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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Whelp… It’s going to be tied going into the last race. I’ll hold my conspiracy theory laden feelings on that.
 

CSteinhardt

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I wanted to see somebody dethrone Hamilton, but man, Verstappen is such a dirty driver. I think I'm rooting for Hamilton in the finale.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Just came here to post “that was fucking insane” only to realize I’d been beaten to it by like 5 people.

Agree with CS though, I want to root for Verstappen but he pulls some shit pretty much every race where you’re like “what the fuck are you doing?”
 

SocrManiac

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Max wins Driver of the Day. Looks like people don’t agree about his behavior.

I think he’s rash and impulsive. I also think Lewis has a far better car right now and he’s desperate to hang on. It doesn’t excuse dangerous behavior.

That said, it’s difficult to hear the penalty negotiations in realtime. I don’t have a great suggestion for writing a rulebook that can accommodate these situations in black and white, but it’s absolutely clear that the teams have far too much input.

I’m really struggling with Max’s 5 second penalty when he did concede the position (and immediately retake it).

It was difficult to get a feel for the track with the camera work available. It doesn’t seem like it makes for good racing. I think it would have been a lot more fun and a lot less controversial if they’d taken the F2 lesson and abandoned the standing restart.
 

kfoss99

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Agreed. My hope is for George Russell to dethrone Hamilton.
Yeah, I'm with you. Russell is my favorite driver. I dislike Mercedes and rooted for Max to beat Hamilton, until today. Max got too cute, too much in that race.

Going into the race, I thought WWDED -- What Would Dale Earnhardt Due? Dale would have just crashed Hamilton, what Max did was worse.
 

tmracht

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Ignoring the circuitous route to HAMVERBOT. Man Norris has sunk like a rock.
 

SocrManiac

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I watched without commentary. It made it extremely difficult to judge what was going on, but the group I was with (split evenly between Max and Hamilton support) left with a very different feeling for the race than I’m getting here. I’m curious what effect that has in perception.
 

kfoss99

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I watched without commentary. It made it extremely difficult to judge what was going on, but the group I was with (split evenly between Max and Hamilton support) left with a very different feeling for the race than I’m getting here. I’m curious what effect that has in perception.
I think the announcers are homers for their countryman in Hamilton. So, I'm sure that influenced my mood. I thought Max should have pulled over for Hamilton, instead of staying in the middle of the track. I don't think it was a brake check, but still unsafe driving. Hamilton could have been more decisive, Max was slow and Hamilton has space to pass. Maybe that incident is on the race director

Hamilton is the best driver in the best car. Max pushes too far, probably because he has to. But, it appears to me, Max drives recklessly to make up the variance.

As an aside, that track was terrible and was managed poorly, too. So many blind corners.

F1 would be wise to implement NASCAR's rules for pitting under yellow and red. And better discretion on standing starts after red flags.
 

Average Reds

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I watched without commentary. It made it extremely difficult to judge what was going on, but the group I was with (split evenly between Max and Hamilton support) left with a very different feeling for the race than I’m getting here. I’m curious what effect that has in perception.
FIA made a hash of the race, but Max made two mistakes (IMO) that were a very bad look for him.

The first came when he tried to “let Hamilton through” and he slowed excessively in (what looked like) an attempt to let him pass at such a slow speed that he (Max) would then get DRS on the straight immediately following that section and pass him. But he ended up unintentionally brake-checking him and Hamilton rammed into the back of the car.

The second time he let Hamilton pass he did something similar - not in terms of danger, but strategy. He let Hamilton pass in a place that allowed him to immediately slingshot past him. But he was so late on the brakes that he cut the corner, which is where the 5 second penalty came from.

I think Max was in a real bind because he knew his tires were going to go away at the end of the race. And he became reckless in his effort to keep Hamilton behind him.

All of the above was on top of the danger associated with the track and the inexplicably bad communications from FIA.

Just my $.02.
 

tmracht

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I think Masi has to look in the mirror a bit. When even Alonso is calling you out mid race it's not a good look. Between the negotiation of grid drops on the restart to waiting 4 laps to turn the first safety car into a red flag. It just looks like there's manipulation where there may just be incompetence or not. The fact that the prevailing social media and discord takes are that it's a fix to get them level on point is not a great for the organization.

