Formula 1 - 2021 - Chasing down Lewis?

How does the final race of the season play out?

  • Max wins a close race

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Lewis crashes out Max (Max wins title)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Neither driver wins the race.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    11
  • Poll closed .

SocrManiac

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So, like everybody, I’ve been rolling this over in my mind for quite a bit. I’ve shifted my paradigm somewhat and feel like I can understand it in the context of other sports.

An official (or officials) screwed up, made the wrong call, and provided the opportunity to change the outcome. While rare in deciding a championship, it’s certainly not unprecedented.

The first situation that popped up in my head is the Tyree catch. I don’t think anybody can argue that the play was objectively called correctly. Manning had time afforded to him by offensive line holding that you see called hundreds of times per season. For whatever reason, it was allowed to stand and Tyree made the play. The Patriots still had opportunities to stop the Giants, but didn’t. History was made (or lost) and the title went the other way.

There are folks around here that are far more comprehensive sport historians than me and there are undoubtedly better comparisons.

The outstanding issue that leaves me uneasy is the FIA’s response moving forward. I hate the idea that they’re going to vociferously scream that they handled this correctly and not take the opportunity to fix the cloud that hung over the entire season. This was the outcome that the FIA earned and is absolutely fitting their handling of incidents throughout the year. If there can be an honest review that cleans things up moving forward I’d feel a lot better. I just don’t think that will be the case with this organization.
 

tmracht

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Chain Bear had a pretty good video which did end up similar to how I feel after a days come down.

Max probably deserve the championship on the whole so I have no problem with him winning it, Lewis probably deserves the championship too so I would have no problem if he won it.

Much rather come out of this with a much more stable steward and race director setup than any individual driver getting something overturned or not overturned.

He made the good point about track limits, and drivers not knowing what's going to be penalized, similar to incidents. And how this shouldn't be about the show, drive to survive should be the show and the races should be the sport.

I don't think I trust Masi to be that person, play other people will realize that inside of formula 1.
 

Rustjive

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Much rather come out of this with a much more stable steward and race director setup than any individual driver getting something overturned or not overturned.
...
He made the good point about track limits, and drivers not knowing what's going to be penalized, similar to incidents. And how this shouldn't be about the show, drive to survive should be the show and the races should be the sport.

I don't think I trust Masi to be that person, play other people will realize that inside of formula 1.
I agree with this, but I was thinking earlier today about the parallels to someone like Goodell, who is almost universally hated by fans, who has presided over some mind-boggling rule changes/points of emphasis/rulings in general (I understand that he isn't necessarily responsible for all those things) and yet the NFL is more popular than ever. Existing F1 fans might have a sour taste in their mouth but I've also heard some accounts where actual F1 newbies were thrilled that it came down to a last lap drag race. This manufactured drama might actually grow the fanbase, and I wonder if Masi can actually find a way to survive, or if the people involved in such a decision might let him slide to continue to bear the brunt of the criticism while they cash their checks.
 

SocrManiac

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I agree with this, but I was thinking earlier today about the parallels to someone like Goodell, who is almost universally hated by fans, who has presided over some mind-boggling rule changes/points of emphasis/rulings in general (I understand that he isn't necessarily responsible for all those things) and yet the NFL is more popular than ever. Existing F1 fans might have a sour taste in their mouth but I've also heard some accounts where actual F1 newbies were thrilled that it came down to a last lap drag race. This manufactured drama might actually grow the fanbase, and I wonder if Masi can actually find a way to survive, or if the people involved in such a decision might let him slide to continue to bear the brunt of the criticism while they cash their checks.
I agree with your general point, but I ask myself if Goodell has ever directly manufactured a result to this extent. He's had massive influence, I don't think he has the ability to directly step in during the Super Bowl and make a weird or even illegal call. Can they grow the fanbase while calling the integrity of the sport into question?
 

cshea

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I agree with your general point, but I ask myself if Goodell has ever directly manufactured a result to this extent. He's had massive influence, I don't think he has the ability to directly step in during the Super Bowl and make a weird or even illegal call. Can they grow the fanbase while calling the integrity of the sport into question?
Not an apples to apples comparision, but Goodell/the NFL basically changed the catch rule prior to SB 52 without telling anyone.

There wasn't a huge outcry from the majority of fans because the team that got screwed by this unnanoucned change was NEP who everyone outside of NE hated.
 

