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Author Topic: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes  (Read 870 times)

Offline Jericoke

2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« on: December 05, 2021, 10:54:47 PM »
Much like Hamilton, my participation in watching the event in no way supports the government of Saudi Arabia, nor condones the values they espouse.

Heroes:
Lewis Hamilton - his 'Turbo Era' championships were seen as easy and boring, as he rode a dominant car to dominant victory.  His 2008 championship was anything but easy, his winning in literally every season was anything but easy, but to quiet his critics, he needs to struggle to win, and he is struggling to win.  He had a fast car.  He lucked into a pole position, he had the best teammate support I've seen him get in years, his team still made an unlucky call (they've done that a lot this year).  Once again, Hamilton and Verstappen battled hammer and tongs, and once again it was Hamilton who prevented race ending accidents as Verstappen tried to make dangerous (though apparently legal) moves.  Hamilton knows Verstappen better than anyone, and that is why he will be champion.  Even when Verstappen slowed to let Hamilton pass, yes, Hamilton hit him, but it could have been much worse if Hamilton hadn't already slowed to respond to what seemed bizarre behaviour.

A solid win for Hamilton, and another demonstration of why he's the best of the best.

Bottas - he'll be a footnote in the history of Lewis Hamilton, but he made the perfect teammate start today, ensuring that Max had no option but stay behind the two Mercedes cars.  Had the race been a snoozefest, Bottas's start would have clinched a 1-2 finish for Mercedes.  He could have passed Hamilton, but he did his job.  Then hunting down Ocon and pipping him for third at the last moment, that's a great move.

Ocon - It was a crazy race, he kept his nose clean and came very close to getting a podium.  He was outclassed by the 'big teams', but he was definitely best of the rest.  With the right opportunity, he could be challenging for championships.

McLaren - didn't get to see much of them on TV, but solid points finishes

Ferrari - again, not a lot of TV coverage, but the drivers were allowed to 'fight', and kept it fair.  It's easy to be 'fair' where there are no consequences, but still a good message to send.

Latifi - kept his nose clean for a 12th place, and finishing on the lead lap.  Perhaps not the send off Frank deserves, but a solid result for the 2021 Williams team.

Zeroes
Max/FIA.  The FIA has let Max get away with dangerous racing for so long, it's just part of the weekend now.  No one wants to see the championship decided in a crash, except for Max.  The FIA is in charge of setting/enforcing the rules, and I really feel like they've let us down.  Max CAN win without running his rivals off the road, but why bother when it's easier to just do that?  If Max wins a championship without his antics, I wouldn't be surprised at all.  But if he wins in 2021, I really feel he didn't earn it cleanly.

As for 'giving the spot back' to Lewis, it was ridiculous how much he tried to game it, giving spots back in such a way that he could immediately reclaim it.  My understanding is that when giving a position back you've got to wait 3 corners before restarting the fight?  Am I wrong?  And normally when you give a spot back, you pull over, you don't just slow down on the racing line.  Again, the FIA shares blame, there's got to be a better way to get information out so everyone knows what they need to know when they need to know it.  (I've wondered if a car to car channel would make sense.  Other sports the competitors are in direct communication.  Would F1 be better with on track trash talk being available?)

Mazepin - I know everyone said that Jeddah would cause a secondary crash as people slow down unsighted for a primary crash.  Mazepin just wasn't paying attention.

Perez - it was a tough place, I'd be willing to say 'racing incident', but he squeezed LeClerc.

Kimi?  - I didn't get a good look at Kimi/Vettel, but at this stage, unfortunately, I'd say it's Kimi causing trouble.

Other
What the hell was with the FIA 'negotiating' with the team principles?  What other sport does this happen in?  Are the FIA/Stewards in charge or not?  All due respect, I know that keeping everything safe (first) and fair (second) is difficult, but... it's your job.  Do your job, or step aside.  If you can't keep things fair, what makes you think you can keep things safe?



Offline Dare

Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2021, 01:29:17 AM »
I'll add I hate this track. Where do you pass at. Two red flags
in one race. Lousy officials. Then even took away the best place
to pass. In the Pits
"It's often said truth is the first casualty of war,"

Offline Jericoke

Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2021, 03:19:38 AM »
I'll add I hate this track. Where do you pass at. Two red flags
in one race. Lousy officials. Then even took away the best place
to pass. In the Pits

The track was a punishing track, the driver's aren't used to mistakes having consequences.

But as you say, passing seemed to be off the table.  I was surprised that the second red flag was a standing restart.  I would have called for a rolling restart after the first one was so crazy.

Offline Dare

Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2021, 03:26:46 AM »
I'll add I hate this track. Where do you pass at. Two red flags
in one race. Lousy officials. Then even took away the best place
to pass. In the Pits

The track was a punishing track, the driver's aren't used to mistakes having consequences.

