Formula 1 - 2021 - Chasing down Lewis?

Chainsaw318

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First race of the season is this Sunday in Bahrain. 23 races this year on the schedule.

Lots of team name and color changes to match all the driver movement.

Is the Hamilton’s last year and is Mercedes vulnerable?

Will pairing Sergio Perez with Max give Red Bull a shot at the constructor’s championship, or will they be running each other into the wall by the second half of the season because Max is a baby and Sergio does not give a fuck?

Will the embarrassment of an American team sell to the billionaire father of the hothead Russian sex-pest they have as a driver, and rob the season of any fun of seeing the son of the great Michael Schumacher debut in F1?

Will Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo bring McLaren into consistent podium contention, or will they be so goofy they get offered their own roommates sitcom?

Does Kimi Raikkonen run Fernando Alonso off the track just for old times sake?

so excited to have F1 back!
 

Chainsaw318

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First race of the season is this Sunday in Bahrain. 23 races this year on the schedule.

Lots of team name and color changes to match all the driver movement.

Is the Hamilton’s last year and is Mercedes vulnerable?

Will pairing Sergio Perez with Max give Red Bull a shot at the constructor’s championship, or will they be running each other into the wall by the second half of the season because Max is a baby and Sergio does not give a fuck?

Will the embarrassment of an American team sell to the billionaire father of the hothead Russian sex-pest they have as a driver, and rob the season of any fun of seeing the son of the great Michael Schumacher debut in F1?

Will Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo bring McLaren into consistent podium contention, or will they be so goofy they get offered their own roommates sitcom?

Does Kimi Raikkonen run Fernando Alonso off the track just for old times sake?

so excited to have F1 back!
And Drive to Survive Season 3 has dropped on Netflix. Poor Alex Albon.
 

tmracht

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Will pairing Sergio Perez with Max give Red Bull a shot at the constructor’s championship, or will they be running each other into the wall by the second half of the season because Max is a baby and Sergio does not give a fuck?
Brilliant, and yes I think there is an implosion on that team by season end.
 

Nick Kaufman

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And Drive to Survive Season 3 has dropped on Netflix. Poor Alex Albon.
Did they take away his penthouse in Monaco? :)

I dunno. Alex Albon shows how motivated you can become when you want to stop leaving with your mother and you really need to succeed in order to get your own place. :D
 

Chainsaw318

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Did they take away his penthouse in Monaco? :)

I dunno. Alex Albon shows how motivated you can become when you want to stop leaving with your mother and you really need to succeed in order to get your own place. :D
I was reacting to the 2nd episode of this season of the Netflix show, which is more brutal when you know how things play in the future. In the flurry of last year, to look back and wonder if things come out different if Hamilton doesn’t spin Albon in that first race and he gets a podium.

Albon also benefits from seeming likable and human, in comparison to Max and Horner.
 

cshea

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I've never watched a race, but stumbled into the Netflix series and loved it. Interested in tuning in on Sunday at least to see a full race. Any suggestions on things to watch for a newbie?
 

SocrManiac

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I spent more time with F1 social media than I think was generally healthy in retrospect, and I had absolutely no clue about the Hamilton hatred out there. I have a lot of complex thoughts on this, but I'll leave it as that I feel his work on racial equality is the most important thing this season.

Will Buxton has me excited that McLaren and Red Bull might steal a few more Grands Prix this year on merit alone. I'd love to see Ricciardo on the top step again.
 

Phil Plantier

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I don't know how much I'll follow F1 this year. I like the rhythm of an F1 weekend (watch qualifying, watch the first 3 laps of the race, pay half-attention the rest of the time and look up when the announcer's tone changes). I like competitive seasons, and this one might be, based on disappointing Mercedes testing. Or maybe that's wishful thinking.

Mostly, I miss Hobbes, Matchett, and Varsha/Diffey. Even a new cast of in-studio Americans (or Americans-adjacent) would be better than what ESPN puts on now.

I would hope that the Hamilton hate has more to do with being bored of the guy on top than anything else. But hope is for suckers.
 

SocrManiac

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On the surface, the Hamilton/Mercedes hate has given me a greater appreciation how people felt (feel?) about the Patriots and Tom Brady. There are a number of good similarities. The teams are incredibly well prepared and coached, utterly dominant and at the top of their sport. Their star players say all of the right things about the team, spread the praise throughout the organization, and are perceived as whiny and entitled by the competition and their fans.

