F1 2024 Season: So Who's Gonna Finish, Like... 3rd?

MrDeVil909 wrote:

The gaps are so tight though, less than 1 second covering all entrants in Q1, and Leclerc's Q2 time faster than Max's Q3.

Leclerc and Vasseur being disappointed with the Q3 time and Lando thinking he'd be way higher if he didn't whiff of Sector 1 gives a very different feel to everything.

Red Bull is still the team to beat, but I don't think they're unassailable. Yet.

Yeah, there's definitely reasons to hope there might be competition for the top, but at the moment I've just been so beat down by the last two years that I'm just excited to see that we should continue to have some exciting competition everywhere else.

Also, no sign of Horner at qualifying.

Yeah, I thought that seemed to be the case, but I had the video playing in the background as I was working so I wasn't 100% sure I didn't miss a shot.

Seems he might have been meeting with Mohammed Ben Sulayem and maybe Stefano Domenicali during the session?

There are definitely reports of him being seen being chummy with Ben Sulayem in the paddock, which... well, whatever that means. The reasons he shouldn't hold the position he currently does is a whole other conversation.

Sounds like his survival could go either way.

Only 24 hours after the Red Bull team principal had been cleared of the allegations against him following an independent investigation, an email was leaked to the media, F1, the FIA and teams of images purporting to show messages between Horner and the employee who made the complaint alleging inappropriate, controlling behaviour against him.

Its veracity has not been confirmed, nor has whether the ­messages were included in the investigation, but the impact on the sport has been immense.

When asked about it on Friday, Horner stuck to his guns. “I am not going to comment on ­anonymous speculation from unknown sources,” he said. When asked what would happen next he replied: “We go racing.”

Verstappen twice declined to express his confidence in Horner at a press conference on Wednesday. Asked again after qualifying he once more sidestepped the question. When pushed he responded: “When I look at how Christian operates within the team, he has been an incredible team boss, so absolutely, from the performance side of things, you can’t even question that.

“I speak to Christian a lot, and also throughout the weekend here, he’s fully committed to the team, he’s also here for the performance. Of course he’s probably a little bit distracted. But we just focus on the performance side of things.”

Horner, however, has made it clear he does not intend to step down as principal of the team he has led since it was formed in 2005, given that he has been cleared by the investigation. He is understood to still have the backing of the Thai wing of Red Bull led by Chalerm Yoovidhya, the son of the company’s founder, Chaleo, who owns a 51% share of the company. He is set to attend the race on Saturday as is Horner’s wife, Geri Halliwell-Horner.

The investigation by an external barrister ended with the complaint being dismissed by Red Bull Racing’s parent company, Red Bull GmbH, which announced Horner had been cleared of the allegations on Wednesday. However, following Thursday’s dramatic email, the 50-year-old held talks in person with the head of the FIA, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, as the governing body considers how to respond to the developments.

The FIA and F1 are understood to be in close discussions to assess the impact of the furore on the sport as they face increasing calls to act. The F1 chief executive, Stefano Domenicali, and Ben Sulayem were expected to meet on Friday in Bahrain to consider further action.

It is understood the FIA is set to formally request a copy of the investigation from Red Bull GmbH and is believed to be considering the impact on the sport given its regulatory position and its sporting code which specifically addresses ­bringing the sport into disrepute.

Red Bull just toying with everyone

Normal service has been resumed.

When you're right you're right.

Plus competing rumors in the mill today about Horner trying to buy an ownership stake in the team somehow (presumably to protect himself from whatever internal power struggles might be happening), plus Jos Verstappen potentially being in talks with Mercedes to have Max take Hamilton's vacated seat next year.

Should have just dumped him dumped him regardless of his threats -- aside from being a shoe-in for another year of championships, seems the chaos being caused might be far reaching either way.

F1 fans last offseason: "Next year, we wish for a challenge to Red Bull's dominance"

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/ovECUxc.gif)

I’ll take it.

Red Bull is going to have to find a way to get rid of Horner. His presence is going to become untenable for the team and the parent company, even the sport. With media, viewers and the paddock desperate for something exciting the scandal will be bigger news than what's on the track.

I don't believe for a second Max would go to Mercedes, but even the hint of that will give pressure. Although Red Bull needs to get Jos Verstappen out of there too. He's a snake.

As I said before I was always a bit confused about the allegations. Always mentioning the staff member was female, but saying he was being accused of being a 'overbearing and dominating boss' rather than anything sexually or romantically inappropriate was very weird. But I guess that was a Red Bull smokescreen. I did always believe *something* was up, but I admit I fell for the spin thinking he was just a monstrous prick of a boss.

Ben Sulayem now being called out for allegations over the Vegas GP and interfering with race results.

The second allegation is strange as I saw elsewhere that Aston was appealing and it would have likely gone their way, so why put your thumb on the scale? The first one just makes no sense to me.

Are these just a smokescreen to try and bury the Horner issue?

Are these just a smokescreen to try and bury the Horner issue?

Possibly, but it might just be coincidental timing.

