Formula 1 - 2021 - Chasing down Lewis?

swiftaw

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Ferrari really messed up by mot changing Charles' gearbox and taking the 5 place penalty. Love the McLaren livery.

Monaco is a visually stunning race, but boy it's boring.
 

Chainsaw318

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Ferrari really messed up by mot changing Charles' gearbox and taking the 5 place penalty. Love the McLaren livery.

Monaco is a visually stunning race, but boy it's boring.
Maybe (other contender being Belgium)my favorite for in-car footage, but it feels like the on-track passes in the last 5 years is less than 10 total.
 

PLagosi

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Norris deserves a big shoutout for holding off Checo.
Sainz shows he deserves the Ferrari spot.
Max is tough and right now neck and neck with Ham.
I have never seen a team not get a wheel off. Merc has issues.
 

tmracht

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Norris deserves a big shoutout for holding off Checo.
Wonder if that happens at many other circuits but man I was happy for Lando.

Leclerc really did change that whole race in Q3. That was the most exciting bit of the weekend.

I love the Monaco visuals but this circuit with these massive cars is very uneventful on the road. The intrigue is mostly down the engineers and pits.
 

Nick Kaufman

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My favorite part of the TV commentary is when they noted that Fangio won the 1951 Monaco Grand Prix with an average speed of 61 mph.

If you organize a race on the track with hot hatchbacks like Top Gear sort of did a few years ago, it would be a very fun race.
 

tmracht

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My favorite part of the TV commentary is when they noted that Fangio won the 1951 Monaco Grand Prix with an average speed of 61 mph.

If you organize a race on the track with hot hatchbacks like Top Gear sort of did a few years ago, it would be a very fun race.
Yeah even some F2 cars would be nice.
 

Nick Kaufman

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They held an F2 race yesterday as well, I saw the highlights. Also a historical car race a week or two ago I think.
 

SocrManiac

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Random thoughts...

  • It's a historic track, but it's an awful look when the only interest is in the pit stop window. With a couple of minor exceptions (Vettel's not even shown live), very little worth watching.
  • Even with the above, Monaco's camera views are painful at times. No shot can hold a single car for long, so it's a series of jumps from one station to the next to keep a car on the screen (unless it's an in-car camera).
    • The road-level cameras really drive home the technical nature and challenge. They're the saving grace of this race.
    • There's nothing like the blindness when popping out of the tunnel. This is one thing video games have gotten spectacularly right.
    • The halo overlays with the G meter never dip below a lateral G in some direction. Absolutely brutal.
  • It's fun seeing Max leading the championship.
  • It's fun seeing Not Lewis leading the championship.
  • I can't root for Bottas anymore. Part of it is that his portrayal on Netflix isn't overly sympathetic (regardless of how hard they tried), and the rest is he's in total DGAF mode. He knows he doesn't have a seat at Mercedes next year (if anywhere). He's not doing anything to help the team in the meantime, either through driving ability or attitude/compliance to orders.
    • All of that said, he may have the worst pit stop luck in the history of the universe. Word today is Mercedes still haven't gotten the wheel off. Unreal.
  • Lewis really damaged his image for me this weekend. We all know the team let him down. Once of his better traits over the years was his focus on the team and absorbing blame/singing praises. This weekend, though... He drove the bus he rode them over with, then backed over the bodies a few times for good measure.
  • Danny is only a few races in, but he's just not meshing with the car. It's hard to see the gap between the McLarens, and man does it hurt to see him get lapped by the other car in orange and blue.
  • Orange and blue... If I ever buy another F1 model, it'll be the '21 Monaco McLaren. What an incredible look.
  • We watched last weekend's Indycar race to see Grosjean's performance.
    • It was my first attempt, but it was hard to watch. The commercials seem to have a significant overlap with the NASCAR audience, which is NOT me.
    • I enjoyed hearing Leigh Diffey's voice again, but holy shit the rest of that commentary team is a war crime.
    • The radio chatter felt like a joke. There's no reason not to have a natural mic on the engineers (like F1), but even the shit that comes out of their mouths is so stupidly laughable. I don't think I heard anything other than "Go get 'em" style clichés.
    • Watching the pit stops, I was surprised to see every car sprayed by something as it left the box. I was clueless, then Googled it. I'm surprised Grosjean isn't triggered by getting sprayed by a fire extinguisher every time he goes in for tires.
    • I'm cautiously optimistic at the product and look forward to watching more. It's missing the technology that drew me to F1 in the first place, but it does seem enjoyable.
      • Except for ovals. Fuck that.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Ok, I 've soaked all the coverage of the race, so I have a pretty good handle on what happened.