Where they diverge is fascinating. Brady didn't really use his fame for anything until he started selling concussion water. For Hamilton, it's a tool he's using to fight for social justice. Obviously, Brady is white. Hamilton is not.

It's difficult to dismiss the vitriol and hatred I've seen as simple jealousy for a dominant force. I don't think Hamilton's on-track personality is dramatically removed from any of the dominant drivers, but I don't recall any of them being so loathed. The lack of social media in earlier eras may be a factor, but I think it's a disservice not to acknowledge that Hamilton's advancement of BLM is a likely motivator.
 

cgori

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I've never watched a race, but stumbled into the Netflix series and loved it. Interested in tuning in on Sunday at least to see a full race. Any suggestions on things to watch for a newbie?
For the race, get used to paying attention to deltas / gaps between drivers - it will be displayed on the upper left of the screen, but the commentators won't always call attention to changing gaps. You are looking to see if the delta/gap is rising or falling - it can take many laps to get close enough to try to pass in F1. Sometimes the delta will change abnormally because the lead car is dealing with lapped traffic and the announcers will hyperventilate about that, only to see it stabilize 2 laps later, so get used to that too.

This is the first race of the season, so a lot of things are unknown. Last year we knew Mercedes would be the best team over the weekend (normally) and we were trying to figure out who team #2/#3 would be (Red Bull, McLaren, Renault, etc). So, watching the qualifying and/or race and trying to see how that order shakes out will be the main point of interest for this weekend.

Normally If you watch the first free practice (FP1) - it's already happened for Bahrain - usually the TV hosts will run through all the rumors and news of the previous week, or in this case, the whole offseason.

Note: the qualifying on Saturday is televised, and is sometimes more interesting than the race because of the knock-out/best-lap format. If there is consistent weather between quali and race, sometimes the race can be boring. (Or said another way, wet quali + dry race, or even better, dry quali + wet race usually gives the most interesting race to watch - the cars have to keep the same setup for both days and so compromises have to be made in the setup when the conditions will be different between the two days.) I'd say you should try to watch the qualifying tomorrow, since there are so many unknowns.

If you've watched the Netflix show, you've probably picked some favorite "character" as a result. Try to follow how they do, good or bad.
 

Chainsaw318

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I don’t think this is in response to the thread title or anything, but want to chime in on Hamilton.

I did not like him when I first started following F1, 5 years ago or so. Being on the obviously best team and having his buddy Justin Bieber trackside was not going to get my rooting interest.

I have since come to respect the hell out of him as a competitor, skilled drive and mentally tough man to deal with all the racing things, and the baggage of being black in a white elitist sport.

I came to the realization last night that I have a real respect and appreciation for Hamilton, though I don’t tend to root for him, since it’s more exciting now when he doesn’t win.

This is how I always told myself I felt about late career Derek Jeter, but I was lying to myself. Fuck Derek Jeter, that guy was over-rated. Hamilton is not.
 

Nick Kaufman

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I was reacting to the 2nd episode of this season of the Netflix show, which is more brutal when you know how things play in the future. In the flurry of last year, to look back and wonder if things come out different if Hamilton doesn’t spin Albon in that first race and he gets a podium.

Albon also benefits from seeming likable and human, in comparison to Max and Horner.
I know what you meant. I was just joking.

As far as the Hamilton hatred goes. I don't know to what degree there is Hamilton hatred and to what degree it's motivated by racism.

Some impressions based on a few months of binging on youtube and netflix. Is the Hamilton the undisputed best driver on the grid? The honest answer is we don't know. He's definitely top 5 though. Would he have won 7 championships if everyone was driving the same car with the same specs? The overwhelming probability is no. I mean George Russel failed to win a point throughout the season, but once you put him on a Mercedes he led the race and was on his way to win if there wasn't for a terribly bungled pitstop. So, to me here it's understandble there's a backlash vs Hamilton as there would be vs anyone in his position, since he's more successful than his skill and there's fatigue by the same team winning over and over again.

One thing I ve noticed about Hamilton is this. When he wins, he's incredibly gracious and makes sure to give credit to all. When he's losing and things don't go his way, he whines, he gets mad, he blames the tires etc. Having said that, most of the drivers that come to mind-past or present-were all capable of being jerks at times.