The fact that the media team didn't bother showing Ocon and Bottas stretch run it just makes it even overly tough to think they are trying to go Full Netflix soap opera even on the track and production side for the title run up at the expense of everyone else on the track.

Yas Marina should be a great sporting event, hopefully they can keep from binning each other and we get a deserving champion.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I actually thought Hamilton was at fault for the first incident - I get he was confused about what was going on but it seemed like he had plenty of track on the inside to pass. But yeah race control definitely shares some blame there…on the broadcast they had audio from Masi where he was like “there’s only so many buttons I can press at one time” which seemed like a terrible excuse.

The five-second penalty, though, seemed warranted, though, for the reasons AR mentions - Max just got too cute and it sounded like even his engineers were a little frustrated with that.

Also, agreed the two standing starts after the red flags were moronic. It was pretty much a guarantee the first restart was going to result in another crash, and I was pretty surprised the second didn’t too.
 

Leon Trotsky

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I just watched. I am heavily rooting for Hamilton now. Even if Max didn't brake check him, Max put Lewis in a very difficult position because Lewis was probably nervous getting beside heading into that corner based on the craziness earlier (not to mention in earlier races). Max is just way too aggressive and ultimately, dangerous, imho.
 

SocrManiac

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It seems like there’s absolute consensus that the FIA really blew it. It didn’t just happen today. Inconsistency, lack of transparency, and confounding penalties have been a hallmark of the entire championship. It culminated in an absolute mess today.

The FIA absolutely deserves to have the two take each other out. The fans should have better.
 

Average Reds

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What worries me about the last race is that Verstappen holds the tie-breaker, which means that if they both crash out, Verstappen wins.

I get that it’s a different era, but I’m old enough to remember Prost taking out Senna and Schumacher taking out Hill under similar circumstances in the last race. (Under identical circumstances. Schumacher tried to do the same to Villeneuve in ‘97. However, it didn’t work and the FIA later took away his entire point total for the year.)

I don’t think Max would consciously do this. However, he has shown himself to be like
Schumacher in the sense that his extreme competitiveness leads to recklessness. I also feel that the FIA has responsibility here, as their failure to sanction Verstappen after his disgraceful actions in Brazil have led us here.
 

SocrManiac

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Max was given an additional 10 second time penalty for the collision. That’s 15 seconds of penalties for a place that he gave back.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Ok. Saw the highlights again. Thoughts.

1. Seems to me the comments about Max are overly harsh. He's fighting for the world championship with a car that looks slower now; today he was doing it in a track that is unforgiving for both mistakes and hard racing. What is he supposed to do other than fight hard and look for any edge he can get when he has the worse machine?

2. Also seems to me that the collision was a misunderstanding. From the view from Lewis' car it looked as if Max was in the middle of the road, but the overhead camera is showing him moving to he right and slowing down as he hears the radio message that he needs to give the place back. Lewis hadn't heard that and he was probably trying to take advantage of Max's slipstream in order to overtake but then Max slowed down and they collided.

3. All in all, I would agree that Max is a driver that takes more risks than Hamilton. But when Hamilton felt that the championship was slipping away in Silverstone and Monza he also tried to find the edge wherever he could.

4. Hamilton deserves all the credit in the world for hanging tough when he was behind and trying his best claw back into championship contention when his car was worse. He's also smart about being conservative when he needs to and aggressive when he needs to. But like I said before he's an unbearable wanker when things don't go his way. It fine and dandy to give credit to his crew when he's winning, but it's a mark of good character when you re also giving credit when things aren't going his way; instead he acts like a spoiled brat.

5. If Max loses the championship - which is now more likely than not- it will be because on the whole, breaks went Hamilton's way. The flat tire in Baku, the collision in Silverstone that only threw Max out of commission, the Bottas-Russell collision that allowed Hamilton to get back in the race in Imola after he had a shunt.

On the whole, I would like Max to win partly because it would be nice to see a fresh face taste victory, partly because he deserves it. But if Hamilton wins it, he will also be very deserving.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Also forgot to add. I don't know about the time penalties Max received, though they are helpful because they make a deliberate collision next race more unlikely.

