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Official 2023 formula one Thread

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Bravo LeClerc for thinking of his feet albeit he did not quite do it.
42 year-old Alonso somehow finished 4th in the Championship. Has he cemented his position as one of the greatest of all time?
He already was.
right, it seems physios are leaving this season as well.
Mike Italiano (Ricciardo's former trainer/ Yuki's trainer) is leaving and is rumoured to be joining a health initiative by Gwyneth Paltrow.

Max's trainer / physio is leaving to spend time with family and is being replaced by Rupert Manwaring, who is Sainz's performance coach.

No news on who will be Yuki and Carlos' new performance coach
Cutaway diagram of the RB19 by Richard Parry, (@_RichardParry_ on Twitter). Made me laugh a lot.

Edit: And I only noticed the parachute design after posting. Haha!

Spoiler

(edited 3 months ago)
Alfa Romeo: It was a poor end to the season for Alfa Romeo. Bottas was one of the few cars to start on the hard tyres and one of two (the other being Yuki) to try the one stop strategy. This did not work for bottas as the hard tyres did not last as long as expected and he steadily fell through the pack before his pitstop. From there nothing really could have been done to improve the situation, the one stop was not the correct strategy for Bottas but switching to a 2 was also not going to work at this point so Bottas drove round at the back ahead of only Magnussen. Zhou was in Abu Dhabi, he was on the better 2 stopper but the car was just not quick and he finished in p17. Alfa Romeo started this era with a good car as they got i down to the weight limit before most but it has dropped off massively, the team lacks ambition as well. Zhou is a decent driver but is not the best on the market, same for bottas. It is just meh all round. I also wonder what they will do with Pouchaire, their f2 driver won the title but has not been promoted, why not? What are Sauber seeing. Audi are coming in a couple of years and have a lot of work to do.

Haas: The Haas is not a good car and Abu Dhabi was simply this in action. Magnussen had some sort of issue at the start which lead to an early pitstop, the issue unseen by the cameras, and with the Haas race pace Magnussen was just doomed at the back unable to do anything. Hulkenburg’s weekend started off poorly as he crashed in fp2, but qualifying went well as he made it into Q3 but had a poor start dropping him out of points, once track position is lost a Haas will not be getting it back and the Hulk did not have any chance in the race and ended up in p15. Of the 4 teams at the back Haas probably had the strongest lineup across the whole season but the car simply did not perform, it has been a number of years now in a row that the Haas has just cooked its tyres. Something about their philosophy is wrong and if they dont get it sorted out they will enver make progress.

Williams: Williams were perhaps a little weaker at Abu Dhabi than I thought they would be, however the main mission was accomplished in that they remained ahead of AlphaTauri in the constructors. Sergeant is still fighting to keep his drive for 2024 but did not do his cause a lot of good as in qualifying both his laptimes were deleted for track limits, these are fundamental errors that I accepted him making in Jeddah but should be ironed out at this point. This pout Logan last on the grid from where he was unable make too much impact on the race. Albon at one point did make it into Q3 but did his lap early and was eliminated, the Willaims is a less extreme version of the Haas in that the best way for it to get points is to start there and hold track position as they wont be getting it back, and this was basically the Abu Dhabi grand prix for them although albon did have a puncy lap 1. Still 7th in the constructors is an excellent reuslt for Willaims and Albon has been one of the stars of the season, into 2024 Willaims need to build on this and regularly challenge for points. A good place and Albon will be on many teams shopping lists into 2025.

Alpine: Alpine are a very strange team, one week they are finishing p4 and the next they are out the points in p12 and p13. Ocon was ill all weekend apparently and was the Alpine to be knocked out in Q3 whilst Gasly made it into Q3. both cars were in the drs train in the first stint where Gasly was touched by hamilton after Gasly had a little lockup at the chicane. This seemingly innocuous touch damaged Gasly’s diffuser and caused his tyre wear to increase signinficntly. For reasons I am unsure of they undercut Gasly with Ocon which annoyed Pierre very much, Gasly then was on the 2 stopper due to his damage while Ocon was on a 1 despite pitting first, strange. The end result was both cars finished outside the points when they could have both finished in the points if we are being honest. A disappointing end of a strange season from a strange team.

AlphaTuari: AlphaTauri were on fire towards the end of the year as they really managed to get their act together. Ricciardo however was a little off qualifying in p15 and having no real impact on the race. Given his broke his wrist earlier in the year and was very much parachuted in however it has been a decent comeback from Danny Ric. Tsuonda had one of the strongest performances of his year and indeed his career. A great qualifying got him into Q3 and he stuck with the pack in the first stint of the race even leading the race as AT went for the one-stopper. The strategy was not the fastest in the end but I am not sure how much difference it made to his final result. Yuki remained calm on the radio and on the track which is not something we always see, his final lap battle with Hamilton was another show of how much Yuki has improved as a driver in recent times. A good springboard into next year.

Aston Martin: Aston Martin have recovered a little since their mid season slump but they still have not reached the heights of their early season form. Stroll was knocked out in Q2 and therefore took a risk and started on the hard tyres. Stroll made it work best of those who went with that strategy and methodically made his way back through the field on the hard tyres in his opening two stints and an attack on the mediums towards the end, the end result of this was a point for Lance Stroll in what has been a very solid end to his season. Alonso was on it as ever, made it into Q3 and in the first stint was in the big DRS train before being one of the first cars to stop and therefore triggering the two stop strategy for everyone else. Alonso was undercut by Hamilton on the second stops and wanted to let him through before the DRS zone to which Hamilton claimed he was brake tested (even though Alonso was off the track), the next lap however Alonso got Hamilton back and held him off to the finish. Despite the car off it was a result that gave Alonso P4 in the championship, a great performance from a man who despite his age has lost absolutely nothing