A lot of it is fueled by the desperate compeition between teammates. That's partly because everyone feels insecure about losing their seat if they are bested. But partly I think is due to the fact that with the car being the main determinant of success, most drivers can maintain the illusion they are the best as long as they can top their teammate. Which in turn leads to a lot of over the top gamesmanship and bullshit which frankly are a turn off for me.
 

rguilmar

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I've never watched a race, but stumbled into the Netflix series and loved it. Interested in tuning in on Sunday at least to see a full race. Any suggestions on things to watch for a newbie?
Just to build on what's already been said:
I found it most fun to have a few drivers or teams to pull for. Have some in the midfield because honestly, that's where you're more likely to have some action during the race. Last year, the Mercedes car was so much better, and if you only care about the winner it was a long, painful season.
Qualifying can be more entertaining than the race.
The first lap of the race is about as intense as anything in sports.
Pit stops and pit stop strategies matter.
Weather matters.
Weird stuff can happen during the most predicable of races. In the past few seasons we've seen Seb crash for no apparent reason when way ahead, we've seen both leaders have their tires blow out on the final lap, we've seen the top team screw up pit stops when their driver was well ahead to cost them the race.

I know what you meant. I was just joking.

As far as the Hamilton hatred goes. I don't know to what degree there is Hamilton hatred and to what degree it's motivated by racism.

Some impressions based on a few months of binging on youtube and netflix. Is the Hamilton the undisputed best driver on the grid? The honest answer is we don't know. He's definitely top 5 though. Would he have won 7 championships if everyone was driving the same car with the same specs? The overwhelming probability is no. I mean George Russel failed to win a point throughout the season, but once you put him on a Mercedes he led the race and was on his way to win if there wasn't for a terribly bungled pitstop. So, to me here it's understandble there's a backlash vs Hamilton as there would be vs anyone in his position, since he's more successful than his skill and there's fatigue by the same team winning over and over again.

One thing I ve noticed about Hamilton is this. When he wins, he's incredibly gracious and makes sure to give credit to all. When he's losing and things don't go his way, he whines, he gets mad, he blames the tires etc. Having said that, most of the drivers that come to mind-past or present-were all capable of being jerks at times.

A lot of it is fueled by the desperate compeition between teammates. That's partly because everyone feels insecure about losing their seat if they are bested. But partly I think is due to the fact that with the car being the main determinant of success, most drivers can maintain the illusion they are the best as long as they can top their teammate. Which in turn leads to a lot of over the top gamesmanship and bullshit which frankly are a turn off for me.
I do root against Hamilton because he is at the top, and I think it's human nature (at least in sports fandom) to do the same. I haven't found him any more of a whiner than anyone else in the field, so holding that against him seems a bit unfair. These guys are mic'd up through the entirety of the race, and what we hear is pretty much cherry picked during those most stressful moments or when the driver is having a problem. I dared to venture into F1 social media posts, and I gotta admit that the sheer hatred (not "I dislike him because he wins", but pure vitriol) for Hamilton is shocking. To me, it's inconceivable that race does not play a role.

I personally expect that pretty much every professional athlete in some way thinks that they are the best. That's one reason why they got as far as they did. F1 is a bit of a different animal for a few reasons. First is that we have almost complete access to them during the race (and during their private lives in today's social media driven world) so we know what they say pretty much all of the time. Second, they have to talk about what is going wrong with the car during the race. There is a collaboration between driver and team to get the most out of the vehicle, and that requires the driver to say what is and is not working, so there is going to be a fair amount of "___ isn't working correctly" type comments. Third, and you brought up this point, is that teammates are the only way to measure actual talent. As in the only apples-to-apples comparison between drivers is the two teammates because they have the same car. Is Hamilton really better than, say, Nico Hulkenberg? Probably yes given the standing of the two drivers, but we can't say we know that unless they race in the same car, so there is at times some nasty stuff within a team. This stuff has always been there though, and is not new to F1. The only new thing is the aforementioned near complete access to the drivers so we see it more. Except for Maclaren last year. That was fun.
 

Chainsaw318

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For the first race or even more if you like it, just let it wash over you. If you end up following a driver or team over a race or multiple races, cool. It’s a weird competition with a bunch of intricate stuff happening, don’t sweat it.

And remember that the cars are insane, marvelous pieces of finicky engineering, if something small goes wrong, it can break or shut down the whole car, which is wild.