Phragle

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I agree with this, but I was thinking earlier today about the parallels to someone like Goodell, who is almost universally hated by fans, who has presided over some mind-boggling rule changes/points of emphasis/rulings in general (I understand that he isn't necessarily responsible for all those things) and yet the NFL is more popular than ever. Existing F1 fans might have a sour taste in their mouth but I've also heard some accounts where actual F1 newbies were thrilled that it came down to a last lap drag race. This manufactured drama might actually grow the fanbase, and I wonder if Masi can actually find a way to survive, or if the people involved in such a decision might let him slide to continue to bear the brunt of the criticism while they cash their checks.
In a few podcasts I've heard it mentioned that this kind of circus happened in Nascar, and that they're suffering for it. No idea if it's true, but nascar may be a closer comparison than the NFL
 

tmracht

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Merc drops appeal. Frustrating after FIA doubled down that it was all the fans, teams and media's fault for misunderstanding and creating a negative view.

From FIA:
The related communications between the FIA Race Direction team and the Formula 1 teams, have notably generated significant misunderstanding and reactions from Formula 1 teams, drivers and fans, an argument that is currently tarnishing the image of the Championship and the due celebration of the first Drivers' World Championship title won by Max Verstappen
 

SocrManiac

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Mercedes specifically mentioned the FIA's investigation as part of their rationale for dropping the appeal. I don't have a huge hope for an internal investigation being in any way thorough or reasonable, but if there wasn't a backroom agreement that Masi step down as condition of their dropping the appeal I'll be shocked.
 

Chainsaw318

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This rings a lot of the “confidential agreement” settlement with Ferrari a few seasons back over their engine.

Nothing to see here everything is fine. Have some money everyone and don’t sweat it.

what a bummer, especially as a way to end a season, so now we have until March to sit in this stink. And I’m going to get a little peeved every time they refer to defending champion Max Verstappen. Just a crappy deal.
 

Bongorific

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I’m a casual watcher. I never understood why with an actual safety car or a red flag restart, the cars aren’t required to maintain their gap. Surely technology is advanced enough where the gaps can be maintained behind a safety car. Or staggered starts for a red flag.

I really don’t care if Max or Lewis won, and I don’t know the rules well enough to comment on the issue of the lapped cars. But I don’t understand the logic behind allowing cars to somewhat diminish Lewis’s lead with a virtual safety car and completely eliminate the lead with an actual safety car or red flag.
 

Nick Kaufman

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To me, two biggest problems in F1.

1. Red Bull controls a second team.

2. Toto Wolf is a Team Principal and a sports agent representing drivers.
 

88 MVP

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To me, two biggest problems in F1.

1. Red Bull controls a second team.

2. Toto Wolf is a Team Principal and a sports agent representing drivers.
I'm relatively new to the sport, so this is an honest question -- I can see why Toto Wolf's conflict is problematic, but why is Red Bull and Alpha Tauri having a shared corporate parent a major problem for F1?
 

cshea

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I'm new to the sport as well, but I always thought it was odd that Red Bull had two teams. They essentially have 4 cars they control and plan strategy with, while everyone else has 2.
 

rbeaud

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I'm new to the sport as well, but I always thought it was odd that Red Bull had two teams. They essentially have 4 cars they control and plan strategy with, while everyone else has 2.
Noob here too…is there an instance of Baby Bull helping Red Bull? They are almost always backmarkers to Mercedes and cannot insert themselves to impede passing. I think Tsunoda has done more harm to Max than anyone else on the field!
 

Nick Kaufman

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I'm relatively new to the sport, so this is an honest question -- I can see why Toto Wolf's conflict is problematic, but why is Red Bull and Alpha Tauri having a shared corporate parent a major problem for F1?
No, if they truly operate as two separate teams. But Alfa Tauri acts as Red Bull''s feeder team and also there have been messages this season to let Verstappen pass them without a fight. ( "this is not our race").
 

Average Reds

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F1 has a long and glorious history of these sort of conflicts.

One example: Flavio Briatore was the team principal for almost two decades for the Bennetton (and later the Renault) F1 team. During a three or four year period in the 90s, he also owned half of the Ligier F1 team. To give you a sense of what an upstanding character he was, Briatore was later banned from F1 for race fixing. (He fixed the 2008 Singapore GP by staging a crash to bring out a safety car at a critical moment, allowing Fernando Alonso to win.)

This is just one of many reasons why Formula 1 insiders look at the Red Bull/Alpha Tauri conflict and shrug.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Briatore was also a co-owner of QPR and there was a documentary made about them called the 4 year plan. Just by looking at the trailer, you get the sense that Briatore is an underworld type of figure.
 