But as you say, passing seemed to be off the table.  I was surprised that the second red flag was a standing restart.  I would have called for a rolling restart after the first one was so crazy.


It punished the people watching the race more.
"It's often said truth is the first casualty of war,"

Offline rmassart

Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2021, 07:15:01 AM »
Some thoughts on the race

Lewis:
He really wants that 8th title, it's good to see. He was fuming when he realised Verstappen got a free pitstop at the first red flag. Even going so far as to ask why you are allowed to change tyres on a red flag. Ignoring of course that he fixed his car in Silverstone under a red flag. Good to see. :) His racing at the end was sublime, setting fastest laps with a broken car.

Max:
A highly skilled driver he may be, but except for the second re-start where he jumped from 3rd to 1st, I don't think he actually made a fair attempt to pass Lewis. All his attempts were done on the assumption that Lewis would yield, would avoid a crash. Which he did, but they also all ended in Max being off the track. It's like in football when a defender is cautioned for making a two footed tackle and the defender wondering why because "he got the ball" - yeah but not before the other guy jumped out the way to save his legs.

The FIA need to start punishing him more seriously. Maybe with more points on his license. I think he got two in the end for his attempt to give up the lead, but he could have had 12 in this race alone.

Masi:
I've never heard a race director negotiate punishments before. I actually thought it was a good approach to put Verstappen behind Hamilton. But I do wonder what the Stewards would have done.

Max/Lewis incident:
So they've given Max an extra 10s for his game of chicken with Lewis at the DRS line. Verstappen did step on the breaks according to this report: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.breaking-verstappen-handed-further-10-second-penalty-for-lap-37-collision.7GGfMvAnRIGPtMQphh7zCd.html
How on earth that is only a 10s penalty I will never understand.

Rules:
There needs to be some clear rules on how to give back the lead, like, as Jericoke mentions, not being able to overtake for the next three corners or until after the next DRS zone or something.

FIA:
For all the punishments they handed out to Verstappen none really penalised him. They can punish him all they want, if he doesn't loose points it doesn't matter. From the moment he made the second restart on yellows he was always going to come second, barring an excessive amount of safety cars. But Lewis has also gained from such situations like in Silverstone where the 5s penalty didn't mean anything. Whether he deserved that penalty at all is another discussion, but what's the point in all these penalties if you are not penalising the drivers.

The season:
Max and Lewis are tied on points going into the last race, but Max has the advantage with the extra win. This does not look good for Lewis. Then I think back to the Belgian GP where Max gained 5 points on Lewis for doing nothing, plus the extra win he now has. That is a scam. Max has also come out Jeddah still technically in the lead of the championship. He didn't deserve that after his driving in the race. I would have liked to see them dock him one point, so that his racing tactics of forcing people out of the way would not be feasible. As it stands I see him taking Hamilton out during the race.


Offline lkjohnson1950

Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2021, 08:27:59 AM »
Other
What the hell was with the FIA 'negotiating' with the team principles?  What other sport does this happen in?  Are the FIA/Stewards in charge or not?  All due respect, I know that keeping everything safe (first) and fair (second) is difficult, but... it's your job.  Do your job, or step aside.  If you can't keep things fair, what makes you think you can keep things safe?

As I understand it MM was giving R/B a chance to "voluntarily" give the place back to Lewis or he would refer it to the Stewards. This was done because Max couldn't do it on the track since they went from red flag directly to another red flag. Then he asked Merc if that was acceptable to them. If either team had said no, it would have gone to the Stewards and who knows what foolishness they would come up with. Once both teams said yes, the Stewards, though they could have stepped in anyway, chose not to do so.
Lonny

Offline Willy

Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2021, 04:22:17 PM »
I do not like this track!
I am not happy the FIA have decided to support another Mid-east country with horrific human rights.

We all know who were the heroes in this race.

Max did his best to drive Lewis off the road many times and was rewarded for it by not getting a penalty.
The stewards are useless and Masi is a pussy.  Negotiate with the teams about penalties!! Ask if they will accept one!  Come on!

One question I have pertaining to the fastest lap.  Do you have to finish the race to be awarded the fastest lap? If you get one and crash, is it still yours if no one takes it from you? Even if you don't finish?
I ask as I can see Max getting the fastest lap and then crashing his car into Lewis and taking them both out of the Abu Dhabi race.  With them being equal in the points race, a single point can take the WDC. I would not put this move past Max or Red Bull.

Offline rmassart

Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2021, 05:15:37 PM »
One question I have pertaining to the fastest lap.  Do you have to finish the race to be awarded the fastest lap? If you get one and crash, is it still yours if no one takes it from you? Even if you don't finish?
I ask as I can see Max getting the fastest lap and then crashing his car into Lewis and taking them both out of the Abu Dhabi race.  With them being equal in the points race, a single point can take the WDC. I would not put this move past Max or Red Bull.