When the team and driver think they are going painfully slow, they are still going fast - when they have to go slow in the pits, it’s still 50mph. Still at times, we get the curb-level shot and you realize the ludicrous speed we are dealing with.

a podcast I like, ShiftF1,has a yearly primer that is good at explaining the feeling the teams and drivers. I actually think they got a little over-detailed this year, but it’s still very helpful and geared towards the casual fan.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/shift-f1-a-formula-1-podcast/id1091772717?i=1000512396939

wanna know a weird thing about that podcast, which is the way I got into F1? The main host is famous, and you have seen him, but probably don’t know his name.
 

SocrManiac

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Mazepin has no place in this sport. Best case is he ruins races. I feel like the likely case is he causes some spectacular crashes.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Also, somewhat surprised Norris is doing better than Ricciardo and how close Sainz and LeClerc seem to be.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Obviously it's too early to tell for this season, but OTOH you have him for a year trailing LeClerc who seems to be on par more or less with Sainz and even at the practice sessions I saw, he was running behind Stroll who is a privateer (not the worst one apparently, but still).
 

kfoss99

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Perez. for Red Bull may not even get to the starting grid.

Edit: F1 allowed a restart as the grid wasn't set.
 
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Time to Mo Vaughn

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That was the first race I ever watched. Partially because of this thread. 90 minutes is a good length, like a soccer game. The NASCAR marathons are way too slow.

All that said. That was extremely exciting, even without a rooting interest. Was this a particularly exciting race or are they all about this level?
 

tmracht

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Looking forward to having a safety car every race just to collect Mazepin’s wreck.
We call him Mazespin and he lived up to it.

Not sure how Max threw that away with going off the the track on the pass. Lewis got all he could off those run down tires. Great race.
 

tmracht

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That was the first race I ever watched. Partially because of this thread. 90 minutes is a good length, like a soccer game. The NASCAR marathons are way too slow.

All that said. That was extremely exciting, even without a rooting interest. Was this a particularly exciting race or are they all about this level?
This was a good one. Red Bull did a lot to improve their performance.
 
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kfoss99

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That was the first race I ever watched. Partially because of this thread. 90 minutes is a good length, like a soccer game. The NASCAR marathons are way too slow.

All that said. That was extremely exciting, even without a rooting interest. Was this a particularly exciting race or are they all about this level?
That's a close finish for F1. It's a perfect race length and I grew up watching Nascar 500 milers.
Hamilton keeps proving he's a great driver and not just a great car.

As for rooting interest, I root for two: Russell who drives for Williams and Verstappen for Red Bull ( tho he' a bit of an unlikeable a-hole). Both underdogs in their own way. Each race I watch I respect Hamilton more and more. He's Brady, but with the pressure of international racism.
 

Chainsaw318

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I think it was a decent race, surprised by the good performance of the Ferrari cars. There’s enough thrown in by the differing tracks and conditions, that I expect we see even more action from the teams who could finish 2-6.

Tsunoda got after it. Great debut and confident passing in what looks like a good car. This is very likely the best grid I have seen in 5-6 years of watching. Very few drivers of questionable talent.
 

Kremlin Watcher

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Mazepin has no place in this sport. Best case is he ruins races. I feel like the likely case is he causes some spectacular crashes.
He’s in it because his father pays for it. I know the father and it’s just like him to buy that seat. He won’t last though. F1 costs more money than daddy has.
 

Chainsaw318

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He’s in it because his father pays for it. I know the father and it’s just like him to buy that seat. He won’t last though. F1 costs more money than daddy has.
The impression I had of Mazepin, not deeply researched to be honest, was that he was sort of like Stroll, a paid-for driver, but qualified. The “joke” about sexual assault this off-season and everything since have made it impossible to want to support the team.

it would be a relief if it didn’t turn out that Haas sold the team to Mazepin Sr.during or after the season. The big Russian flag-looking symbolwhichni understood to be due to the contributions of the elder Mazepin as the sponsor on the car has not inspired confidence in the Haas commitment to the sport.
 

SocrManiac

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The impression I had of Mazepin, not deeply researched to be honest, was that he was sort of like Stroll, a paid-for driver, but qualified. The “joke” about sexual assault this off-season and everything since have made it impossible to want to support the team.

it would be a relief if it didn’t turn out that Haas sold the team to Mazepin Sr.during or after the season. The big Russian flag-looking symbolwhichni understood to be due to the contributions of the elder Mazepin as the sponsor on the car has not inspired confidence in the Haas commitment to the sport.
I don't like Stroll at all and felt he was a menace, but he's proven to have some chops. He's also shown a talent on wet tracks.

