…………




  OK now, the first three races are done in just seventeen days, how does this make you feel?


  Yes I know you were happy, euphoric even, but deep down, when you look back at it in detail, perhaps we should look at your emotions one at a time.


I agree, Lewis has very probably won his eighth world championship taking into account Merc’s utter dominance and that there will be no new designs in 2021. Barring a miracle or tragedy he will likely as not crack the 100 wins too, perhaps even before this season is out. Can’t really see anyone seriously challenging the silver..err…black slings in the short term. Yes, now you mention it, they do remind me of how the Saubers looked in 93 and 94. You find this prospect as about as exciting as Ferrari ordering Barrichello to slow in Austria that year so the great underwhelming one could notch up his fifth straight win to start the year. Wasn’t even much chance for an intra team battle then was there? More chance now? Hard to say, but probably not. As nice a lad, and as cracking a driver as VB is, he is just that tiny bit behind Lewis over all. No I agree, he has his days all right, his first races this year and last were superb but he just doesn’t appear to be able to perform at that level all the time. As Toto said, great wing man. If Lewis doesn’t get you, Valtteri will. No, no again, I agree, the Men in Black won’t be nearly as crass as Ferrari were then but even so. And this is leaving you feeling a little deflated.



  And Ferrari. You think that if they design an engine that is within the regulations then it has all the pace of a leper in a swamp. A bit harsh, after all we don’t know that last years was a 21 litre quad turbo supercharged V16 now do we? Sure, it went like one but the FIA won’t say so, and Ferrari sure won’t admit to it so I guess we will never know. Bit of a slug now though, no, not even Charlie can make it look quick can he? And they effectively sacked Seb before the season even started. Yeah, I know, great way to motivate one of your drivers to stick to the script. Still, they’ve only crashed into each other once and even that didn’t cost them too many points. Hell they couldn’t even out qualify the Renaults and an Alpha Tauri that day, so no, not a rosy outlook for the next eighteen months. Wonder how Sainz is feeling about that now. So this is leaving you feeling a little more deflated. Hmmm.


  Yes, the Red Rag does appear to be flapping in the breeze a bit so far, I agree. Almost on the pace in the mountains, but in Hungary, where you would expect to see one of Newey’s cars excel, they were all over the shop, weren’t they? And Max stacking into the barriers on the formation lap, yeah bloody hilarious. Great job by his crew though. New nose and suspension fitted while on the grid waiting for the start, brilliant. And yes, they both did a nice job in the race but the ultimate pace just isn’t there at the moment. With their respective car performance Max should never have stayed in front of VB but Valtteri was just having one of those not great days. Alex needs to lift his game in qualifying you say. Damned fine on race day but starting too far back? Probably, I hope he gets the time he needs. Ha ha ha, yes, there are shades of Gasly. When Horner starts repeatedly stating his confidence in you, you do seem to be on unsteady ground. And Danii yes. Still there is cause for hope here isn’t there? Adrian usually gets the car sorted out in the end.


  Enjoying McLaren’s resurgence are you? Young Lando had a blinder in the first Austrian race, didn’t he. First podium and first fastest lap, could hardly contain himself after the race could he? Both cars in Q3 for all the races so far. Well they’ve obviously got a nice chassis under them and if they can successfully mate the Mercedes engine into it next year, things really could be looking up. Even with the Renault engine they are miles ahead of the Ferraris, not sure if Carlos is happy about that or not. Mmmm perhaps, maybe he should just rejoice in the moment. Let the future take care of itself you reckon. Not entirely sure Danny Ric would agree at the moment. Ocon’s qualifying at Styria aside, Renault’s form is only marginally better than Ferrari at the moment being just in, or outside the top ten in qualy and three eighth placings as race results. Not good enough for a factory squad, you think. No, I think you are right. Methinks Danny is rejoicing in the future and dealing with the moment as best as he can. Do you believe that Alonso can whip them into shape? No OK, he didn’t at McLaren but really, that Honda engine was about as powerful as, well, this years Ferrari, and short of having a Red Rag in front of it, the Renault motor wasn’t outstanding either. Will be nice to have him back though, just hope he doesn’t spend too much time in deck chairs.


  Ah yes, I was wondering when you would come to the Pink Panthers. Done a bloody nice job of copying last years Merc haven’t they? No, personally I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with that. So long as they did it within the rules I mean. Hell, copying someone else’s ideas is as old as the sport itself. You do, do you? Ah well, we can always agree to disagree. Mind you, if they do get pinged, it will be a nasty time for both them and the Men in Black. If Mercedes actually provided them with their designs for the listed parts they will both be in the bottomless excrement, won’t they? Showed glimpses in Austria but they were damned fast in Hungary. No, I can’t either, I’d need to check to see when the last time anyone but the big three locked out the second row. Yeah, if Lance can keep up that sort of form it might make daddy’s decision a bit easier. The one about Seb I mean. It’s all a bit tricky isn’t it? The word is that they will have to break their contract with Sergio by Friday if they want to do it relatively cheaply. Seb is probably wanting to see how Renault’s protest about the Pink Mercedes goes before committing and well, if it was up too me, I’d keep Sergio. Wellll… a couple of reasons. Sergio has been the rock at that team for years, very loyal and has gotten everything out of their package that has been possible. Seb might bring a winning mentality to the team, which I will agree is probably lacking at the moment, but I think any assessment of his career will show he is not really a team player is he? Now, now, no need for that kind of language, I’m only trying to help. No, I hope so too. I like the pink livery but a pink Aston Martin? Just not the done thing, old man. And hey, winning can also bring it’s own winning mentality, just look at Williams in ’79. Didn’t need to bring in a world champion to turn them into a champion team did it?


  And the rest? Oh about where you would expect you think. Given the Ferrari engine at the moment you can’t see anything but Alfa Romeo and Haas fighting Williams at the rear of the grid. No, probably not, although I am happy that Williams qualifying performances have improved markedly. Both in Q2 last week and Russell only just missing out on Q3 for the last two races. Considering they were lucky to be within two seconds off their nearest rivals last year this fills me with joy. Now if only they can do something about their race pace. What, you think Sergio will end up at either Alfa Romeo or Haas next year if Seb wants an Aston in his garage. Yeah, well he has historical ties with both in one way or another. He drove for Alfa in it’s Sauber guise and his sponsor poured money into Haas when Gutierrez was there so yes, I could see that. There is another possibility. If Alex does get Gasly’d at Red Rag, I could just see Sergio slotting in there given his form and they would be happy for the Telmex cash as they will be losing Aston Martin as a sponsor. Horrible feeling that it would possibly be a bit like VB at Merc though. A great wing man.


  Ah the endless speculation. What keeps you going really isn’t it?


  Well that’s it for this session, I’m afraid time is up.


  Now take a deep breath in because the next three races start on Friday.


  Make another appointment with nursie on the way out.


Sam Snape






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