Mcalren: What a turnaround Mclaren had following their dismal start to their season. Norris has been the stronger driver but is making too many errors like the mistake he made in Q3 with his slide around by the hotel. Norris was able to gain a place on Russell at the start to be running p4 behind his teammate Piastri who qualified and was running in P3. The Mclarens soon swapped over as Norris had better pace and tyre management than his teammate Piastri who after a little battle was also cleared by the Mercedes of George Russell. Piastri was clared by the roecvering Perez later in the race but apart from this did not do too much in the race. Lando was keeping up with Leclerc in the first stint and was keeping Russell at bay until the pitstops. Mclaren have been quick at the pitstops so far this year but this was not one of those times as Mclaren had a slow stop and Norris lost the position to Russell. Norris had a quiet race after this until perez came through. Norris gave the Mexican room but perez broke too late and made contact with Lando forcing him across the chicane and earning himself a 5 second penalty. Lando was unable to stay within 5 seconds of Checo and it was a p5 p6 for the mclarens which secured them p4 in the constructors
Mercedes: Hamilton had a disappointing outing in Abu Dhabi, he seems to have a couple of these a season where he is just missing a bit of pace and cant get into the weekend. His demanour also changes and he becomes a little grumpy (nothing wrong with that in fairness) A second Q2 elimination in as many weeks is a disappointment but unlike in Vegas he never made any real progress in the race despite the start where he did overtake Checo off the road . There was cotact with Gasly which damaged the front wing of the Mercedes in quite a clumsy incident. Hamilton then had a battle with Alonso where like in Jeddah 2021 failed to recognise that a car was letting him through, but he lost out in the end to the Aston Martin. Hamiltons day was summersised by his final lap battle with the 1 stop tyre shot Yuki Tsuonda where Hamilton did get past but overshot and was reovertaken by Yuki. Russell, despite being ill, had his strongest drive of the season. He did lose a place at the start to Norris but was able to regain in the pits (while also taking Piastri) on track. Russell gapped the mcalrens and was also able to remain within 5 seconds of Perez to get a podium which secured p2 in the constrcyotrs for merc. Russell has made a lot of errors this year but there is no faulting his drive in Abu Dhabi.

Ferrari: Sainz had a mare of a weekend, he crashed in Fp2 and was knocked out in Q1. His race pace was also very poor as he was slower than Stroll on a similar strategy in the first stint. Due to this lack of pace Ferrari then had to take a roll of the dice and hope for a SC which did not come and sainz pitted for softs before retiring. Leclerc pulled out a super lap to put the car p2 on the grid and was also very punchy on lap 1 in attacking max, although he was not able to pull off a move. Leclerc then settled into p2 in the race not having anything for the leading Red Bull but having more than enough pace to cover Russell and Norris. Towards the end of the race, once Russell had been cleared by Perez lelcerc showed some high IQ as he attempted to give Perez DRS in order to give Perez the 5 second gap he needed for Perez to beat Russell and therefore Ferrari beat Mercedes in the constrctors. Despite Charles thinking he was not able to pull it off. A good end to the season however for Charles

Red Bull: Perez made a bit of a meal of qualifying as he didnt get a great lap in Q3 anyway and extended track limits. He slowly made his way through the pack but made little to no progress in the first stint. Perez then ran a longer second stint and was able to gain places this way as towards the end of the race he had fresher tyres than his competitors but made a clumsy pass on Norris earning himself a penalty. Although the penalty may have been on the harsh side Perez is getting himself involved in too many of these incidnets and is alwauys seemingly unable to take resonablity. Despite therefore being second on the road it was a p4 finish from checo in a car than should be 1-2. Max had one goal this race, lead enough laps to get the 1000 laps led in a season. And he pulled it off. Nothing else to say about Verstappen or his season, every record has been blown out the water. Dominant.
Original post by Andrew97
Alfa Romeo: It was a poor end to the season for Alfa Romeo. Bottas was one of the few cars to start on the hard tyres and one of two (the other being Yuki) to try the one stop strategy. This did not work for bottas as the hard tyres did not last as long as expected and he steadily fell through the pack before his pitstop. From there nothing really could have been done to improve the situation, the one stop was not the correct strategy for Bottas but switching to a 2 was also not going to work at this point so Bottas drove round at the back ahead of only Magnussen. Zhou was in Abu Dhabi, he was on the better 2 stopper but the car was just not quick and he finished in p17. Alfa Romeo started this era with a good car as they got i down to the weight limit before most but it has dropped off massively, the team lacks ambition as well. Zhou is a decent driver but is not the best on the market, same for bottas. It is just meh all round. I also wonder what they will do with Pouchaire, their f2 driver won the title but has not been promoted, why not? What are Sauber seeing. Audi are coming in a couple of years and have a lot of work to do.

Haas: The Haas is not a good car and Abu Dhabi was simply this in action. Magnussen had some sort of issue at the start which lead to an early pitstop, the issue unseen by the cameras, and with the Haas race pace Magnussen was just doomed at the back unable to do anything. Hulkenburg’s weekend started off poorly as he crashed in fp2, but qualifying went well as he made it into Q3 but had a poor start dropping him out of points, once track position is lost a Haas will not be getting it back and the Hulk did not have any chance in the race and ended up in p15. Of the 4 teams at the back Haas probably had the strongest lineup across the whole season but the car simply did not perform, it has been a number of years now in a row that the Haas has just cooked its tyres. Something about their philosophy is wrong and if they dont get it sorted out they will enver make progress.

Williams: Williams were perhaps a little weaker at Abu Dhabi than I thought they would be, however the main mission was accomplished in that they remained ahead of AlphaTauri in the constructors. Sergeant is still fighting to keep his drive for 2024 but did not do his cause a lot of good as in qualifying both his laptimes were deleted for track limits, these are fundamental errors that I accepted him making in Jeddah but should be ironed out at this point. This pout Logan last on the grid from where he was unable make too much impact on the race. Albon at one point did make it into Q3 but did his lap early and was eliminated, the Willaims is a less extreme version of the Haas in that the best way for it to get points is to start there and hold track position as they wont be getting it back, and this was basically the Abu Dhabi grand prix for them although albon did have a puncy lap 1. Still 7th in the constructors is an excellent reuslt for Willaims and Albon has been one of the stars of the season, into 2024 Willaims need to build on this and regularly challenge for points. A good place and Albon will be on many teams shopping lists into 2025.

Alpine: Alpine are a very strange team, one week they are finishing p4 and the next they are out the points in p12 and p13. Ocon was ill all weekend apparently and was the Alpine to be knocked out in Q3 whilst Gasly made it into Q3. both cars were in the drs train in the first stint where Gasly was touched by hamilton after Gasly had a little lockup at the chicane. This seemingly innocuous touch damaged Gasly’s diffuser and caused his tyre wear to increase signinficntly. For reasons I am unsure of they undercut Gasly with Ocon which annoyed Pierre very much, Gasly then was on the 2 stopper due to his damage while Ocon was on a 1 despite pitting first, strange. The end result was both cars finished outside the points when they could have both finished in the points if we are being honest. A disappointing end of a strange season from a strange team.