But I didn't have a problem with Masi asking Red Bull whether they wanted to accept his ruling or go to the stewards. His ruling was as harsh as the stewards would give. Also, yeah, it took a few laps to decide to red flag the race after Mick's shunt, but it probably took them that long to determine they needed to reconstruct the barrier.
 

Chainsaw318

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It seems like there’s absolute consensus that the FIA really blew it. It didn’t just happen today. Inconsistency, lack of transparency, and confounding penalties have been a hallmark of the entire championship. It culminated in an absolute mess today.

The FIA absolutely deserves to have the two take each other out. The fans should have better.
It's a bit messy in that I'm not clear on if VER being told to give the place back was coming from the team, trying to head off a penalty, or was coming from the race directo for the blown corner ont he re-start.

It seems like it came from the director and Red Bull acted on it to try to re-take their advantage in a manner to be cute, as they did haveing VER pull to the side and then re-pass and get DRS.

VER has absolutely never been treated like other racers, and it feels like this is part why he's gotten to this point in being able to try to intimidate others on the track, and has made it part of his driving style.
 

TomBrunansky23

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Two things -

First, this track was borderline unsafe and just like in the golf world, we have a sports league taking dirty Saudi money and compromising the integrity of their competition.

Second, nice win Lewis, but feel free to stop bitching out your engineers about tire choices when selecting the hards permitted you to run away from your opponent on the mediums you wanted at the time.

Next weekend is gonna be bannanas. Cannot wait.
 

Chainsaw318

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Ok. Saw the highlights again. Thoughts.

1. Seems to me the comments about Max are overly harsh. He's fighting for the world championship with a car that looks slower now; today he was doing it in a track that is unforgiving for both mistakes and hard racing. What is he supposed to do other than fight hard and look for any edge he can get when he has the worse machine?

2. Also seems to me that the collision was a misunderstanding. From the view from Lewis' car it looked as if Max was in the middle of the road, but the overhead camera is showing him moving to he right and slowing down as he hears the radio message that he needs to give the place back. Lewis hadn't heard that and he was probably trying to take advantage of Max's slipstream in order to overtake but then Max slowed down and they collided.

3. All in all, I would agree that Max is a driver that takes more risks than Hamilton. But when Hamilton felt that the championship was slipping away in Silverstone and Monza he also tried to find the edge wherever he could.

4. Hamilton deserves all the credit in the world for hanging tough when he was behind and trying his best claw back into championship contention when his car was worse. He's also smart about being conservative when he needs to and aggressive when he needs to. But like I said before he's an unbearable wanker when things don't go his way. It fine and dandy to give credit to his crew when he's winning, but it's a mark of good character when you re also giving credit when things aren't going his way; instead he acts like a spoiled brat.

5. If Max loses the championship - which is now more likely than not- it will be because on the whole, breaks went Hamilton's way. The flat tire in Baku, the collision in Silverstone that only threw Max out of commission, the Bottas-Russell collision that allowed Hamilton to get back in the race in Imola after he had a shunt.

On the whole, I would like Max to win partly because it would be nice to see a fresh face taste victory, partly because he deserves it. But if Hamilton wins it, he will also be very deserving.
this is a good post, but I see your points 4 and 5 differently. In general, I don’t think most of the drivers sound great in team radio - most are petulant (“why won’t you tell X to let me by” )or are speaking to get a narrative on the broadcast to race control (“I got squeezed out on that turn”).

I think Lewis used to be insufferable, and betrayed nerves on the radio in last seasons, but less so this season. I think he ask the same questions of the team as most drivers would if they had his experience and success and we maybe just hear it more. I wouldn't consider Lewis more of less whiny on the radio than Vettel, Alonso, Max or Leclerc.

It also feels like a lot of the breaks have swung to both ways, but it’s all counter factual - if Lewis had been able to unstick his car out from under Max’s at Monza, he may have picked up points there, or if Max hadn’t got lucky with DRS on back markers in Austin, would he have been caught?

overall, I think we should all agree that Christian Horner is upping his canpaign for most “sports-dislike punchable-face of 2021” that dude is impossible to listen to.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Probably wishful thinking, but all I want for Abu Dhabi is a race decided on the merits without any controversial penalties, restarts, or crashes.

