F1 2020 Season Spoiler Filled Race Talk

Pictured - Mercedes trying to get George Russell out of the car when the weekend is over:


The Bottas pit stop took over 27 seconds and they sent him out with the same tyres on. Oooooooof that has gone atrociously.

Is he cursed?

Absolutely gutted. Holy sh*t.

E: Rad for Checo, but damn.

To quote a tweet:

Went away. Came back. How have Mercedes managed to bollocks this up ?

Yeah, all kinds of good news/bad news situations this week.

Russell delivered every bit of what people were expecting and more (and finally got points!), but Mercedes somehow forgot how to operate the second the champion wasn't in the garage.

Russell might get another chance next week, but only at the cost of Hamilton suffering with a severe and potentially debilitating illness.

Perez earned the hell out of that win with the recovery drive of a lifetime, but Russell did everything right and lost it anyway.

Vettel looks like he's going to step into a team on fire that might help him find his form again, but Perez is potential about to be drop from the sport at the top of his game.

And if Perez maybe did manage to earn a seat today, another talented but struggling young driver is going to have been destroyed by the Red Bull machine as a result.

Regardless, though, that was one hell of an exciting race.

I am finding it kind of amazing that F1 is holding my interest all the way to the end this season. I usually check out around August.

And yes I am both happy and sad for Russell.

So good.

Unless you're Checo.

it's a damned travesty

I wish I could get a bag of Jaffa Cakes at the cinema.

I wish I could get them without paying the ridiculous import markup at my grocery store. I suppose I should just be happy that they carry them at all.

Lewis is back and will race this weekend.

The dream is dead. Lewis is officially more of a heel than Max.
{I'm very glad he's okay}

Sky Sports commentators discussing that sh*tbag Mazepin.

Glad that at the very least people are talking the talk. Sadly, I have about zero expectation that Haas will walk the walk. He doesn't need a stern talking to from Gunther Steiner, he needs to be f*cking drummed out of the sport.

Yeah, but I don't think they were harsh enough*. Nothing shy of calling for him to be blacklisted permanently from the sport is good enough. That little sh*tbag hasn't learned a goddamned thing.

*Ted excepted. Ted owns.


I really miss the sound of the V10s.

And here's an onboard.


I still have a reason to watch next year.

That is interesting. I wonder has Perez accepted 2nd Driver status? Not that I think he cares. It would be nice to Perez in a car that can win races on a good day (rather than requiring everyone else to have a bad day).

Tsunoda in at Alpha Tauri. Hell yeah.

Ganbatte, Yuki-kun!

DoveBrown wrote:

That is interesting. I wonder has Perez accepted 2nd Driver status? Not that I think he cares. It would be nice to Perez in a car that can win races on a good day (rather than requiring everyone else to have a bad day).

Supposedly it's still not quite a done deal, but Helmet Marko said something in interviews after the race that brought a lot of clarity to how the saga of who gets that seat has unfolded. That is, other than the fact that the red Red Bull has significant Thai ownership, why haven't they moved to replace Albon with Perez. (I say this as an unrepentant Albon fan -- I really, really like the guy, but in terms of on the track performance this year I can see all the reasons that swap makes sense.)

Basically, he was talking about Tsunoda and how excited they are about him. The implications seemed to be that they see him as their next big star, to the effect that they were genuinely considering dropping him directly into the Red Bull seat (this is before he was announced for Alpha Tauri).

Now, any other team with front running aspirations would have either snapped up Perez at the earliest possible opportunity or would be considering using Gasly again -- those are the best choices at the moment if you want to have a strong team capable of challenging for the title. But what that comment finally clicked into place for me is that more than most other teams, their choices are significantly colored by what will let them develop their next big star, and they are more willing to sacrifice short term competitive results if it leads to them having a new household name that they can use to expand or open new markets for their parent company.

And thanks to the somewhat extreme (and some might argue terrible) nature of how their junior program is run (ie, the level of control they have over both their contracted juniors and their four seats), they have much more latitude to exploit those resources to play a long game if they stick within their system. So even more obviously than before, the problem with hiring Perez even for just one year is that it significantly reduces their freedom with respect with Tsunoda.

