Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by GB_Simo »

Spare a thought for Alex Albon, currently in an Italian hotel room contemplating a 'filming day' spent trying to land a 2019 Red Bull on a crash test dummy's head.

I continue to be surprised, no matter how much I know these people are hard-wired this way, by how many racing drivers can see no issue with an action they carry out themselves but cry foul the instant it's done to them. Max Verstappen is an apple that fell barely a millimetre away from its tree and his behaviour makes sense when viewed in that context, but at some point he will have to either do unto others as he'd have them do unto him or else stop being surprised when they fight back.

The little whispers from Mercedes about the prospect of a professional foul seem a bit much, mind. Max combined some red mist resulting from his messy pit stop with the belief that he carries a divine entitlement to any piece of track he chooses, found another car seeking the same piece of road and made an error of judgement. Further, I don't really fault him for not checking on Lewis immediately post-accident - if I was stood alongside an F1 car whose driver was busy attempting to reverse it out from underneath another one, I'd leave as well.

With a better pit stop from either team, none of that would have happened - how unusual to see Mercedes and Red Bull both being operationally crap at once. Had those stops gone better, it's still not a given that either driver could have beaten Daniel Ricciardo, who had a car that worked well around a circuit that didn't handicap him and made the most of both faultlessly.

A quick word for Robert Kubica here. Parachuted in at Zandvoort, a day late with no prior notice, then dropped in on a Monza weekend whose format removed the opportunity to have a sensible run through a normal weekend programme, I thought he did a very decent job in far from ideal circumstances. A word also for Mick Schumacher, finally Mazespun off the road in this season's most inevitable coming-together, for his continued resistance of the temptation to punch his beloved team mate in the kidneys.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by Dave »

Congratulations to Alex Palou, a very deserving champion and breath of fresh air for IndyCar.

Unflappable and relentlessly optimistic, his season would have looked even more dominant were it not for engine problems (that started in pre-season testing) and Rinus unplugging his brain on a restart. The only weakness looked like it could have been street courses after two finishes in the teens before finding the podium in Detroit 2 and a strong showing yesterday.

There's so much talent in the series right now, hope we get to see Alex battle with Herta, O'Ward, and the "middle-age" guys like Newgarden and Rossi for many many years to come. Obviously Dixon isn't going down without a fight, but there's a real changing of the guard underway.

I wonder how many guys ran their last race as a full-timer yesterday though, it's always a bummer to see some fan favorites on the way out. Just a quick scan shows Bourdais, Ed Jones (F him for ruining Pato's race), and Hinchcliffe seem like locks to be part-time at best. Add in Hunter-Reay and possibly Conor Daly, too, rumors have Sato heading to Coyne so he'll stay off this list for now.

Bring on 2022 and Kyle Kirkwood (hopefully), David Malukus, and Devlin DeFrancesco (blech) from Indy Lights at a minimum. Excited to see what Ilott can do with some preparation, he showed impressive speed at times with Juncos. Dan Ticktum, please stay away though.

And hey, we had a VERY entertaining F1 race in Sochi, of all places!
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by GB_Simo »

I'm not sure what to make of Ed Jones inviting me to believe that he hit Pato because the traffic in front of him stacked up. I'm almost impressed that he's got the guts to try and make that one stick, though he's got a better chance there than he ever had of that pass sticking, so I suppose he may as well have a go.

It'll be very interesting to see what Romain Grosjean can do with Andretti next season. Whether RHR's talents are on the wane, the team/driver relationship had gone stale or both, the 28 programme has looked in need of a shake-up for a little while now. One assumes that if RG and Olivier Boisson don't deliver the goods, the finger of suspicion won't be pointed at either of those two.

What went wrong at ECR? Brief burst of pace at Long Beach aside, Veekay had the reverse lights on from June onwards, Daly's occasional flashes of promise ultimately amounted to nought and the boss had a season full of very forgettable cameos. For a team that seemed to be on the up and up in the early part of the season, it looked to the external observer as though their form nosedived off a cliff.