The problem is - how to you prevent this when it’s the last race of the season and everything is on the line? If it’s clear to Verstappen, for example, that his car doesn’t have the pace of Lewis’, there seems to be very little downside to being even more aggressive than he has been this season to date because if he tries something crazy and gets penalized he’s just back where he would have been anyway. I’m not suggesting he’ll just take Lewis out intentionally but I did suspect we are going to see more instances of Max not ceding track space, unnecessary swerves in if Hamilton is trying a lunge, etc.

Should be absolutely fascinating but in a weird way I’m also kind of dreading the controversy that will almost surely accompany the race one way or the other.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Also, it’s kind of amusing that Max’s crash on the final lap of Q3, which at the time seemed massive, ended up having essentially no impact on the race at all.
 

tmracht

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overall, I think we should all agree that Christian Horner is upping his canpaign for most “sports-dislike punchable-face of 2021” that dude is impossible to listen to.
Helmut is close. They are quite a RedBull Power couple.
 

SocrManiac

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Red Bull are incredibly hateable, especially without Danny. That anybody wants them to win is down to Lewis fatigue.
 

Phragle

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Helmut is close. They are quite a RedBull Power couple.
Red Bull are incredibly hateable, especially without Danny. That anybody wants them to win is down to Lewis fatigue.
They're why I'm a Lewis fan. I love to hate RB. They're an incredible enemy. I try not to blame Max for RB's shit, but it's getting harder and harder to seperate it. They're perfect for each other, and it seems Perez is the only adult in there.

On the race, I think Masi was in a no-win. The track was a joke. I only found out after the race that they had no cranes? If true that's unbelievable. Did they not need any cranes during the build? It was only finished on like thursday right? So now every crash basically needed a red flag. The track was too skinny to begin with and without cranes it was going to be impossible to have a smooth production. IDK how much of that was Masi's fault but he certainly admitted a lot when his excuse to Merc was essentially "I can't handle this -- there are too many buttons"
 

SocrManiac

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My favorite potential scenario on Sunday: Hamilton gets the fastest lap early in the race, he and Max then somehow take each other out, and the championship hinges on whether someone else in the field can beat Hamilton's lap time. Can you imagine?
You need to finish in the top 10 to claim the fastest lap point.
 

Average Reds

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Or that Lewis is the biggest whiner in sports
Literally every successful F1 driver operates in their own personal bubble. And their insulation is usually reinforced by the team, which has a vested interest in keeping the driver happy and is therefore reluctant to contradict anything they say.

As an example, here's a quote from Ross Brawn (at the time, the technical director at Ferrari) about Michael Schumacher. The race in question is the 1997 European Grand Prix, which I mentioned briefly up-thread. Schumacher had a 1 point lead heading into the final race, and when Jaques Villeneuve attempted to pass him, Schumacher deliberately tried to wreck him to preserve his title. Unfortunately for Schumacher, he not only failed, but his intent was so obvious that he was stripped of all points for the season.

However, in the heat of the moment, Schumacher was oblivious to reality:

“Interestingly, when he came back into the pits, he had a completely different mental view of what had happened. It wasn’t until he saw the TV that he realised what had really happened.

“He came back to the pits and he was telling us, ‘we have to get Villeneuve disqualified,’ and I said ‘Michael, you really need to look at the TV because it really doesn’t look that way I’m afraid.’

“He looked, and he went quiet and realised that things hadn’t been quite the way he thought they were from the cockpit.”
https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/articles/single-seaters/f1/michael-schumachers-moment-of-madness-at-jerez-1997

People who think that Hamilton is "the biggest whiner is sports" are either unaware of the nature/history of the sport or aren't considering that Hamilton's success guarantees that we hear more of his radio transmissions than any other driver.
 

Average Reds

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They're why I'm a Lewis fan. I love to hate RB. They're an incredible enemy. I try not to blame Max for RB's shit, but it's getting harder and harder to seperate it. They're perfect for each other, and it seems Perez is the only adult in there.