1. The key to enjoying Monaco is watching Free Practice and qualifying. The starting grid order is more likely than any other race to be close to the finishing positions barring dnfs, safety cars and bad pitstops of course.

2. The cars have become so much larger over the years, it's almost impossible to overtake. If Hamilton can't overtake Gasly, who can overtake who? MSC overtook Mazepin and that's about it.

3. In all probability, Ferrari had the fastest car in this track which besides being surprising in and by itself, it's also surprising because Ferrari ended up being the fastest in a slow track. The last time Ferraris were competitive, it was on faster tracks due to their engines and straight line speed. Is this a fluke? Did they really work on their chassis so much that they now excel at corners and high downforce tracks? Can they become competitive for the title, if they improve their engines as well?

4. It was equally obvious throughout the weekend that Mercedes were the third fastest car; the rule changes and the adjustments they made seem to have resulted in them having faster pace due to a better engine, but not being great in slower tracks.

5. Given this, it's also pretty surprising that Aston Martin which has Mercedes engines and literally copied the Merc chassis last year were greatly improved in this race.Good to finally see Vettel enjoy some success after a long while.

6. Regardless of Mercedes' lack of pace, unless he was ready to pull a rabbit out of his hat, throughout the weekend Hamilton consistently ran behind the Ferraris, Verstappen, Norris and Bottas. His 7th place start was where he was through all the practice sessions and qualifying.

7. I wrote on the first page of this topic that Hamilton is incredibly gracious and ready to give credit when things go well, but is incredibly sulky when things go bad. His behavior during and after the race was in line with that. If you look at the team radios at the end of the race, his engineer apologized to him telling him it was a shitty weekend and that they were going to look into what happened and Hamilton just gave him the silent treatment.

8 Having said that, here's why he was pissed. Mercedes chose to go with the undercut. However on this track, the overcut works better. So, Gasly overcut Hamilton, Vettel overcut Gasly and Hamilton and Perez overcut all 3. In the end, whoever pitted last ended up in the higher position. When Hamilton saw Gasly come out ahead of him, presumably slowing him down and allowing Vettel to pass him as well, he started fuming. He told his team on the radio that he kept his tires fresh in order to go longer but instead the the team told him to pit early and he lost two places.

So, to a certain extent, Hamilton's anger is understandable. But I am not sure if acting the way Hamilton does when things don't go this way is a good character mark or the best way to get the best out of your people. I really don't know. There is a line between holding people accountable and understanding that sometimes decisions don't work out or that you don't need to castigate your team publicly and I am not sure Hamilton is treading it correctly.

9. On the opposite side, I like Christian Horner, but I am somewhat leery of his effusive congratulations to Max after the race. Yeah, it's great that he won the race, but really all he had to do was take the first corner and not bin the car. Going on and on about how brilliant the drive was is a bit too much for me.

10 One final note. I could be wrong, but I get the sense that both cars get more reliable and drivers more proficient. The fact that other than LeClerc no one else had an accident (not even Mazepin!) in what is a very tough track is pretty telling IMO. It's been the same way since Imola. But while this is a positive development, it also makes races more dull as accidents provide variance that shakes up races. Maybe things change in the future. Obviously, I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt. But we need the gaps between cars to become closer so that races have some more excitement.
 

tmracht

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10 One final note. I could be wrong, but I get the sense that both cars get more reliable and drivers more proficient. The fact that other than LeClerc no one else had an accident (not even Mazepin!) in what is a very tough track is pretty telling IMO. It's been the same way since Imola. But while this is a positive development, it also makes races more dull as accidents provide variance that shakes up races. Maybe things change in the future. Obviously, I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt. But we need the gaps between cars to become closer so that races have some more excitement.
Yeah I watched the F2 highlights and seeing how many cars caused some yellow flags It's amazing how few there were in the F1 race. Even the amount of time Stroll jumpef the curb, he came out relatively unscathed.
 

cgori

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3. In all probability, Ferrari had the fastest car in this track which besides being surprising in and by itself, it's also surprising because Ferrari ended up being the fastest in a slow track. The last time Ferraris were competitive, it was on faster tracks due to their engines and straight line speed. Is this a fluke? Did they really work on their chassis so much that they now excel at corners and high downforce tracks? Can they become competitive for the title, if they improve their engines as well?
Is it possible that the Ferrari chassis/setup really likes the C5 tyre (or alternately, that the Merc really does not, and the Red Bull somewhere in between)? This is the first race where the tyre selection was C3-C4-C5 and the next 2 races will be the same. Baku is much higher speed than Monaco, obviously, though the old town section is very tight/slow like Monaco. Montreal is somewhere in between - the section by the Wall of Champions rewards pinpoint placement like Monaco, but there is still more track width.

