F1 2021 Season Spoiler Filled Race Talk

So I'm watching my first race, in full, while "working" today and hoooooooooooooooooboy did I ever choose an interesting one.

EDIT: Being able to stay cool under pressure really making a big difference in the run-in, huh?

EDIT v2:

@amandamull wrote:

Haas mostly exists at this point to create plot twists for others

The race that had a safety car for an Echidna on the track was the least weird one today.

I'm really disliking Max's driving decisions as the course of the season has gone on. When he has to actually race someone he is just a bully

Distantsound wrote:

I'm really disliking Max's driving decisions as the course of the season has gone on. When he has to actually race someone he is just a bully

Yeah, I'm starting to feel the same way.

Cards on the table, I'm absolutely a Hamilton fan and want to see him win. But I want to see him win a fair fight against a worthy opponent, and for the most part over the past few years (and earlier in the season) Max has really struck me as that. He's a brilliant driver, and now that he's in a car that's as good or better than Hamilton, it's having exactly the desired effect -- it's pushing Hamilton to find and face his limits (the cracks that started to show earlier in the season) and show his brilliance (he's been in the form of his life in the last few races) to overcome them, and we're only getting to see that because Max is a driver of a similar caliber.

But, part of Max's brilliance is that he's got the guts and the skill to drive aggressively and on the very limits of what's acceptable -- and to be fair, the same is true of Hamilton, albeit this manifests in slightly different ways and I feel like at least in the last few years Hamilton has mostly shown that he has the maturity to show genuine respect for those boundaries. To whit, though, previous to today the two biggest/most controversial incidents in the championship (Silverstone and Monza) came because both drivers were riding the ragged edge of the line of acceptability, but to my mind were generally within it. (I mostly think the stewards got those incidents right, although, perhaps not surprisingly I think the Silverstone one was a lot closer to a racing incident than Hamilton being at fault, but it is what it is.)

But, particularly in the back half of this season as Max has claimed the lead, it has looked a lot more like Max has been slipping more over the edge and taking the tact that if they crash, he's still ahead, so he's simply not going to ever let Hamilton pass him regardless of the consequences. If it goes wrong the stewards can sort it out and if they go against him, the Red Bull PR team will spin it as them being victims rather than Max being properly penalized for over the line driving. See the Brazil incident, and like, five moments in this race for prime examples, but there have been others too.

Anyway, despite all that and not being happy to have to feel like Max isn't playing fair anymore, I am thrilled that we're headed for the final on equal points -- next weekend will be exciting! But, my big fear is that since Max is technically ahead on countback due to more first place finishes, his seemingly growing "we crash, I win" approach to driving could lead to a really ugly end of the season if Hamilton doesn't take pole and drive away into the sunset from the start.

zeroKFE wrote:

[But, my big fear is that since Max is technically ahead on countback due to more first place finishes, his seemingly growing "we crash, I win" approach to driving could lead to a really ugly end of the season if Hamilton doesn't take pole and drive away into the sunset from the start.

Same. Like, I hope it's not what happens, but the fact that people are talking about this and it doesn't seem absurd is.... concerning.

Given why Lewis has yellow on his helmet it'll be ironic if he gets Ayrton'd in Abu Dhabi.

This season has mostly confirmed my prior belief that Max is one of those nut cases who really believe Senna’s make the other guy back out. He’s been doing it for as long as I can remember and the lack of penalties for the behaviour is bad for the sport.

His move on Leclerc in Austria 2019, where he drove Leclerc off the track (contact and everything) is typical. I can’t see how it was legal but the stewards said it was. Sadly Leclerc became much more aggressive as result. I remember Leclerc saying something like “if that’s the rules then I will drive differently”.

Verstappen is definitely talented but I think we have another Schumacher, not a Senna. His achievements will be overshadowed by his bad behaviour.

There is no reason Max shouldn't continue to do what he is doing. He knows where the limit is and he is brilliant at placing his car just over that line. Until the penalities actually effect race outcomes then why should he stop? A 5 and 10 second penalty is pointless to teams that routinely finish 20+ seconds ahead of the pack.

My prediction for Abu Dhabi, Max takes out Hamilton by positioning his car just so because he can't get a meaningful penalty at the last race of the season and the stewards will not have a leg to stand to give him a points penalty.

F1 Race Direction just acting in the service of Drive to Survive now.

Great season, terrible ending. Like F1 was a Damon Lindelof production.

Free win for Lewis or one racing lap? They didn't have a good decision to make either way.

They could have red flagged it, which would have put HAM-VER 1-2 for a standing start and a one lap race where both have fresh tyres.

Red flag would have been over the top for the incident, but since Michael was in a mood to make sh*t up, that would have given him the Netflix ending he wanted.

They should have red flagged it as soon as it happened. Being so close to the end of the race.

If nothing else, truly impressive class and dignity from Hamilton.

My hot take is safety cars are bullsh*t. All situations where a safety car is called should be a red flag and standing start. The standing start is the best bit of any Grand Prix and I want more of them.

100% horsesh*t.

Curious what the ruling would of been if it was a race half through the season.

Live it seemed like it was so slapped together. This is what's happening deal with it.

Yeah, with some time to think on it, the ending definitely feels sketch, but the ultimate result is still right. Max had the best season, and him being champion is right. I just wish the ending had been better.

That said, I also hope Lewis blows him out of the water entirely next year and the season is a formality by August.

What a ridiculous end. On the one hand, Masi's decision is preposterous, but also, nothing would've been satisfying here. Red Flag & standing start would have been the closest to "equitable," but if Max had eked it out there, I feel like the Mercedes complaints would have been at least similarly angry, saying that the red flag wasn't needed.

Having cars unlap is basically SOP, but they didn't do the whole field, which I don't think has ever happened before. If the top points leaders deserved a clear space to battle without lapped cars interfering, why doesn't the rest of the field?

And since unlapping themselves is SOP, telling them, "Nah, don't unlap" with that many lapped cars between Lewis and Max is RC deciding that Max had lost and would have been the same as just finishing under SC. Which leaves the narrative, "Max lost because of them changing the SC procedure."

So what do you do? Merc decided that the safe strategy was to keep those old tires, while RB could afford to risk (perhaps couldn't afford not to) pitting under the SC. Lewis wasn't going to squeeze water from a stone with those ancient tires next to fresh softs.

When it comes down to it, they're both deserving of the championship. Coming into the last race of a really long season completely tied in points, especially with a weird f*cking season where 0.5 points are on there, is no mean feat. Did Lewis deserve to lose it this way? No. Did Max deserve to lose it with 1/4 of the grid between him and Lewis when that doesn't reflect actual track position? No.

zeroKFE wrote:

100% horsesh*t.

++

The whole goal of resumption should be to make the conditions as near to what they were when the race was stopped. That is the only way it is fair.

That's what a VSC does a SC bunches everyone up. That's why they usually allow the lapped cars through.

2022 car launches will be starting soon and winter testing shortly thereafter, so it's time for a new thread.