Rolling Motorsport Thread 2023 (F1 etc.) 🏁 🏎 🏍

The Dakar Rally is already done, Formula E has kicked off and Rally Monte Carlo is just getting underway. The off season is over and its time to go racing once more.

F1 launch season is 2 weeks away and cars are on track in 5 for the one and only pre-season test. 40% of teams have new Team Managers and 60% have altered driver line-ups giving us lots of potential new storylines.

  • How long will it take for Alpine teammates Ocon and Gasly to clash on track?

  • Will Aston Martin make enough progress to avert a Fernando meltdown? (No)

  • Can Fred Vasseur prevent Ferrari from reverting back to their traditional dysfunctional internal sqabbling?

  • Will any new team get granted an F1 entry?

  • Do Mercedes really understand what was wrong with the 2022 car?

  • When will Williams be sold?

  • How good is Oscar Piastri and how good does he need to be for the story to be about his on-track performance and not the messy squabble - completely Alpines fault - over his contract?

  • On a scale of 1 to 10 how dislikable will Red Bull and Max V be this year?

Outside of F1 we have the centenary running of the Le Mans 24hr to look forward to with the return of Ferrari and Porsche to the Circuit de la Sarthe. It should easily be the most competitive race since the dawn of the Hypercar era but it’s bound to be surrounded be politics, griping and accusations of sandbagging as all the major players try to manipulate the ‘balance of performance’ regulations to their favour.

The Indy 500 is going to be the clash of the super teams. Last years victors Chip Ganassi racing will roll out with 3 former winners in their 4 car attack whilst McLaren has 2 former winners and the 2nd, 3rd and 5th place finishers from 2022 in it’s 4 cars. The mightly Team Penske have been in the doldrums at the speedway in recent years but surely that won’t continue.

NASCAR has seen a few drivers shuffle around, the most notably being Kyle Busch moving from the Joe Gibbs #18 Toyota over to the RCR #8 Chevy. The season gets underway with the exhibition ‘Clash’ at the LA Coliseum and is fairly unremarkable apart from resurrection of North Wilksboro Speedway to host the May All Star Race. The main talking point all season is likely to be the brewing off-track tensions between the teams and NASCAR over the future distribution of prize money and TV revenue.

But before all of that the other big round the clock sportscar race of the year looms on the horizon. The Daytona 24hrs kicks the IMSA season into gear this weekend with practice and qualifying ahead of next weekends race. Straight into a 24hr race is going to be a huge test for all the new LMD-h cars making it a higher than normal possibility that the race will be won overall by a car from outside of the top class.

Let’s go racin’.

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It was always there, you just couldn’t see it since it had fallen over due to having too few wheels.

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So Saudi Arabia is looking at buying F1

Cool :unamused:

Just tuned into Formula 4 Middle East Championship (supporting the Formula Regional Middle East, where hot prospect Kimi Antonelli leads the standings), racing at Kuwait Motor Town, which is one of the better Tilkedromes. Standard of driving is atrocious. More laps under safety car than at racing speeds.

24hrs of racing and it comes down to this.

Last lap pass and victory in class by 0.016s. Victory and defeat, elation and heartbreak, triumph and exhaustion, all of motor racing and all of life is here.

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Your first look at a 2023 F1 car. Probably not the exact model that’s going to testing, but it’s not a new paintjob on last year’s car.

Audi-ing the paint job earlier than I expected.

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Lance Stroll POV: Big year to prove that I’m not just there on Dad’s money, whilst he’s bringing in an all-time great to a team that’s got legitimately big aims, got to be in the best condition possi-

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the cheese is back :smiley:

Wow, that’s just…erm…yeah…just…wow!

Such production value and insight.
Frustrated Jack Nicholson GIF

Still more fun than Will Buxton stating the obvious in Drive to Survive.

Thought DtS was better than expected given the boringness of the season. Was very weird that they didn’t mention the Verstappen/Perez team orders stuff though, wonder what happened there. Also Horner using the mental health of his employees as a shield against overspending criticisms was disgusting, what a prick that guy is.

I’m up to episode 7 the bit with the team principles in episode 2 or 3 and Toto having a go was really funny also enjoyed the lovely meal between Guenther Steiner & Mattia Binotto also Guenther’s “never working with fucking Russian again” is an all time moment

Not much Horner so far just him being the normal dick

Will Buxton is still Will Buxton :neutral_face:

As every year Max is a very angry person

Would imagine they’re treading carefully with Red Bull in case they cut off access entirely. Pretty clear last year that Verstappen doesn’t like it and he holds enough sway in RB for them to pull the plug entirely.

It’s amazing how Horner gets worse every year.

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If (and it’s a big if) this Aston Martin has title winning pace, then it’s going to make things awkward quite quickly for Laurence Stroll given his son is going to be so clearly off the pace relative to Alonso.

Stroll not even gripping the steering wheel properly when going through turns :grimacing:

If Max reverts to his normal bullying tactics when things are close with Fernando it won’t turn out well.

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A proper Max/Fernando battle and corresponding falling out would be a fun start to the year, especially given everyone seems to expect a Verstappen walkover this year.

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Baffling that Aston are putting him in the car considering he must have struggled in the simulator.

You’d hope the FIA would stop him going out again tomorrow, but they’re probably more concerned about whether anyone’s got a rainbow on their underpants.

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Feels a bit Brawn esque this Aston car.

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