I sort of wonder if the sidewall stiffness/construction of the softer tyres is different, which changes the suspension rates and the ability to carry lateral loads. There's 6 races of C3-C4-C5, 5 races of C1-C2-C3 (two of which are already in the books, and where the C1 tyre wasn't much preferred, I believe?), and the remaining 12 are C2-C3-C4. I can easily imagine a world where Mercedes thinks "we like the C2 tyre lets design for that, and the C3 secondarily for pit strategy options."

Or it could be what you said, that Ferrari decided to go for slow-speed tracks as their place to win.

10 One final note. I could be wrong, but I get the sense that both cars get more reliable and drivers more proficient. The fact that other than LeClerc no one else had an accident (not even Mazepin!) in what is a very tough track is pretty telling IMO. It's been the same way since Imola. But while this is a positive development, it also makes races more dull as accidents provide variance that shakes up races. Maybe things change in the future. Obviously, I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt. But we need the gaps between cars to become closer so that races have some more excitement.
It's really weird to not have even a VSC at Monaco. I would think the odds would have been very nice on a bet of "no VSC/no safety car" for Monaco. Those restarts are often the only place where people feel brave enough to try to overtake - sometimes too brave, with cascading chain reactions of crashes and more safety cars and more possible overtakes.

I think the Singapore layout is really the one to look at for how to make a "modern" street circuit with plenty of close-in barriers in spots but also plenty of width for overtaking. It's obviously not feasible to do something like that at Monaco though, so I don't know what they will do.
 

mikeot

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Wow, that sucks. Hoping to see Verstappen usurp the title from the Hamilton/MB juggernaut; going to be much tougher now going forward.
 

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Hadn’t checked the results or watched this one yet until tonight. What a cluster. Has there been much reporting on what went wrong with the tires? Both Lance and Max’s crashes could have had much worse outcomes hitting the wall perpendicular at 190 mph.
 

tmracht

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Hadn’t checked the results or watched this one yet until tonight. What a cluster. Has there been much reporting on what went wrong with the tires? Both Lance and Max’s crashes could have had much worse outcomes hitting the wall perpendicular at 190 mph.
The tyre failures on Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll’s cars that sent both drivers into the wall at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix may have been caused by debris on the track in Baku, according to initial investigations by supplier Pirelli. Via the independent.

Full investigation will happen this week though. Teams didn't see any warning of a failure so it doesn't seem to be a wear issue but something instantaneous and catastrophic.

Almost as bad as Hamilton leaving in the break bias magic button.
 

Chainsaw318

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tmracht

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His twitch streams are absolutely amazing too, I've been a Gasly guy myself since he got unceremoniously bounced from RBR back down. But Lando is definitely another one I'll cheer for.
 

Nick Kaufman

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If you see their twitch streams, Lando, Russel, Albon... they are just kids. Kids who are paid handsomely.

Also, I took a look at salaries. the big names make anywhere between 10-30 million, but the rookies really make 1 mil or so. Which is somewhat surprising, because we aren't talking about a rookie in a baseball team with a 25 man roster among 32 teams, but the top 20 drivers in the world.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Is it possible that the Ferrari chassis/setup really likes the C5 tyre (or alternately, that the Merc really does not, and the Red Bull somewhere in between)? This is the first race where the tyre selection was C3-C4-C5 and the next 2 races will be the same. Baku is much higher speed than Monaco, obviously, though the old town section is very tight/slow like Monaco. Montreal is somewhere in between - the section by the Wall of Champions rewards pinpoint placement like Monaco, but there is still more track width.