Elsewhere, Sochi was a fun illustration of why Mercedes don't like the idea of reverse grid races. The weather was at the heart of a number of injustices but few were greater than its contribution towards Bottas finishing 5th, which felt like a good 35 places higher than he deserved to be. My love for Fernando Alonso grew ever stronger, Max Verstappen didn't win a podium place as much as everyone around him lost one and Lando Norris, not content with the gut punch he received from Danny Ric's victory at Monza, got about as close as you can get to winning a Grand Prix while still finishing 7th. A magnificent drive, though, and his call to stay on slicks was not wrong based on the information he had, with the difference between the McLaren and Mercedes approaches to those last few laps being very striking indeed.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by Dave »

Well, I was wrong. Surely in the archives here I have posts saying COTA isn't a good home for F1, the event will eventually fail, or something similar. I've certainly thought it plenty over the years, especially after the rain-soaked year seemingly put the track on financial thin ice.

But holy hell, yesterday's USGP was an all caps EVENT. The crowds for the entire weekend were insane and locked into the event, the early USGPs at Indy had similar, possibly larger race day crowds but I don't remember the roars that came through the broadcast yesterday.

Deep in the heart of Texas, right in the thick of football season, Americans cared about Formula 1. Thank you Netflix!
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by pk500 »

Indy had a legit 225,000 on Race Day for its inaugural USGP in 2000. COTA didn't come close to that yesterday.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by DChaps »

What a season Kyle Larson had. Ten wins, 18 Podiums, 25 Top 10's and the NASCAR championship on ovals (short and speedway) and road courses, not to mention big wins in sprint and late models on dirt during the NASCAR season. Guy can drive anything. I would love to see him in an Indycar.

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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by pk500 »

DChaps wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:22 pm
What a season Kyle Larson had. Ten wins, 18 Podiums, 25 Top 10's and the NASCAR championship on ovals (short and speedway) and road courses, not to mention big wins in sprint and late models on dirt during the NASCAR season. Guy can drive anything. I would love to see him in an Indycar.
Hopefully more attention will be turned at the end of the year toward Larson's all-world season. You really need to go back to A.J. or Mario in the 1960s to see a season that matched Larson's in so many cars on different surfaces.

The tweet from Tony Stewart last night congratulating Larson for his Cup title and calling him the best race driver he's seen says it all. Smoke doesn't toss around compliments like Halloween candy.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

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I haven't checked the rota, so apologies if it's not my turn this year: thank goodness NASCAR's obsession with "game seven moments" and bloody stupid scoring systems only threatened to deprive Larson of this year's championship, rather than actually doing so.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by Dave »

Last weekend's race goes on the list of "signature Lewis Hamilton drives," right? Controlled, determined, and blistering fast.

Now, I'm going to rant a little bit about Max & Red Bull.

Anyone else think it is BS that Red Bull has now had to fix their rear wing three weekends in a row in park ferme conditions?

And the turn four incident. If I read one more explanation using the excuse that there was no contact so there shouldn't be a penalty I'll throw something. A driver should not be able to drive another off the road as long as the two don't hit. It sure looked like Max has zero intention of making that corner. As I said previously in this thread, Max drives like a complete asshole and forces other drivers to avoid contact, not a fan.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by pk500 »

Dave wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:21 am
Last weekend's race goes on the list of "signature Lewis Hamilton drives," right? Controlled, determined, and blistering fast.

Now, I'm going to rant a little bit about Max & Red Bull.

Anyone else think it is BS that Red Bull has now had to fix their rear wing three weekends in a row in park ferme conditions?

And the turn four incident. If I read one more explanation using the excuse that there was no contact so there shouldn't be a penalty I'll throw something. A driver should not be able to drive another off the road as long as the two don't hit. It sure looked like Max has zero intention of making that corner. As I said previously in this thread, Max drives like a complete asshole and forces other drivers to avoid contact, not a fan.
Agree on Turn 4 incident, Dave. There's a simple solution to the increasing amount of times drivers are running each other off the road, but sadly it won't be adopted: the return of grass and gravel traps instead of asphalt run-off areas.

Drivers would be far less apt to shove another off the road if gravel traps and grass run-off still existed, simply because they know their race also could be over the next time they're in that position on track.