AlphaTuari: AlphaTauri were on fire towards the end of the year as they really managed to get their act together. Ricciardo however was a little off qualifying in p15 and having no real impact on the race. Given his broke his wrist earlier in the year and was very much parachuted in however it has been a decent comeback from Danny Ric. Tsuonda had one of the strongest performances of his year and indeed his career. A great qualifying got him into Q3 and he stuck with the pack in the first stint of the race even leading the race as AT went for the one-stopper. The strategy was not the fastest in the end but I am not sure how much difference it made to his final result. Yuki remained calm on the radio and on the track which is not something we always see, his final lap battle with Hamilton was another show of how much Yuki has improved as a driver in recent times. A good springboard into next year.

Aston Martin: Aston Martin have recovered a little since their mid season slump but they still have not reached the heights of their early season form. Stroll was knocked out in Q2 and therefore took a risk and started on the hard tyres. Stroll made it work best of those who went with that strategy and methodically made his way back through the field on the hard tyres in his opening two stints and an attack on the mediums towards the end, the end result of this was a point for Lance Stroll in what has been a very solid end to his season. Alonso was on it as ever, made it into Q3 and in the first stint was in the big DRS train before being one of the first cars to stop and therefore triggering the two stop strategy for everyone else. Alonso was undercut by Hamilton on the second stops and wanted to let him through before the DRS zone to which Hamilton claimed he was brake tested (even though Alonso was off the track), the next lap however Alonso got Hamilton back and held him off to the finish. Despite the car off it was a result that gave Alonso P4 in the championship, a great performance from a man who despite his age has lost absolutely nothing

Mcalren: What a turnaround Mclaren had following their dismal start to their season. Norris has been the stronger driver but is making too many errors like the mistake he made in Q3 with his slide around by the hotel. Norris was able to gain a place on Russell at the start to be running p4 behind his teammate Piastri who qualified and was running in P3. The Mclarens soon swapped over as Norris had better pace and tyre management than his teammate Piastri who after a little battle was also cleared by the Mercedes of George Russell. Piastri was clared by the roecvering Perez later in the race but apart from this did not do too much in the race. Lando was keeping up with Leclerc in the first stint and was keeping Russell at bay until the pitstops. Mclaren have been quick at the pitstops so far this year but this was not one of those times as Mclaren had a slow stop and Norris lost the position to Russell. Norris had a quiet race after this until perez came through. Norris gave the Mexican room but perez broke too late and made contact with Lando forcing him across the chicane and earning himself a 5 second penalty. Lando was unable to stay within 5 seconds of Checo and it was a p5 p6 for the mclarens which secured them p4 in the constructors
Mercedes: Hamilton had a disappointing outing in Abu Dhabi, he seems to have a couple of these a season where he is just missing a bit of pace and cant get into the weekend. His demanour also changes and he becomes a little grumpy (nothing wrong with that in fairness) A second Q2 elimination in as many weeks is a disappointment but unlike in Vegas he never made any real progress in the race despite the start where he did overtake Checo off the road . There was cotact with Gasly which damaged the front wing of the Mercedes in quite a clumsy incident. Hamilton then had a battle with Alonso where like in Jeddah 2021 failed to recognise that a car was letting him through, but he lost out in the end to the Aston Martin. Hamiltons day was summersised by his final lap battle with the 1 stop tyre shot Yuki Tsuonda where Hamilton did get past but overshot and was reovertaken by Yuki. Russell, despite being ill, had his strongest drive of the season. He did lose a place at the start to Norris but was able to regain in the pits (while also taking Piastri) on track. Russell gapped the mcalrens and was also able to remain within 5 seconds of Perez to get a podium which secured p2 in the constrcyotrs for merc. Russell has made a lot of errors this year but there is no faulting his drive in Abu Dhabi.

Ferrari: Sainz had a mare of a weekend, he crashed in Fp2 and was knocked out in Q1. His race pace was also very poor as he was slower than Stroll on a similar strategy in the first stint. Due to this lack of pace Ferrari then had to take a roll of the dice and hope for a SC which did not come and sainz pitted for softs before retiring. Leclerc pulled out a super lap to put the car p2 on the grid and was also very punchy on lap 1 in attacking max, although he was not able to pull off a move. Leclerc then settled into p2 in the race not having anything for the leading Red Bull but having more than enough pace to cover Russell and Norris. Towards the end of the race, once Russell had been cleared by Perez lelcerc showed some high IQ as he attempted to give Perez DRS in order to give Perez the 5 second gap he needed for Perez to beat Russell and therefore Ferrari beat Mercedes in the constrctors. Despite Charles thinking he was not able to pull it off. A good end to the season however for Charles

Red Bull: Perez made a bit of a meal of qualifying as he didnt get a great lap in Q3 anyway and extended track limits. He slowly made his way through the pack but made little to no progress in the first stint. Perez then ran a longer second stint and was able to gain places this way as towards the end of the race he had fresher tyres than his competitors but made a clumsy pass on Norris earning himself a penalty. Although the penalty may have been on the harsh side Perez is getting himself involved in too many of these incidnets and is alwauys seemingly unable to take resonablity. Despite therefore being second on the road it was a p4 finish from checo in a car than should be 1-2. Max had one goal this race, lead enough laps to get the 1000 laps led in a season. And he pulled it off. Nothing else to say about Verstappen or his season, every record has been blown out the water. Dominant.


Great write up as always.

The only thing I can add was how impressive Piastri was in his rookie year.

I think if Williams have a credible candidate for Logan’s seat they will boot him.
Original post by Admit-One
Great write up as always.

The only thing I can add was how impressive Piastri was in his rookie year.

I think if Williams have a credible candidate for Logan’s seat they will boot him.

And its official, Logan is retained for 2024!