Mazepin's claim to fame is 5th in F2. He did not earn his seat (clearly) and starts the year in danger of a penalty point suspension. There's no doubt in my mind he'll earn a timeout at some point.
 

Chainsaw318

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Yes, I had Mazepins finish flipped with Callum Illot’s somehow. I thought Mazepin had been no worse than 4th, in what looked like a good group of drivers from the little I saw last season.

Norris looked strong, which is great, wish Ricciardo had been racier on his last set of tires, but apparently that didn’t go well. It’s a long season, but was hoping to see the McLarens closer to the Mercedes and Red Bull’s, and not a full pit stop behind. Maybe on other tracks.

The Alpha Tauri also looked strong, if Gasly somehow didn’t run over his front wing, possible both those cars could have scored and Aston Martin would have been pointless.
 

PLagosi

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I thought Perez ran an admirable race, after starting at the pit and reaching P5.
Red Bull should or will have two guys chasing the Merc boys. Hamilton had the tyre disadvantage
late, yet held on, even after Max's unfortunate leave of the track on turn 4. Max said in post race
that the Mercs were .3 to .4 faster on the straights, but RB's had an advantage in the corners.
This might be a very competitive season.
 

tmracht

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I thought Perez ran an admirable race, after starting at the pit and reaching P5.
Red Bull should or will have two guys chasing the Merc boys. Hamilton had the tyre disadvantage
late, yet held on, even after Max's unfortunate leave of the track on turn 4. Max said in post race
that the Mercs were .3 to .4 faster on the straights, but RB's had an advantage in the corners.
This might be a very competitive season.
Yeah RB was killing the Mercs through that second section but wouldn't gain enough on straights unless they were in DRS territory. Going to be interesting if Max can keep his head on straight.
 

Chainsaw318

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Yeah RB was killing the Mercs through that second section but wouldn't gain enough on straights unless they were in DRS territory. Going to be interesting if Max can keep his head on straight.
Came to realize during the race, that I will be rooting for Hamilton to beat Max, even if I want the aces competitive. More and more, I know Max can drive, but I don't like him.


Some interesting stuff I have seen post-race:
-Ricciardo had some floor damage from the early bump in the back from Gasly, which maybe explains some of his lesser perfromance compared to Norris. So maybe so hope that McLaren is the 3rd team and can push the top 2?
-Alonso was defeated by a sandwich bag, sucked up into the brake duct during his second stop, which caused overheating.That's the sort of dumb F1 stuff I really enjoy.
 

Leon Trotsky

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I am a casual fan and watch races occasionally (and didn't pay any attention at all for years until last season). I have had a soft spot for Ferrari since the Alain Prost days so I guess I have a rooting interest for the perpetual underdog. That said, I really find Lewis Hamilton amazing, and while it is a bit boring to watch him win week after week, it is undeniable he is a spectacular driver.
 

kfoss99

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-Alonso was defeated by a sandwich bag, sucked up into the brake duct during his second stop, which caused overheating.That's the sort of dumb F1 stuff I really enjoy.
As someone who saw Dale Earnhardt lose the Daytona 500 b/c he hit a seagull, I can tell you that stuff happens in all motorsports. Plastic causing NASCARs to overheat is actually a common occurrence. But, they can bump another car to rub it off or pit. F1 machines are far more fickle.
 

Nick Kaufman

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So the other day, the F1 youtube channel had a video with F1 drivers recounting their first F1 memories. Most of them were so young that their first memories come from the early oughts.

That prompted me to think of my first memories as an old geezer. They are a bit older than the early oughts. One thing I remember was playing with toy F1 cars trying to reconstruct the accomplishments of the likes of Mario Andretti, Patrick Depallier and Gilles Villeneuve. The tragic part of this memory of course is that 2 of those 3 drivers dies in car crashes.

What must be my first memory of actual F1 racing must be this epic duel between Gilles Villeneuve and Renee Arnoux in the 1979 French Grand Prix. I think that spoiled my expectations for all future F1 racing.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii6H0MktrOg
 

cgori

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Holy shit:
Oh Spinnerman, where you gonna run to?
Spinnerman, where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
All along dem day

Well, I run to the wall, please hide me
I run to the wall, please hide me
I run to the wall, please hide me, Lord
All along dem day
EDIT, in case the source reference wasn't obvious: View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH3Fx41Jpl4