You have to finish in the top 10 to get the fastest lap point. Otherwise you still get the fastest lap "award", but not the point. But don't forget that Max doesn't need an extra point to win. He's already in the lead because he has more wins than Lewis. So if he knocks Lewis out he's world champion.  I also think that will be a part of his game plan, especially if he is chasing Lewis directly.  In my opinion Lewis needs to Valtteri to do him one tiny little favour (well the biggest one of their partnership in fact) and make sure he stays between Lewis and Verstappen!

It reminds me of '97 when Schumacher tried to force Villeneuve off by barging into him. He was disqualified from the whole season for that manoeuvre. But that was an easy decision to make as Schumacher anyway lost the title (his attempt on Villeneuve failed and he only took himself out!).

I wonder if the FIA will have the balls to disqualify Verstappen should he purposefully crash into Hamilton.

Offline cosworth151

Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2021, 06:12:41 PM »
There is precedent for that. 1997, Schumacher had a one point lead on Jacques Villeneuve in the WDC at the final race of the season. Schumy took Jacques out on lap 48, assuring his WDC win by a single point. The FIA disqualified him for the entire 1997 season. Max beware.

I want to add one thing to what rmassart said about Lewis. He set fastest lap with a broken car on old, hard tires!  :good:
“You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
― Bob Dylan

Offline Willy

Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2021, 07:42:56 PM »
Yes, Cos, Lewis certainly did that.
His front wing was damaged and his tires were worn hards but he still got the fastest lap and ran away from Max.

At this point, I feel that the next race will decide if I continue to watch F1 at all.

Offline John S

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Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2021, 12:23:15 PM »

Other
What the hell was with the FIA 'negotiating' with the team principles?  What other sport does this happen in?  Are the FIA/Stewards in charge or not?  All due respect, I know that keeping everything safe (first) and fair (second) is difficult, but... it's your job.  Do your job, or step aside.  If you can't keep things fair, what makes you think you can keep things safe?

A small but important factor here Jeri is the new thing this term of broadcasting radio exchanges between Race control and Teams.

I'm pretty sure for many years there's been backwards & forwards radio sessions between Race control and Teams, I can recall many team principals in intreview saying they asked Charlie for his advice on incidents throughout races seeking to negotiate away(or invoke) steward intervention. We simply never knew the whole of what went on.

Commentators would even joke that teams would be straight on the phone to Charlie over a particular incident in the race and some cheeky drivers would ask it to be referred to Charlie in broadcast radio snippets.

Racing is life - everything else is just waiting. (Steve McQueen)

Offline Jericoke

Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2021, 03:51:30 PM »
Yes, Cos, Lewis certainly did that.
His front wing was damaged and his tires were worn hards but he still got the fastest lap and ran away from Max.

At this point, I feel that the next race will decide if I continue to watch F1 at all.

There's been talk of Lewis suffering 'Long Covid'.  It's possible his getting sick last year has held him back from racing at 100% until recently.  99% Hamilton in a Mercedes is good enough to beat almost anyone, but 100% Hamilton in a Mercedes will beat absolutely anyone.

(Personally I think it's just a matter of having the experience of fighting for the championship in the past.  Even though he locked many up 'early', he's been in 4 final races he could win the WDC.  He's had to deal with the pressure, and Max hasn't)

Offline Willy

Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2021, 05:30:00 PM »
Jeri, good point.
Lewis had to sit after the race and was not out celebrating with the team as usual so there may have been a Covid factor involved in his performance since he had been exposed and George covered for him.

Offline John S

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Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2021, 05:55:57 PM »
]
There's been talk of Lewis suffering 'Long Covid'.  It's possible his getting sick last year has held him back from racing at 100% until recently.  99% Hamilton in a Mercedes is good enough to beat almost anyone, but 100% Hamilton in a Mercedes will beat absolutely anyone.


I find that's abolute balderdash Jeri. If Lewis is suffering, or has suffered, long covid what the hell was he doing in a race car?  :DntKnw:

It's becoming pretty well documented that long covid effects mean most signed off work is because their motor and cognative functions are impeded, you can't drive under the influence of even small amounts of drink or drugs so how can Lewis be cleared to race with long covid?  :confused:

IMHO has more to do with being 36, which is pre-geriatric not only in F1 but in most sports that require physical stengh rather than after effects of covid.

Sure he's raised his game of late but so too has the Merc aero team and engine dept. This W12 has suddenly found a turn of speed that can't simply be explained by driver heroics.  :nono:
Racing is life - everything else is just waiting. (Steve McQueen)

Offline Monty

Re: 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Heroes and Zeroes
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2021, 10:45:00 PM »
Yet he consistently beats his team mate with the same car

 


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