This means that for the first time in modern times, there are no changes in driver lineups for the following season.
Speaking of driver line-ups, f2 season testing has finished and driver lineups from the post season test are usually the driver / team line-ups for the following season. With this in mind, here is the provisional grid for f2 next year:

ART
1) Victor Martins
2) Zack O' Sullivan (R)

Prema
3) Ollie Bearman
4) Andrea Kimi Antonelli (R)

Rodin Carlin
5)Zane Maloney
6) Ritomo Miyata (R)

DAMS
7) Jack Crawford
8) Juan Manuel Correa

Invicta Virtuosi
9) Gabriel Bortoleto (R)
10) Kush Maini

MP Motorsport
11) Dennis Hauger
12) Franco Colapinto (R)

Van Amersfoort
14) Enzo Fittipaldi
15) Villagomez

Hitech
16) Paul Aron (R)
17) amaury Cordeel

Campos
20) Isack Hadjar
21) Pepe Marti (R)

Trident
22) Richard Verschoor
23) Ollie Goethe (R)

PHM Racing (formerly Charouz)
24) Joshua Dursken (R)
25) josh Mason
Original post by quasa
Speaking of driver line-ups, f2 season testing has finished and driver lineups from the post season test are usually the driver / team line-ups for the following season. With this in mind, here is the provisional grid for f2 next year:

ART
1) Victor Martins
2) Zack O' Sullivan (R)

Prema
3) Ollie Bearman
4) Andrea Kimi Antonelli (R)

Rodin Carlin
5)Zane Maloney
6) Ritomo Miyata (R)

DAMS
7) Jack Crawford
8) Juan Manuel Correa

Invicta Virtuosi
9) Gabriel Bortoleto (R)
10) Kush Maini

MP Motorsport
11) Dennis Hauger
12) Franco Colapinto (R)

Van Amersfoort
14) Enzo Fittipaldi
15) Villagomez

Hitech
16) Paul Aron (R)
17) amaury Cordeel

Campos
20) Isack Hadjar
21) Pepe Marti (R)

Trident
22) Richard Verschoor
23) Ollie Goethe (R)

PHM Racing (formerly Charouz)
24) Joshua Dursken (R)
25) josh Mason


In terms of title favourites, I'll split it between returnees and rookies.

Returnees:

The strong favourites are Victor Martins and Ollie Bearman in terms of returnees, both of whom won races this year. Also bearman was the youngest on the grid this year, whereas Martins, with the likes of nissany and boschung leaving, will be one of the older drivers on the grid next year.

Zane Maloney should be interesting to see how he does after being dropped by RB as he is fast but was not great in f2 this year. For me, the dark horse is Kush maini (aka Happy as kush means happy) as he is with Virtuosi next year and is now being backed by alpine and Mika Hakkinen.

Rookies: for me, a lot of the rookies are absolute standouts / best quality I've seen since 2018, and honestly wouldn't be surprised to see a rookie champion.

For me, the rookies who are the favs are:
-Kimi Antonelli, the reigning FREC champ, who has had a rapid ascension through the ranks and dominated all championship he has been in since going to open wheelers (so much so that merc decided to skip f3 and go straight to f2).
-Gabriel Bortoleto, who is the reigning f3 champ. His junior career has generally been fairly rubbish / Anonymous but he absolutely dominated the f3 field this year as a rookie and has gone well in all 3 days of testing this year. He is 1 of 2 drivers from Fernando Alonso driver academy who signed with mclaren junior programme at the end of this year.

Whilst these 2 are the rookies I'd reckon could challenge for the championships, other rookies to keep an eye on are:

-Pepe Marti- another alonso academy driver but he signed with rb this year. He finished 3rd in f3 this year but he has looked rapid and generally been quick in his jr career

- Franco Colapinto - been in f3 for 2 years but is rapid on his day and usually has great tyre management skills.

- Ritomo Miyata - unlike the top3 / top4 drivers this year, and many drivers beforehand going from f2 to the much faster, more fierce Super Formula championship, Miyata has actually gone the opposite direction to the slower F2 championship. And he is both the reigning Super Formula champion and Super GT champion (youngest driver to do the double / only 5 drivers in all motorsport have done the double in the same year in all iterations of super formula and super Gt). It's more impressive as well considering he has autism and he absolutely demolished Tsunoda in F4 and beat Lawson to Super formula this year (lawson didn't miss any races BTW). Despite his pedigree, I do not expect him to do well / better than maloney however as he has never raced outside of japan before and he looked to struggle in testing on all 3days in the slower f2/18 car. Saying that however, a new car is going to be used next year for everyone



So yeah, who do you reckon will do will, and who will struggle?
(edited 3 months ago)
Original post by quasa
And its official, Logan is retained for 2024!

This means that for the first time in modern times, there are no changes in driver lineups for the following season.

Personally I'm a fan of this. As I alluded to previously I dislike the modern sport culture of immediate results and prefer a best of three seasons approach. Sergeant probably won't match Albon but let's see if he makes progress at all.

What happened to LeClerc's brother.
Original post by Rakas21
Personally I'm a fan of this. As I alluded to previously I dislike the modern sport culture of immediate results and prefer a best of three seasons approach. Sergeant probably won't match Albon but let's see if he makes progress at all.

What happened to LeClerc's brother.

Sargeant to be fair, is a quick driver. 1st season F3, he was quicker than piastri but had an absolute nightmare in Mugello which gifted the championship to Oscar. Stayed f3 for another year and was the only driver in god knows how many years to win a race in a car that wasnt Tirdent, ART or Prema.
F2 he was decent but felt other drivers were better. Personally, I reckon it would be interesting to see how he does next year as he improved a lot in the 2nd half in quali pace but was nowhere in race apce (still Albon is genenrally a driver who is great at looking after tyres and race pace).


No idea about Arthur but I wouldnt be surprised to see Arthur go WEC or ELMS (truth is, he isnt even that fast if i am honest since he has been in the f1 calendar in f3 and f2).

Whats interesting with WEC is that Ferrari will now have a 3rd hypercar, albeit for the satellite "richard Mille" AF corse team. Whats interesting is Robert Kubica has been signed to the RM car but the other 2 drivers havent been confirmed. Its widely expected Robert Schwarzman will be 1 of the drivers but the 3rd one Lilou Wadoux (2nd best female circuit racer in closed cockpits after Doriane Pin, who has recently been signed to the mercedes academy squad and will race for them in f1 academy). Still I reckon Arthur will be in GT cars rather than prototypes.

Should be interesting to see how many F2 drivers this year are going to Super Formula and Indycar/ Indy Lights.
In terms of Super Formula this year, Iwasa has been confirmed but it is expected Pourchaire, Doohan and possibly vesti will be heading there.
Pourchaire made a few comments about f2 to f1 progression, basically about you need to have a bit of luck even as an f2 champ to jump up which is true.