I sort of wonder if the sidewall stiffness/construction of the softer tyres is different, which changes the suspension rates and the ability to carry lateral loads. There's 6 races of C3-C4-C5, 5 races of C1-C2-C3 (two of which are already in the books, and where the C1 tyre wasn't much preferred, I believe?), and the remaining 12 are C2-C3-C4. I can easily imagine a world where Mercedes thinks "we like the C2 tyre lets design for that, and the C3 secondarily for pit strategy options."

Or it could be what you said, that Ferrari decided to go for slow-speed tracks as their place to win.



It's really weird to not have even a VSC at Monaco. I would think the odds would have been very nice on a bet of "no VSC/no safety car" for Monaco. Those restarts are often the only place where people feel brave enough to try to overtake - sometimes too brave, with cascading chain reactions of crashes and more safety cars and more possible overtakes.

I think the Singapore layout is really the one to look at for how to make a "modern" street circuit with plenty of close-in barriers in spots but also plenty of width for overtaking. It's obviously not feasible to do something like that at Monaco though, so I don't know what they will do.
I watched a couple of videos about this and apparently, after FIA caught Ferrari injecting more fuel in the engine that it should, Ferrari lost 1 sec per lap in performance. They have managed to gain back around 20% of that.

The smart thing they did this year is spend their development token on the gearbox, which since it's so long, it allows them to change the aerodynamic shape of the car. In other words it was quite the bank for the back use of available resources. So, that's why they were able to gain so much in corners.
 

Nick Kaufman

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As far as the race is concerned, Perez won it and Vettel got driver of the race, which is good to see and also probably reflects work that Aston Martin has put in, but I was really impressed by Alonso. He really got no business getting 6th with that car, but he managed it by being able to gain 3 places after the first restart and another 4 after the second one. He's really an old fox.
 

SocrManiac

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I generally have no use for Twitch streams and the like, but I've been sucked in to Lando's. I recently watched this one and enjoyed it thoroughly:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BND1SnJmFUM


It's hilarious that he's in Lewis's car.

Pirelli also mentioned that Lewis had an 8cm cut in the same tire location as Lance and Max. They are still claiming debris. Three tires, all in the same installation location in the car, all with the same compound, all cut by debris? I'll wait for the full report, but that doesn't pass the sniff test.
 

Average Reds

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Pirelli also mentioned that Lewis had an 8cm cut in the same tire location as Lance and Max. They are still claiming debris. Three tires, all in the same installation location in the car, all with the same compound, all cut by debris? I'll wait for the full report, but that doesn't pass the sniff test.
It was mentioned on the broadcast that sensors notify the teams when a tire is cut even before they begin to lose pressure. And yet, they had no warning about the failures we saw last weekend, which freaked them out quite a bit.

The point is that I agree with you that the self-serving claim by Pirelli doesn't pass the smell test.
 

SocrManiac

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It was mentioned on the broadcast that sensors notify the teams when a tire is cut even before they begin to lose pressure.
Yeah, and yet Lewis's tire was cut and Mercedes was shocked to discover it. It just doesn't add up somehow.

I have no idea how those sensors would work, but I'm guessing they see something in the lateral G profile. I just don't see how pressure or temperature could monitor it accurately enough to determine the problem. I could be convinced that certain types of cuts would show up as loss of grip or a wobble in corners, though.
 

SocrManiac

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Two other things from this race.

Latifi's three penalty points really, really piss me off.

Here's the video for folks that haven't seen it: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-azerbaijan-grand-prix-radio-call-causes-confusion-as-latifi-misses-pit-lane.1701827152409641502.html

He's preparing to enter the pit under a red flag. His engineer blows the call, meaning to tell him to stay out of the pit box. Instead, Latifi stays on track.

This is 100% on his race engineer for poor communication. Latifi must defer to his team. For all he knew, something had happened in the pit lane rendering it unsafe to enter. He followed the instruction. The time penalty is correct (applied to the team), and there should likely be a team fine as well. However, the penalty points are indefensible. Do we really want drivers second guessing their race engineers?

On the second, I defer to the drivers here as my knowledge is extremely limited. They're almost completely unified in their criticism of Michael Masi's slow trigger in the safety car after Verstappen's crash. My gut instinct is that they're correct, here, and Masi created a dangerous situation. It's not the first time Masi has made a bad judgement call and it sounds like the drivers are rapidly losing faith. This could develop into something ugly and should be monitored.
 

tmracht

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The Latifi penalty has been an insane debate on the discord. I'm on the side the penalty should be on the engineer/team 100% for all the reasons you listed.