Ever since Ben Sulayem was put in place, there have been a number of half substantiated reports about him being a bit of a sh*t heel manipulator, plus barely concealed power struggles/financial disputes between the FIA and Liberty Media -- basically, the FIA, presumably due to Ben Sulayem's leadership, looking for every possible way to get a bigger part of the money flowing into the sport directed their way.

Of course, at times the FIA's position has seemed reasonable and potentially driven by motivations you'd want them to have, such as promoting healthy operations and interesting competition -- for example, efforts to stop the number of races in a season from continuing to increase, and attempts to grow the number of the teams in the sport. But other times the conflicts that have passed through the rumor mill really do just feel like attempts to get a bigger slice of the pie that border on extortion.

Anyway, hard to say what part of the rumors and reports are accurate, and what anyone's intents and motivations actually are, but whatever the shape actually is there's been enough ongoing conflict surrounding Ben Sulayem that it's not too surprising for it to start boiling over at any point.

"That" article that got deleted immediately by Road and Track.

https://web.archive.org/web/20240301...

Good work to Ollie Bearman getting to 11th on the grid after one practice session, then as a typical racer being disappointed in that performance.

If the gap between me and 2nd was 13 seconds in Forza the game would be nagging me to up the difficulty.

Given that it seems like Ferrari is most often right behind the Red Bulls it doesn't surprise me Hamilton is looking to jump ship. I think he really wants that 8th championship that puts him one ahead of Schumaker to silence the doubters and haters forever(along side the usual racecar driver desire to win everything as much as possible) .

The gap between RBR and the rest is as much about consistency and reliability as it is about performance. In perspective, 13s (or 18s, for the first non-RBR) is not the biggest gap through a GP. Just to pick an example, in 1998 the McLarens lapped the field in the first race and Schumacher finished a minute behind in the second race. The whole field is a lot closer in performance these days, even including RBR.

Yeah. The real difference is actually RBR not putting a foot wrong along with the reliability of the cars. Back in the old days you'd bet on most drivers having a few engine explosions a year, so even when a driver was as dominant as Schumacher the difference was less stark.

Even the drivers on average are better than they've ever been. First corner incidents are less common than they used to be.

When all cars finished the race in Bahrain it's the first time in history that all entrants finished two races in a row.

That’s what you get when you are using a Honda engine not under active development. Going to be a whole other story when you are running your own/Ford engine in 2026. Why I am not totally sold on the Verstappen wouldn’t/couldn’t go to Mercedes. Not even Adrian Newey could make that dog of a Renault engine a championship winning car. If Verstappen is aware of RB Powertrains not going so great, you’d expect Jos to be making waves now to change management, or reaching out to Toto.

Yeah, that's the one thing that's making me wonder if there's some fire to the smoke.

Red Bull have been agitating for changes to the 2026 engine regulations, so if Team Max sees reason for concern going to a team with a proven record of success when the engine is the dominant factor rather than aero may be a smart play.

saudi Arabia come and gone, Red Bull 1-2 again, Max wins by a huge gap. Might as well just focus on the mid-pack for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile......

Christian Horner: Woman to appeal against Red Bull decision to dismiss complaint

Bahrain takes full control of supercar brand McLaren

ugh. Like, it's F1, they're already neck deep in this sh*t, but....

...ugh.

Pink Stripes wrote:

The gap between RBR and the rest is as much about consistency and reliability as it is about performance. In perspective, 13s (or 18s, for the first non-RBR) is not the biggest gap through a GP. Just to pick an example, in 1998 the McLarens lapped the field in the first race and Schumacher finished a minute behind in the second race. The whole field is a lot closer in performance these days, even including RBR.

As I was saying about reliability...

Amazing drive from Sainz. It took him so long to get out of the car, he must have been in real discomfort.

Also very nice pace from McLaren.

Pink Stripes wrote:

As I was saying about reliability...

Yeah, that's where any points for other teams will be, but a weird issue. Rear brake binding seems strange. Perez's pace was also all over the place, I didn't see if there's been any analysis of that yet.

A look at the Stewarts’ decision to penalise Alonso. The TL;DW is that he probably made a mistake on the corner entry that caused him to be erratic. If he was just taking a slow corner to screw up Russell’s line, he wouldn’t have geared down, up then down again going through it.

I can’t think of the last time Alonso has made a mistake like this, or even ever. It’s the first time I’ve wondered if the age (and reactions) are there anymore.

I don't believe it was accidental for a second. He brake checked Hamilton last year and he's a master of on track gamesmanship.

I do think he may have overdone the move and scrubbed more speed than he expected and he didn't realise that Russell was going to be accelerating hard for the high speed complex, so maybe he isn't as sharp as he used to be.

But yeah, I don't believe the initial move wasn't deliberate.

Sure looked like a break check to me.

We’re on vacation in Japan right now and will be attending Suzuka, so here’s hoping for no rain and a continuation of reliability issues for Red Bull.

Suzuka seems like a wonderful track to visit. I hope you enjoy!

Watching qualifying live at Suzuka was amazing; maybe more thoughts on that another time. But, there is something far more important to convey immediately: watching driver interviews at the evening stage show, and just saw Alonso proudly announce that he has a samurai tattoo on his back.

That is all.