Is this the best argument for adding a couple more teams to the grid?

More spaces, more opportunities. The real arguments against expansion seem mostly commercial - which are of course important but having 22 or 24 cars especially as now Aston, Mclaren, Alpine along with the big-3 all want to have long term title aspirations the only places for rookies to come in and be free to make (a reasonable, not Mick level) number of mistakes is at AT/Williams/Haas/Sauber and presumably with Sauber becoming Audi they will have similar aspirations.

If you assume 1 veteran in each team. There is really now only 3 seats on the grid where we are likely to see a team gamble on inexperienced talent.
I do favour more teams anyway however I think we forget how many rookies are not actually much good. I also think that Red Bull giving Gasly and Albon a chance and sacking them has scared quite a few teams because they've realised that not everybody in F2 is the next Verstappen.

To some degree the veterans hanging on happens in every sport though now thanks to better practise. Tennis is a classic example where until about 2017 the top 4 were a bunch of 30+ year olds.

I do think we forget that there are some teams prepared to take greater risks. Both Ferrari and McLaren drivers are not old and neither is Alpine.
Haas: Haas really struggled in 2023. The fundamental issue with their car was tyre wear, it would often qualify well but in the races would drop like a stone with Hulkenburg making it into Q3 8 times while Magnussen struggled only making Q3 3 times. There were also no double points finish for Haas in 2023, AlphaTuari had the same but their results were generally better. Hulkenburg was the stronger driver all year and had 3 standout performances. The first for the Hulk was on his 3rd weekend back in Australia, a one stop race, the convergence of strategy and everyone driving to a delta helped Hulk as his tyre wear did not kick in too much although he did lose a place to Norris towards the end, a podium was possible for about 45 seconds after he avoided the carnage at the restart after the red flag ironically caused by his teammate, but he has pushed back down. Hulk was also able to stay out of trouble in the austria sprint to run second for a time until he fell back, this again was set up by a strong qualifying performance. Hulk’s third standout was in Canada qualifying with some luck he got a front row. The Australia race and Austria sprint were the only points of his season but it was enough to beat Magnussen. Speaking of Magnussen his drive of the season was Miami, he managed to get his lap in and qualify in p4 and then rather amusingly spent half the race beefing with Leclerc for no apparent reason, it did not achieve much in the long term that race but it was very entertaining and very typical Magnussen. These moments were few and far between however and often haas were at the back with the Alfa’s, Williams and ATs. Haas finished last of these teams in the end due to the weakness of their car. Rather worryingly they introduced a B-spec car at Austin which did not seem to lead to any noticeable performance increase, with this in mind I do not see Haas making many improvements or progress in 2024. 1/10


Alfa Romeo: Does anyone remember anything from Alfa Romeo’s season? Not much really, they are the most anonymous team on the grid. Haas are notable due to sometimes making Q3 and then falling like a stone. Williams noted for the Albon train and AlphaTauri for the return of Danny Ric and strong performances of Yuki. The season started well for Bottas as like in Bahrian last year he drove around behind the top cars to finish best of the rest with teammate Zhou being further down. Bottas then had some right stinkers, some like Jeddah were caused by car damage, although he did luck into some points in Australia with the mayhem at the restart. As did Zhou. Bottas was able to sneak a couple of 10th places in Canada and Monza, although in Caanda he was completely mugged by Bottas. Zhou meanwhile had his strongest race in Spain where he outperformned and outdrove Bottas, but often had weekends where he was nowhere along with his teammate. Their strongest weekend was both in Qatar where the weird strategy stuff was taking place, due to a weak qualy and a soft tyre punt in the sprint both cars had ample unused sets of the better for the race medium tyres which when pitting under the early Sc worked a treat with the maxim stint lengths for both cars to finish in the points. This was a rare event for ALfa however, the car was better than Haas but not much better and they never looked like beating Willaims. The Alfa sponsorship will drop next year and it will liely just be called Sauber before the Audi transition, I can see them next year also being a non-entity. Zhou needs to make a noticeable step to suruvie. 2/10


AlphaTuari: AT were the most improved team across the course of the whole 2023 and certainly had the most upgrades, both with the cars and the driver lineups. Nick De Vries formula one adventure was not a success, there was an embarrassing crash in the Azerbajian grand prix which brought out the safety car, at this point he was 4-0 down in qualifying but did outqaulify Yuki in Miami bur ruined his race by driving into the back of Norris at the start of the race. The rest of De Vries half season was full of mediocre performances with a bozo moment in Canada with Magnussen to top it off. This all resulted in De vries being dropped by the brutal red Bull programme. His replacement was the return of the smiling assassin Daniel Ricciardo who immediately broke his wrist at the dutch gp, on his return in Austin he was understandably a little off the pace but had his strongest weekend of the year in Mexico. Ric was on thre pace all weekend in Mexico making it into Q3 and was easily best of the rest even having an attempt at Russell in the end, this was a big race for Ricciardo and gave AlphaTuari a hatful of points. Ricciardo’s other races were nothing to write home about but he was able to do a very important job in developing the AT car. I mentioned above Ricciardo broke his wrist, he was replaced for a few races by Liam Lawson. Lawson, given the position he was put in was very impressive as he got to the end no issues. Monza was another strong drive as he finished on the cupse of the points, following this up in Japan. His strongest drive was in singapore where he sensationally knocked Verstappen out of Q3, Lawson stayed out of trouble in the race and through some cirucmtance was able to score points, more than De Vries did. Tsuonda was the strongest driver of the AT lineup this year but does need to polish somewhat as some errors out, points were lost for example in Mexico due to a collision with Piastri and he drove Zhou off the road in Spain to earn a very harsh penalty. But generally Yuki was very strong, he finished near the points in the first 3 races actually getting points in Melborune and Baku. Points followed in Silverstone and in Austin including a fastest lap. Yuki’s strongest race of the tear was the finale in Abu Dhabi where he was able to pull off a 1 stop and even beat Hamilton on a final lap battle. A good season for Yuki. 4/10