But to me more importantly flip it the other way. His team says stay out he comes in and bashes into someone/thing does he get a penalty then for following the pre race plan to just put instantly on a red flag? Seems really dumb to punish the guy for an emphatic do not do. Take away constructor points or something. Putting it on his license is beyond asinine.
 

tmracht

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Ver/Ham/Bot/Perez, has that been the front 2 rows before, not that I can remember yet.
 

Chainsaw318

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worst track to see a race on in the sport. Might as well be in a Walmart parking lot with chalk lines. Garbage.

The race was better than the track merited (a reverse Monaco, if you will) Alonso and Vettel are fun to have lively again and Ferrari seemed slow the whole race.

Gasly may be the most underrated driver on track, very happy to see him continue to do well and work through the mid-pack. I was hoping Tsunoda would adapt quickly and make a strong teammate , but that has not happened.
 

Nick Kaufman

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At this point I am not sure Gasly is underrated. Everyone is so impressed with his performances that I am starting to wondering if the combination of a non-performing rookie and a truly underrated car is helping him.
 

tmracht

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Bottas fuming early on about needing a 2 stopper summed it up. Bad strat by Merc cost them.
 

cgori

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Two comments:

-Nico said something in the post-race analysis before ESPN cut from Sky about how Lewis didn't even really make the pass difficult for Max, either by parking the car mid-corner or late-braking, or whatever - I 100% agree and was really surprised how easy it looked for Max in the end.
-And I am very very confused about why they didn't pit Bottas with 4-5 laps to go for a set of softs and try for fastest lap. There was plenty of time to do it (the excuses the commentators made were very lame, they were talking about it almost 2 laps after it could have first been done when Bottas failed to hold up Max for very long at all) and Bottas seemed like he had reasonable pace to do it, at least based on earlier in the weekend. They might wish they had that point later.
 

cgori

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If Mercedes can't win a track that suits their power, they are in trouble. Red Bull are title favorites I think unless Merc finds an ace up their sleeves.
The Merc strat guy apologizing to Lewis on the radio post-race was very telling. I think they just got beaten on strategy.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Forget the Mercedes' strategy mistakes. In the first third of the race, when all teams thought it was a one stop race and Hamilton took advantage of Verstappen's mistake, Hamilton couldn't put any space between him and Max. When Verstappen pitted he was just 3 seconds behind Hamilton.

And lest we forget, Verstappen won pole position and Red Bull introduced a new power unit in this grand prix.

The margins are small though.
 

cgori

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Forget the Mercedes' strategy mistakes. In the first third of the race, when all teams thought it was a one stop race and Hamilton took advantage of Verstappen's mistake, Hamilton couldn't put any space between him and Max. When Verstappen pitted he was just 3 seconds behind Hamilton.

And lest we forget, Verstappen won pole position and Red Bull introduced a new power unit in this grand prix.

The margins are small though.
I'd argue that he wasn't putting space because he was trying to preserve tires as it was considered to be a 1-stopper.

For sure RB has the qualifying pace now, and Max has really dialed in how to do quali laps this year. I did think that Merc had the better race pace but seems like that is escaping them too.

I hope for our sake as fans it stays more neck-and-neck, if RB runs away with it, it will just be boring in a different way :(
 

tmracht

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Two comments:

-Nico said something in the post-race analysis before ESPN cut from Sky about how Lewis didn't even really make the pass difficult for Max, either by parking the car mid-corner or late-braking, or whatever - I 100% agree and was really surprised how easy it looked for Max in the end.
-And I am very very confused about why they didn't pit Bottas with 4-5 laps to go for a set of softs and try for fastest lap. There was plenty of time to do it (the excuses the commentators made were very lame, they were talking about it almost 2 laps after it could have first been done when Bottas failed to hold up Max for very long at all) and Bottas seemed like he had reasonable pace to do it, at least based on earlier in the weekend. They might wish they had that point later.
Point 2 was confirmed they were hoping to keep Bottas within 5 seconds in case Perez got the 5 second penalty. He was under investigation late in the race. Another miscalculation.
 

cgori

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Point 2 was confirmed they were hoping to keep Bottas within 5 seconds in case Perez got the 5 second penalty. He was under investigation late in the race. Another miscalculation.
Well at least that sort of makes sense, even if they guessed wrong. Thanks.