On the race, I think Masi was in a no-win. The track was a joke. I only found out after the race that they had no cranes? If true that's unbelievable. Did they not need any cranes during the build? It was only finished on like thursday right? So now every crash basically needed a red flag. The track was too skinny to begin with and without cranes it was going to be impossible to have a smooth production. IDK how much of that was Masi's fault but he certainly admitted a lot when his excuse to Merc was essentially "I can't handle this -- there are too many buttons"
I am of the opinion that Masi should be given close to 100% of the blame for the chaos on the track.

His intent may have been pure, but his attempt to "negotiate" a solution to potential infractions in real-time rather than allow the stewards to make a decision completely backfired because he could not communicate to both teams simultaneously. This led to the initial collision when Hamilton did not understand what Verstappen was doing when he slowed dramatically.

All Masi has to do is allow the stewards to make their ruling and there is no confusion. (Red Bull might not like the outcome, but both teams would be notified at the same time.) By trying to short-circuit that process, he created chaos, prompting justifiable fury from both Red Bull and Mercedes.

My favorite potential scenario on Sunday: Hamilton gets the fastest lap early in the race, he and Max then somehow take each other out, and the championship hinges on whether someone else in the field can beat Hamilton's lap time. Can you imagine?
As @SocrManiac indicated, this isn't how it works. (It's also unrealistic, as the fastest lap is always set near the end of the race when cars are running on a significantly reduced fuel load.)

The idea that these two might "somehow take each other out" is also a dubiously passive statement, because Hamilton understands that he needs to be extra-cautious to win the title. The same cannot be said for Verstappen.
 
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Phragle

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I am of the opinion that Masi should be given close to 100% of the blame for the chaos on the track.

His intent may have been pure, but his attempt to "negotiate" a solution to potential infractions in real-time rather than allow the stewards to make a decision completely backfired because he could not communicate to both teams simultaneously. This led to the initial collision when Hamilton did not understand what Verstappen was doing when he slowed dramatically.

All Masi has to do is allow the stewards to make their ruling and there is no confusion. (Red Bull might not like the outcome, but both teams would be notified at the same time.) By trying to short-circuit that process, he created chaos, prompting justifiable fury from both Red Bull and Mercedes.
On the track yes, but unless it was his decision to have the race on a clown track just finished before the weekend, I don't think he can deserve all the blame for the weekend. IMO the track is bad enough that they can't go there again without huge improvements.

Also the "offer" and the collision are for two separate incidents right? The offer was done under the Mazapin red flag (around lap 10?) and the collision was under green flag racing after the lap 37 incident. I didn't have a problem w the offer, but on the position swap it was apparent to me that he bungled the order in communication w RB and Merc. If you're going to alert teams of a position swap, you have to alert the following team first. I think he did the opposite
 

Average Reds

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On the track yes, but unless it was his decision to have the race on a clown track just finished before the weekend, I don't think he can deserve all the blame for the weekend. IMO the track is bad enough that they can't go there again without huge improvements.

Also the "offer" and the collision are for two separate incidents right? The offer was done under the Mazapin red flag (around lap 10?) and the collision was under green flag racing after the lap 37 incident. I didn't have a problem w the offer, but on the position swap it was apparent to me that he bungled the order in communication w RB and Merc. If you're going to alert teams of a position swap, you have to alert the following team first. I think he did the opposite
He made several "offers" like this, including at the point right before Verstappen slammed on the brakes in front of Hamilton. After the accident, we heard Masi on the horn with Mercedes making the comment you quoted about "too many buttons" as his excuse for why he was not able to inform Mercedes that Verstappen would be giving the place back.

Edit: I literally just rewatched the accident on lap 37 and the incident happened simultaneously with the broadcast playing the audio of Red Bull telling Verstappen to give the place back. (Which itself came after Masi asked them to do this because he cut the corner.)

Hamilton was unaware of that this was going to happen because Masi had not gotten around to informing Mercedes. And Verstappen slowed so aggressively - for whatever reason - that he caused the crash.

Three laps later (lap 40) Masi had another talk with Red Bull and then informed Mercedes of it. It was that conversation (which we heard on lap 41) where Masi lamented about how he “I can only push as many buttons as I can.”
 