Willaims: Williams continue their recovery after falling right down to the bottom of f1. They had a new team principal in James Vowles from Mercedes and a new driver in Logan Sargeant. Sergeant struggled in his first season in the sport and made several rookie errors such as getting his laptimes deleted in Saudi Arabia and Yas Marina qualifying, Saudi being a chance to make it into Q2 and beat Albon (Who whitewashed him). Other errors for Sargeant included crashing in qualifying Suzuka and Zandvoort as well as crashing in the race in Singapore and Australia. There were some decent qualifying performances in fairness to Sargeant such as in Vegas but these moments were too far between. In all honesty a lack of replacement options is a main reason why Sargeant has kept his seat for 2024. Albon was one of, if not the, strongest driver ooutsude the top 5 teams. Albon had some standout drives this year as he dragged a very good qualifying car into the points on several occasions. His best drives were in Caanda and Silverstone where he had genuine pace. Canada qualifying putting him on slicks in Q2 was a genius move that set him up for the race where he defended well, Silverstone Albon was just on it all weekend and was able to outrace the ferraris who had an unusual strategy. There were issues however, sometimes Williams went a bit too far on the straight line speed and he could not defend like in Spa and Vegas as the tyres went off, he also lobbed it into the wall in Austrlai. Still a very strong season overall. 4/10
Alpine: Alpine are a very confusing and chaotic team, Off track it was not a good 2023 as midday through the Belgian gp weekend both team principal Otmar Schafnaur and long standing team member Alan Permane left the team, they followed Laurent Rossi out the door who had presided over the team when they managed to lose both Alonso and Piastri in the space of about a week. At the start of the season the team claimed they wished to be closer to 3rd in the constructors than they would be to 5th, testing was a quiet affair as Alpine did their own thing not really showing any performance. In the end as Aston Martin made their jump and Mclaren got their act together the goal would not only be missed, but drmarically so. It was a strange season, mostly in no mans land but some weekends one of the drivers would randomly turn up with the drive of a lifetime and others they would be utterly hopeless. For example in Austria Ocon seemed to be driving a different racetrack to everyone else with the number of penalties he ended up getting, with a similar situation occurring in Bahrian. Bahrian in a way was a perfect summary of the Alpine season. Gasly was knocked out in Q1 and Ocon made it to Q3, but in the race Ocon had his one man quest to get every peanlty going and only beat Norris who has on his own mission to make as many pitstops as possible. Gasly meanwhile ended up in the points. A simialr situation occurred in vegas but we just swap the drivers around. The drivers were roughly equal and had a standout race each, for Ocon this was in Monaco where he had his weekend on weekends, his qualifying lap was in my opinion better than that laps of Alonso and Verstappen. His race was also very calm keeping the faster Ferrari of Sainz behind him in the first stint and pitting at roughly the correct time for inters to gain a superb podium. Ocon also had a great recovery in the Vegas gp after his Q1 elimination. Gasly’s strongest race of the year came at the dutch gp with an inspired lap 1 pitstop for inters when the rain came down, a race long battle wirh Sainz then followed and a red flag which made Gasly’s race, staying within 5 seconds of Checo earned him a podium. Gasly had some other strong drives such as the spa sprint and Sao Paulo gp. The weak point of the Alpine was its straight line speed and low downforce package, the car was nowhere at Monza and in Mexico as the Renault engine is clearly weaker than others. The car was ok, the drivers were fine and the season largely reflected this. Given the talk though, it was a dissapointment.
Original post by mnot
Pourchaire made a few comments about f2 to f1 progression, basically about you need to have a bit of luck even as an f2 champ to jump up which is true.

Is this the best argument for adding a couple more teams to the grid?

More spaces, more opportunities. The real arguments against expansion seem mostly commercial - which are of course important but having 22 or 24 cars especially as now Aston, Mclaren, Alpine along with the big-3 all want to have long term title aspirations the only places for rookies to come in and be free to make (a reasonable, not Mick level) number of mistakes is at AT/Williams/Haas/Sauber and presumably with Sauber becoming Audi they will have similar aspirations.

If you assume 1 veteran in each team. There is really now only 3 seats on the grid where we are likely to see a team gamble on inexperienced talent.


Either a couple of teams and /or third drivers.
Considering that the teams are now cash positive (or will be), as well as budget caps, I reckon having a 3rd car could be feasible.
Original post by Admit-One
Great write up as always.

The only thing I can add was how impressive Piastri was in his rookie year.

I think if Williams have a credible candidate for Logan’s seat they will boot him.

Yeah agreed on Piastri, im doing my season write up as we speak and so Piastri ill discuss him there
Original post by quasa
And its official, Logan is retained for 2024!

This means that for the first time in modern times, there are no changes in driver lineups for the following season.


First time ever I think, the fewest I can think of was 08-09 when the only change was the Coulthard Vettel Buemi moves.
Aston Martin: The season started so well for Aston Martin as they made a huge jump over the winter into 2024, there was a mid season slump but they picked it up at the end of the season. The same can be said for their second driver Lance Stroll, his season had the potential to start with a disaster as he broke both his wrists in a pre-season training incident and was replaced for testing by test driver Felipe Drugovich and it looked likely the Brazilian would also be making his Grand Prix debut. But Stroll remarkably recovered to race in time, even more remarkably despite a bit of contact with Alosno he finished in p6. He followed this up in Jeddah with an impressive lap 1 move on a Ferrari before breaking down and a solid enough drive in Melbourne despite a small error at the end. Stroll’s season at this point took a real nosedive, a disaster in Miami and Monaco where he was both off the pace and a little crashy was a drop in form before a small recovery in Canada and Spain, although noteably slowly than Fernando in Spain. The car continued to fall off and Stroll got himselfd involved in incidents such as the Alpine in Silverstone. His low point was in Singapore where he was last in Q1 and on hot lap but crashed heavily at the final corner missing the race. This was followed by about 4 Q1 eliminations on the bounce including Qatar where he shoved his engineer. In fairness to Stroll in both Austin and Mexico Alonso was out in Q1 as well and he recvoered well both races, Stroll’s drive in Brazil and Vegas were also very strong staying out of trouble and having decent pace. Still a poor season for Lance.

