Lotus49 wrote:We also have a situation where we only have 3 teams capable of being competitive.
That's not different from F1 history in general. There have usually been three teams that are a tier above the rest.
What is different now compared to the past is that the talent pool is much deeper than before. Mercedes have arguably/probably the fastest driver in Hamilton, and an excellent number 2 in Bottas. Ferrari have a proven top driver in Vettel, and Leclerc in their junior ranks (who knows how high his ceiling is). Red Bull have two great drivers in Ricciardo and Verstappen.
Alonso just isn't better than Hamilton, Vettel, or Ricciardo by a big enough margin to convince the top teams to change their lineups. Also, he will turn 37 this year.
It's not that there's usually more than 3 competitive but if you've got a well funded team with good facilities then at least the chance of being one of those at the top is enough to think maybe next year. We know those are the only 3 teams that can win until 2021 and I think that's the difference as going to Renault or staying at McLaren which is normally perfectly attractive seats, isn't good enough for where he is in his career.
Previous era we had Merc/RB/Ferrari/McLaren and Enstone capable of delivering a winning car if they got it right. Even Williams in 2012 did the same but the drivers let it down. Era before that we had several manufacturer teams offering budget and facilities wise the chance of competitiveness with BMW,Honda,Toyota,Ferrari,McLaren,Williams and Renault.
This is the difference for me, those two (Renault and McLaren) are stuck in a tier 1.5 when it comes to finances and facilities, much better than most but with no chance of troubling the top 3 without forking out for full chassis dyno's and doubling their workforce and improving facilities (Wind tunnels, dyno's etc).
Agree about not being better by enough to change, no-one is between those top 5 imo. I think the age hurts him as well yeah.
"Clark came through at the end of the first lap so far ahead that we in the pits were convinced that the rest of the field must have been wiped out in an accident."
-Eddie Dennis, describing the dominance of Jim Clark in the Lotus 49 at Spa 1967