If they stick with Albon and he continues to gain confidence and get more consistent then Tsunoda has a year to develop before they potentially stick him in that seat for 2022. But if Albon continues to be inconsistent and Tsunoda comes in on fire they have the freedom to do a driver swap as soon as possible, and in their minds get their next star spun up that much quicker. Or if Tsunoda doesn't come online quickly, there's still Gasly too.

As for why not Gasly now, it's hard to pin any one thing down, but there has been a growing sense over the past year that that for some behind the scenes reasons they don't see Gasly as a good fit for that seat again, ever. They're clearly perfectly happy to have him driving the sh*t out of their junior team's car dragging it from being a backmarker to genuine midfield contender (so much so that they've started calling it the "sister team" instead of the "junior team"), but they don't want him back in the Red Bull seat. For most of the year I've just assumed that's because they either think he'll wilt under the pressure again or because there's too much bad blood built up internally, but now I'm wondering if just like the Albon/Perez choice, it's also been significantly about Tsunoda all along as well.

It's not too big a stretch to think that they see even a decently performing Tsunoda as wildly more valuable than Gasly in top shape -- Japan could easily be a market much more ripe for growth than France, for example, and then there's the whole engine situation. Sure, the prospect of Tsunoda coming up wasn't enough to keep Honda in the game, but if they do take over the rights to that engine rather than going back to Renault they will still want as much excitement in the Japanese market as possible to help out there -- for example, to make the rumored partnership with Mugen take shape.

And then the final piece of the Tsunoda related puzzle is their current big star. Certainly, they hope to retain Verstappen, but they must also be considering that Hamilton could choose to retire at any time now, which puts them in real jeopardy of losing Max to Mercedes (Russell's position as the heir apparent not withstanding). As such, they need to have a replacement star driver ready to go, and none of their current drivers seem likely to ever fit that bill.

I think Verstappen's.... Verstappen-ness will keep him out of a Mercedes seat. He's not the type to button it up, keep quiet, and play nice with corporate, I don't think.

And can you even imagine Jos in the Merc garage, hovering over Toto and back-seat TPing?

r013nt0 wrote:

I think Verstappen's.... Verstappen-ness will keep him out of a Mercedes seat. He's not the type to button it up, keep quiet, and play nice with corporate, I don't think.

Heh, I think you're probably very right about that. Merc's 2022 lineup (if it changes at all) will be Hamilton/Russell, Russell/Bottas, or Russell/someone who isn't Verstappen.

However, there's a lot of time between now and then, and if for whatever reason the Russell situation doesn't play out as expected and Hamilton does retire, Max would then seem to be the next choice for a lead driver from the current field. For a while Ocon might have been in the running, but while he's not been terrible I don't think he's proven ready to be the star. Maybe the Bottas to Russell's Hamilton, but if Mercedes find themselves needing a team leading talent, he likely won't be the choice. So, Red Bull needs to at least be seeing it as a potential thing they need to be planning for, even if it is more of an outside chance as things currently look to be playing out.

I am ready for Verstappen to go to Ferrari.

The entertainment would be off the charts.

Autódromo José Carlos Pace (Interlagos) contracted for five more years. Race will now be called the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

Great news. Absolutely love that circuit.

Especially great news if it will stop them from leveling a bunch of rainforest near Rio de Janeiro to make a new track there.

However, not many reasons to change the name from the Brazillian Grand Prix unless you are planning on having a second race in the country that will take that name on, which means that forest near Rio is probably still on the chopping block. Sigh!

But don't you want another Tilkedrome?

EverythingsTentative wrote:

But don't you want another Tilkedrome?

I've been watching old seasons while on the elliptical and am currently making my way through 2011 and it has been both refreshing and depressing. So many good circuits. Sepang, Istanbul Park, Hungaroring, Korean International, Buddh International, and f*ckin' Valencia. Normally I have an intense dislike for street circuits, but man, Valencia is an incredible layout.