Alonso was one of the strongest drivers of the season, yes there were some mistakes like his spin at the start in Vegas, the spin at Spa and running a bit wide in Spain qualifying. However we cannot ignore the performances Fernando put in. The AM was the second fastest car at the start of the season, at least in his hands, and he made the most of this with a fightback podium in Bahrain after a superb battle with Hamilton. This was followed up with podiums in both Jeddah and Melbourne, at this point I would like to point of Andy Stevenson. In Jeddah Alonso got a penalty for being in an incorrect grid slot, this was served in the pits but Alonso got a 10 second penalty as the team touched the car before the 5 seconds was elascped with the rear jack. AM protested this decision bringing 6 or 7 examples of this action not being penalised and got his 3rd place back. In Australia Alonso was taken out on the restart and AM were straight on the ball to get the red flag to reset to before the restart, Alonso and his team as ever were on the ball. Podiums followed with a safe drive in Miami and a p2 in Monaco where he almost got pole amnd a baffling change to mediums cost Alonso a shot at victory. His strongest drive was in the other dry-wet race of 2023 in Zandvoort. The AM had been struggling for a number of races at this point, Alonso was still solidly in the points but Mclaren had got their act together, A p5 on the grid was a solid enough qualifying. At the start everyone was running the high line at the banked turn 2, Alonso as the rain started to fall dived down the inside and gained 2 places. On lap 2 he then took the high line to pass Norris and pitted with Verstappen. When the race played out into some sort of rhythm following the changes in conditions Alonso was in p3 behind the red bull duo. Alonso kept his head and gained p2 when Perez had his issue a position he held to the end to get a superb podium. Another strong drive for Alonso was in Brazil where despite a sluggish start he soon retook Hamilton for p3 and spent the entire second half of the race holding Perez outside his DRS byu driivng some brilliant lines . In the final laps Perez made his move and got Alonso for p3 and it looked like game over. Nobody however told Alonso this, he spent the entire next lap diving around the track distracting checo and getting him back at t4 on the final lap just holdinjg him off at the end, it was an example of the racecraft and thinking that make Alonso who he is. Great season.. 7/10

Mclaren: At the start of the season at the launch pretty much Mcalren came out and said that they got the concept wrong and to not expect performance too soon and that several upgrades would come throughout the season, in around June Mika Hakkiden made some comments saying he felt in the coming months Mclaren could challenge red bull. At this point Mclaren had around 15 points and were near the bottom of the constructors. To put it simply all their upgrades worked and we say noticeable jumps with each one. There is not much to discuss with either driver pre Austria if we are being honest. Norris had a horrible middle east tour with reliability issues in Bahrian and hitting his teammates wing in Jeddah before scoring points in Australia. Both cars got points in Monaco before the update came at Austria. Austria was where Lando’s season really got going, he was on it all weekend, qualifying in the top 5 and clearing hamilton early on and just gapping him. A penalty for Sainz for track limits got him p4 in the end. Lando was on it even more at Silverstone as he lead early on before giving up the lead to Verstappen, Lando ran a comfy second until the SC where he was on hard tyres, depsitre the Merc behind being on the better medium tyres Lando was able to hold on for a superb p2 and followed this up with another 2nd in Hunagry. A few lesser results followed as Mclaren went the wrong way on setup in Spa and strategy in Zandvoort. The strategy and working with Sainz was perfect in Sinagpore as he claimed another p2. Lando would get further p2s in japan, Austin and Sao Paulo with a podium in Qatar as well to cap off a strong season. That being said it was not perfect from Lando, there were errors at notable points costing him. His crash at Vegas for example along with errors in the start at Mexico cost him track positon and better results. A great season from Lando however.

Piastri was a rookie this year, and the most impressive rookie for a number of years probably since the Russell Leclerc Albon cohort. His start of the season was very much limited by the performance of the car, there were nonetheless flashes with a Q3 appearance in Jeddah before contact at the start with an Alpine and points in Australia and Norris, when the car was somewhat there like Norris Piastri was getting decent results out of it. This was puncatued was poor results like in Miami and spain and a crash in Canada qualifying. Norris got the upgrade first in Austria and in this rate Piastri languished at the back in the old car. As soon as Oscar got the upgrades in silverstone however he was a man trasnformed. Piastri was on for a podium in Silverstone before getting very unlucky with the SC timing. Again in Hungary Piastri was in the battle for a podium before picking up damage in a battle with Checo. Spa Sprint was one of high his points of the season as the high downforce mclaren setup got him a sprint front row and p2 although the race did not go as well with contact with Sainz. Piastri was not perfect during this period however in some races such as Japan where he did get the podium he lacked pace to Norris, the same in Mexcio where he really should have beaten lando. He also got involved in incidents in both Austin races. But this is what you expect from a rookie so I cannot be too hard on him for this. His strongest weekend was Qatar where he stayed cool under pressure to get the sprint pole and win and then followed this up avoiding the merc drama at t1 and finished in p2. Piastri is something special, in his second season i would like to see his race pace imrpove a bit, but other than that largely faultless. 7/10
Ferrari: It was change for Ferrari in 2023, yes the driver lineup stayed the same but they had a new team principal in Fred Vassuer, some of the old was still there with a couple of questionable strategic decisions such as the one stopper in Austin and the Canadian GP qualifying but it was nowhere near as bad as last year. The weak point for the Ferrari seemed to be reliability issues and this was the main factor in costing them p2 to Mercedes. Leclerc retired in Bahrian with an engine failure leading to a peanlty in Jeddah and both drivers had a DNS each with Sainz in Qatar and Leclerc in Brazil. The drivers in general were roughly equal with each having a span of races where they were the stronger. Ill start with Carlos Sainz who started the season a little off the pace of Leclerc in Bahrain before beating him in Jeddah. Australia looked decenrt for Sainz before he tipped Alonso into a spin at the race restart and earned himself a peanlty. A number of points finishes followed this but he did get himself into trouble in Monaco hitting Ocon and then waiting too long to pit. One of the strongest points of Sainz in 2023 was his racecraft and this was displayed many times. His battle against Perez in Austria for instance when for a good few laps he kept making sure he got DRS out of T2 delayed the Mexican enough to secure p2 for his teammate, his defence in Monza against the red bulls and his own teammate was dicey but again he knew what he was doing. Sainz’s strongest race of the season was undoubtably the singapore gp, it is also a contender in my view for the drive of the season. Sainz got everything right here and ferrari did little wrong as well. Putting it on pole and leading at the start meant Sainz could control the race pace, his lack of pace in both stitns was a clevler move to ensure nobody could get the undercut. His ability to then be able to think to give Norris DRS to help defend against the mercs was genius, it was a well deserved win for Carlos. Ultimately he fell off a little at the end, an anonymous run in the America’s with some bad luck in Vegas followed by a woeful Abu Dhabi meant the final result was below what he deserved.