BrazilianSoxFan

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No, if they truly operate as two separate teams. But Alfa Tauri acts as Red Bull''s feeder team and also there have been messages this season to let Verstappen pass them without a fight. ( "this is not our race").
To be fair, other drivers form different teams shared a similar perspective by the end of the season.

https://www.racefans.net/2021/12/11/norris-wont-take-excessive-risk-starting-behind-championship-contenders/

He said he doesn’t intend to get involved in the fight with the title contenders ahead of him. “Of course, you’ve got to respect that they’re going for a championship and you don’t want to harm anything that’s going on there, you don’t want to take any excessive risk.”

“You know what they’re fighting for and I know what I’m fighting for,” Norris continued. “Of course things happen but we can still race, I’m allowed to overtake them, I can still race against them, if I have a chance to overtake then I’ll still overtake.”
That's kinda why I don't have a problem with the fact that not all lapped cars were allowed to unlap. The drivers knew the magnitude and importance of this race.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Yeah, but in Quatar Tsunona or Gasly was ahead of Verstappen and told this is not his race. I think same think happened in Istanbul.
 

tmracht

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I'm trying to remember if there is an instance where George did something pro Merc but nothing stands out as much as Yuki doing that.
 

rbeaud

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Hope folks won’t mind this…we are thinking of attending the Grand Prix in Barcelona. Has anyone been to the race and could comment on seating? Looking at the course, Section N seems intriguing.
 

Nick Kaufman

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I'm trying to remember if there is an instance where George did something pro Merc but nothing stands out as much as Yuki doing that.
Oh yeah. Drivers signing contracts for next year while they continue racing against their future employer.
 

cgori

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Hope folks won’t mind this…we are thinking of attending the Grand Prix in Barcelona. Has anyone been to the race and could comment on seating? Looking at the course, Section N seems intriguing.
I've driven the track ~15 years ago, but not attended the GP there (yet).

Based on this writeup section N is across from turn 9, which I do not recall to be a passing zone. My recollection from past races is that turn 10 had some overtaking action under braking - I think they recontoured the area between 10/11 last year (?) and therefore some action was possible in 11-12-13. Obviously turn 1 is a big braking zone/overtaking location at the end of the main straight. Historically there are no moves along the turn 2/3 complex, other than during the chaos of the start/any restarts.

I have no idea how the 2022 cars will change any of that - my guess would be that the reduced aero footprint would only increase the number of overtaking areas, not sure if that could include turn 9 though.
 

tmracht

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From a Dutch article:

New FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem will later decide on possible punishment for Lewis Hamilton, who failed to show up on Thursday.

"As a former driver, I understand that he is very emotional and disappointed, but we cannot just ignore the rules."

Unsurprisingly this is not going well on Twitter, reddit etc. The jokes write themselves in regard to the last line. It's going to be interesting if they can just gaslight and bully everyone into just accepting what Masi did and giving him blank check power to make things up on the fly.
 

SocrManiac

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The most important piece is blocking direct team communication with the race director. That was just asinine to begin with.

The F1 areas I travel don't seem thrilled with the replacements, either.
 

Average Reds

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Masi’s decisions were questionable all year long, but his actions at the last race of the year were indefensible.

I don’t care what his replacement looks like. He had to go.
 

saintnick912

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The most important piece is blocking direct team communication with the race director. That was just asinine to begin with.

The F1 areas I travel don't seem thrilled with the replacements, either.
Are they blocking it or just not broadcasting it?

Regardless of who you were pulling for in that last race, that was a failure of systems and something needed to happen.
 

SocrManiac

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Are they blocking it or just not broadcasting it?

Regardless of who you were pulling for in that last race, that was a failure of systems and something needed to happen.
There will be a staff layer inserted between teams and the race directors. No direct comms during the race.
 

SocrManiac

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Somewhat cross-posting, but UEFA pulled the UCL Final from St. Petersburg. FIA needs to respond and yank the Russian Grand Prix.
 

rguilmar

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Russian Grand Prix Canceled: Russian Grand Prix cancelled after Ukraine invasion (espn.com)

Rumors as to why, but Mazepin may be out at Haas. Uralkali's sponsorship and Russian flag colors are being removed from the Haas cars.

The rumor is that Dmitry Mazepin may have had his assets frozen and unable to pay for the sponsorship.
That Might Be It For Nikita Mazepin (jalopnik.com)
Would be cool if they promoted Fittipaldi the younger just to have a Schumacher/Fittipaldi team. I imagine Giovinazzi would get the call if Mazespin isn’t on the team though.
Edited to add that apparently Fittipaldi is the first choice and that Haas will be driving an all white livery on the last day in Barcelona.