Asphalt run-off areas have not helped racing at all. And I'm not convinced, either, that they're that much safer than grass and gravel in a comprehensive view.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by Rodster »

I wanted to see someone other than Lewis and Mercedes win the championship this year. At the beginning of the season, I was pulling for Red Bull but that quickly changed back to Lewis and Mercedes. Max, Horner and Marko are three of the most unlikeable characters you can find in F1.

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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

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Rodster wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 12:41 pm
I wanted to see someone other than Lewis and Mercedes win the championship this year. At the beginning of the season, I was pulling for Red Bull but that quickly changed back to Lewis and Mercedes. Max, Horner and Marko are three of the most unlikeable characters you can find in F1.
Likewise. It is boring watching Hamilton and Merc run away with a championship year after year. I would like to see Max win just for the shakeup it provides. But his move yesterday was bush league.

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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by pk500 »

I don't get the distaste for Lewis as a race driver. He harkens back to an earlier age of sportsmanship and civility behind the wheel, an era that Senna and Schumacher erased with their dirty driving that has become accepted as standard.

Max is in the Senna-Schumacher camp; Lewis is the spiritual successor to elegant, fair drivers like Moss, Clark and Jackie Stewart.

Annoying as hell that Max can get away with that sh*t in Turn 4 while Lewis is penalized for his rear-wing opening being .2 of a mm too large and because he loosened his belts to celebrate with the Brazilian fans on his cooldown lap after one of the most stirring drives of his incomparable career.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

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Today I learned that making a conscious decision not to turn into a corner, thus forcing your rival to drive so far off the track he had to pay to be readmitted, falls under "let them race".

At some point in the future, perhaps I'll also learn why it's taken two days for the on-board from Max's car to be released, or why an alarming number of people continue to believe that was just good, hard racing.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by pk500 »

Excellent column about this situation from my pal Chris Medland, who I think nails it: https://racer.com/2021/11/16/opinion-f1 ... or-racing/

Does F1 Race Director Michael Masi want to prevent any attempts at passing on the outside? Sure seems that way after his decision last Sunday at Interlagos not to submit this incident to the stewards for review.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by GB_Simo »

Chris could, had he wished, have also referred back to the penalties Norris and Perez took in Austria, when it appeared that attempting to pass on the outside was actually the golden ticket that would get your opponent penalised without question. It baffles me somewhat that Masi's decision making in this instance appears not only inconsistent with the rules of the game, but also inconsistent with itself.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by Rodster »

Oh oh, it looks like Lewis is back in the hunt. He's reduce the championship to 8 pts with two races left. I'm pulling for Lewis even though i've had my fill of Merc and Lewis dominating the turbo hybrid era.

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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by F308GTB »

Alonso has to a thank you card for that late virtual safety car. Without it he may have missed that podium. Great to see him up there. Entertaining race with plenty of passing,

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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

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The last Championship that was this tight was when Alonso joined Ferrari in 2010 and nearly won only to have Vettel win his first of four titles for Red Bull. The previous title battle that was even better was in 2007 when Lewis and Alonso were fighting each other. Lewis due to immaturity (IIRC only needed to come in 6th) allowed Kimi to win his first and only title. The following year was just as close as Felipe Massa crossed the line to bag the drivers title only to have Lewis take it away a few seconds later.

So the F1 pundits like to call this the best title chase ever but in the last 15 yrs or so there have been some pretty good ones as well.

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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

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I keep reading how this is one of, if not the greatest Formula 1 championships of all time. I remember the flak Chase Carey got from the British Press how Americans would ruin Formula 1 and just didn't understand the sport. If there's one thing Americans are good at is "drama" and making the little things seem HUGE, Super Bowl, World Series.

They tried with Vettel v Hamilton for a few years and it was a dud because Vettel was not up for the challenge. This year it has paid off because you have the bad guys led by Mad Max and crazed Helmut Marko vs nice guys Toto Wolff and Hamilton. Chase Carey took a page out of NBA's David Stern's playbook and that is to create a Sport that is made up of stars and pit them against each other. This year it's worked like a charm with both Mad Max and Hamilton both tied for points going into the final race in Abu Dhabi.