Leclerc also had a strong season and is, in my view, the best qualifier on the grid. His laps at Baku and every single lap he pumped in Vegas was sublime. Vegas was Leclerc’s strongest weekend on the year with an honourable mention to baku. Every lap Leclerc did at Vegas was just on it, in the race he did lose the lead to Max at the start but stayed with him in the race and with the penalty was of course for victory until a badly timed SC ironically caused by Max. Then, despite having older tyres he was able to keep Perez in sight and make a superb move on the final lap. Baku was simialrly a great performance for Leclerc as he somehow put the car on pole, twice, and led for a bit before the sheer pace of the red bull gave him no chance. That being said Leclerc was still error prone as he crashed in Miami qualifying for example and spent the whole of that race beefing with Magnussen. There was also the contact at the start with Stroll in Melbourne where the blame lies more squarely with Leclerc than it did with Stroll, Spain was also a disaster of a weekend, but he recovered well with solid drives in Austria and Canada. Leclerc performed fine during Sainz’s strong spell and was mainly plagued by bad luck such as damage in Zandvoort, and badly timed SC in Sinagpore. Leclerc had a strong season but was a little unlucky costing him a significant number of points, the mistakes although still there have indeed gone down.

Mercedes: If you listened to any Mercedes post race interviews from toto, Lewis and to a lesser extent George you’d be forgiven for thinking that Merc had built a brick of a car and it was terrible everywhere. In some races this was nearly the case. The car was not strong in Austria (where Lewis was seemingly unable to stay in track limits) and in Brazil where it chewed through tyres faster than a Haas which is a remarkable achievement. Strategically as well Mercedes seemed to be channelling their inner Ferrari in 2023 with some baffling strategic calls such as the start of the Dutch gp with both cars pitting way too late for the inter tyres and Hamilton's strategy in Austin was too slow to react. Speaking of Hamilton he had a very good season making the most of the car by grabbing multiple podiums. His strongest race was in Austin where it was clasisc Hamilton, making the tyres last the best he could and pulling a peachy move on Norris hunting down Verstappen to the end just missing out on victory, he was disqualified yes but this does not take away from this drive. The start of the season was fine for Hamilton with a pair of p5 finishes in the middle east before a podium in Melbourne. Hamilton would finish in the points continually with not a whole lot to say about any of the races, his pole lap in Hunagry being the most notable thing to happen although his Austria race was poor. After the summer break hamilton had a small blip in racecraft getting involved in some incidents such as Perez in spa (the peanlty was very harsh) Piastri in Monza and the ultimate sin of the crash with russell in Qatar where blame lies with Hamilton. These aside a decent season for Lewis.

Russell meanwhile had his weakest season to date, put simply he made too many errors such as throwing away at least a podium, maybe even a win, in Singapore. Points were also thrown down the drain when he hit the wall in Canada. There was a trend in many races this years when the 2 mercedes drivers were running together where Russell would ask for team orders in his favour, now I don't know wether or not this is the FOM trying to create some drama with team radios as they are known for that, but often in these situations Hamilton would then just pull away. Australia however when both Mercs got max at the start Russell was correct in that it made no sense battling as they would just lose out to the Red Bull of max. Although he did make some notable errors this year Russell was also the victim of bad luck in both Australia with the safety car timing and then the engine failure and in Sao Paulo when he had another reliability issue, Hamilton by contrast had 0 reliability issues with his disqualification in Austin being a set up issue. Russell’s strongest weekend was in Abu Dhabi where he was fastest than Lewis all weekend and scored a podium, this was a return to the old George who gets the car to the finish and gets the best result that is available to him, Into 2024 he needs to make less errors and try to have less issues with Lewis (this goes for both merc drivers)

Red Bull: What is there to say about red bull that hasnt been said already, they only lost 1 race across the whole season in Singapore, and even then one of their ex-drivers still won the race. Apart from maybe the DRS advantage there wasn’t anything obvious the red bull had over anyone else it was just perfected and tuned in every degree. Strategically the team was also on it getting the calls right in the change of condition races such as Zandvoort and Monaco. The strategy for Max in Austin as well helped max win that race, red bull have always been very punchy when it comes to strategy and hacving a dominant car has not stopped that whereas it is a weak point for mercedes. Perez started the season strongly, a p2 in Bahrain after losing out to Leclerc at the start was the maxim he could have achieved, he followed this up with the win at Jeddah, there was help from Max as he had reliability issues but Perez kept the gap to Max when the dutchman made it up to second. His strongest weekend came at Baku where he took both wins, again a little lucky with SC timing but once again he had Verstappen behind him msot the race and he held firm. At this point however Checo’s season started to fall apart, there was a disaster in mebourne crashing and out in Q1. Miami was the real turning point however, Perez was on pole and max p9, perez therefore should have taken an easy win. However he was unable to gain a large enough gap in the first stint and then lacked pace after the pitstop and ended up p2. This seemed to lead to a negative spiral for Checo as in the next race in Monaco he seemed to be on a one man mission to hit everything going crashing into q1 and then into Mags in the race. Q2 eliminations follwoed in the next section of races including in Austria where he kept missing track limits. There was a battle with Max in Austria sprint but by this point Max had him beaten well and truly. Perez, therefore, in these races had to fight back the drives were decent but he should not have had to do them and his racecraft was questionable as sainz made him look a right mug in Austria. This pattern would continue for a few races but with a couple of p2s thrown in until the asia leg were it all went wrong again. As mentioned above Singapore was a horrid race for red bull, perez managed to hit yuki and Albon getting a penalty, he also got involved in incidents in Japan and the styart in Mexico. Perez also lacked a killer insicst possibly due to the number of incidnets he was involved in, losing out to both Alonso in Sao Paulo and leclerc in vegas were not ideal. Still, p2 in the championship but theres massive room for improvement.

Verstappen had a 10/10 season, he wekaest race was Sinagpore and even then he was unlcuky with SC timing and got the maxim result possible. It was probably the most complete season we have seen since Schumacher in 2002. Whatever was thrown at him he was able to cope with, rain at Monaco and Zandvoort, no problem. Starting p9 in Miami, p16 in Jeddah. No problem. Brake issues in Austin, a bit shouty but no problem. His relationship with GP is on point, they know what the other one is thinking and it just works, GP works perfectly with a grumpy max. His strongest race of the year was Zandvoort where his pace over Perez on inters was ridiculous, indeed max was able to win the constructors on his own. I know I have not said much about Max but there is not much to say. Dominant. 10/1

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