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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

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It’s the same story every f*cking time Hamilton has the audacity to try to mass Max. Max is a menace and his team is too whiny to actually play the role of bad guys. Try on the black hat, you’ve earned it.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by pk500 »

Rodster wrote:
Sun Dec 05, 2021 4:15 pm
I keep reading how this is one of, if not the greatest Formula 1 championships of all time. I remember the flak Chase Carey got from the British Press how Americans would ruin Formula 1 and just didn't understand the sport. If there's one thing Americans are good at is "drama" and making the little things seem HUGE, Super Bowl, World Series.

They tried with Vettel v Hamilton for a few years and it was a dud because Vettel was not up for the challenge. This year it has paid off because you have the bad guys led by Mad Max and crazed Helmut Marko vs nice guys Toto Wolff and Hamilton. Chase Carey took a page out of NBA's David Stern's playbook and that is to create a Sport that is made up of stars and pit them against each other. This year it's worked like a charm with both Mad Max and Hamilton both tied for points going into the final race in Abu Dhabi.
Interesting observations. Agree about the "Netflix effect." But disagree with depictions of Marko and Wolff, in different regards.

First off, Marko doesn't lead Red Bull. Horner does. He's not as deranged as Marko, but there are loose DNA strands.

Second, Toto Wolff is a nice guy? Really? He has perhaps the sharpest teeth in the Piranha Club known as the F1 paddock.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by Rodster »

pk500 wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:54 am
Rodster wrote:
Sun Dec 05, 2021 4:15 pm
I keep reading how this is one of, if not the greatest Formula 1 championships of all time. I remember the flak Chase Carey got from the British Press how Americans would ruin Formula 1 and just didn't understand the sport. If there's one thing Americans are good at is "drama" and making the little things seem HUGE, Super Bowl, World Series.

They tried with Vettel v Hamilton for a few years and it was a dud because Vettel was not up for the challenge. This year it has paid off because you have the bad guys led by Mad Max and crazed Helmut Marko vs nice guys Toto Wolff and Hamilton. Chase Carey took a page out of NBA's David Stern's playbook and that is to create a Sport that is made up of stars and pit them against each other. This year it's worked like a charm with both Mad Max and Hamilton both tied for points going into the final race in Abu Dhabi.
Interesting observations. Agree about the "Netflix effect." But disagree with depictions of Marko and Wolff, in different regards.

First off, Marko doesn't lead Red Bull. Horner does. He's not as deranged as Marko, but there are loose DNA strands.

Second, Toto Wolff is a nice guy? Really? He has perhaps the sharpest teeth in the Piranha Club known as the F1 paddock.
So according to an interview with F1-insider, Helmut Marko admits after reviewing the data, yeah Mad Max got a little too happy with the brake pedal, sorry. I'm not a Lewis fan but I hope he wins it. I'm not a fan of the Red Bull F1 team. Sure Max is one helluva driver but he's a lot like his dad, a certified prick.

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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by Dave »

RIP Big Al, a legend amongst legends.

Very thankful IMS was able to get all of the four-time winners together after Helio's win and for Al to get one last celebration of his accomplishments there.

The back-end of his career is fascinating to me, he won the championship in two of his final three full seasons (including his last in 1985) and of course brought home his fourth Indy win as a fill-in in 1987.
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Re: Racing Season 2021 (Spoiler Alert)

Post by DChaps »

Dave wrote:
Fri Dec 10, 2021 11:22 am
RIP Big Al, a legend amongst legends.

Very thankful IMS was able to get all of the four-time winners together after Helio's win and for Al to get one last celebration of his accomplishments there.

The back-end of his career is fascinating to me, he won the championship in two of his final three full seasons (including his last in 1985) and of course brought home his fourth Indy win as a fill-in in 1987.
Oh man, this year has been rough as a long time Indycar fan, Bobby Unser, Bob Jenkins, Robin Miller and now Al. Al Unser in the Johnny Lightning car are my very first memories of racing and becoming a fan, my Dad taking me to the track for practice just to see him. Yep, absolute legend in the sport during a time when it was so dangerous and he raced and won at almost everything. Damn... RIP Big Al and thanks for all the great memories and exciting moments.

IMS doing some cool tributes:

Al Unser Tribute
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goXZ1nCrmic

https://twitter.com/IMS/status/1469359491955232773

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