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Average Reds

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Ok I only heard one offer
To be clear, we didn’t hear the “offer”the second time. But we do know that it happened because we heard the conversation where Masi discussed it with Mercedes and they noted that they had not been told quickly enough to relay it to their driver.

Short version - Masi tried to stage-manage the race rather than letting the stewards do their jobs and the confusion/chaos was the result.
 

SocrManiac

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They’ll be back next year. The human rights record wasn’t enough to keep them away (“We Race as One!”) and it generated a ton of views.

I think Masi’s sinking. He torpedoed himself with the buttons comment. Horner is an asshole but he’s savvy as hell. He pulled the perfect lever in invoking Charlie’s name. It’s hard not to agree. Charlie managed these personalities better, and while no punishment/penalty system is perfect he seemed to understand context and consequence better. Everybody has questioned consistency this year as harsh punishment can be meted out one week and ignored the next (or in the reverse).
 

rguilmar

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Late to the party, but just thought I'd toss my two pennies in regarding the Lewis/Max incident.

Watching the race, my initial reaction was the Lewis was at fault. In my mind, he was gearing up for the overtake and was not paying attention. The announcers said something along the lines of "This might be Hamilton's best shot at a pass" and I remember standing up gearing up for it myself. So I thought he was distracted and did not see a race warning (VSC or the like) and Max did. While Max was not totally out of the racing line, he did pull slightly to the right and Lewis did have the room to pass. At the time of impact, I was thinking it was Hamilton's fault.

As things unfolded, it seemed like maybe the FIA was at fault. They told Max to let Lewis pass but did not get the same message to Merc fast enough which caused Max to prepare to let Lewis pass but Lewis was unaware of it. When I heard the exchange between Merc and Masi, that's how it came off at least. To be fair, I am assuming RB got the message to let Lewis pass from FIA but I am not positive about that, even now.

Later, when Max did let Lewis pass, he did so in a way that allowed the Red Bull to quickly pass Hamilton again. At that point, I started thinking Max tried to do so earlier when the two collided. It would make sense that Hamilton was confused because Max was not in a position you would expect him to be in to allow a pass. He was positioning himself both in position on the track and point in the race where he could overtake Hamilton. I know it is not the first time a driver would give up a position in a way that allows them to retake it immediately, but regardless, it feels like it violates the spirit of the decision if not the letter of the law.

In reality, it was likely a combination of the three. Lewis was gearing up for a pass and not really understanding what Max was doing. Max was positioning himself to get DRS and retake the position. And Masi was unclear with his instructions.

For full disclosure, I am a Ferrari fan and don't usually really have a horse in this race. For years, I have either rooted for Mercedes/Lewis's main rival or actively rooted for "Anyone but Lewis". I have always respected Red Bull, more for the Red Bull soccer teams that allow for a direct path for Americans to get to Europe through MLS (specifically the Red Bulls, but it also allows them to closely scout other talent) than for racing. Danny Ric is such a likeable driver, and he spent many years at Red Bull Racing. I've liked a lot of their drivers, in fact, and was happy that they kept Checo in F1. Horner to me has always been a smug, grating personality, but it's F1 and he isn't the only one. I've found Max to be a talented and fun driver to watch over the years. Two things have changed for me recently. First, I do respect Lewis's willingness to get out there on social issues. I've found it to be pretty refreshing in F1 where that just doesn't feel as common. Second is the crash at Monza. I saw Max less as an aggressive driver and more as a dangerous one. Hell, a few years ago that crash could have been deadly. His comment after the race that the crash was caused by him not be given enough space struck me as being expected to be treated like Omar from The Wire- that because of who he is other drivers should get out of his way. While I do love Omar (RIP Michael K. Williams), I was not as impressed by Max. So I would not say I am 100% a neutral on this.

Whatever the case, the longest week of my F1 fandom life is almost over. I'll even be tuning in for Practice 1.
 

Chainsaw318

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That’s a great post, and a pretty good summary of how I also understood what was happening as it was happening. Thank you for it.

I’ve turned hard or Red Bull post-Ricciardo, but there hasn’t been a lot to like it you aren’t for Max V.

They’ve done a bad job finding him another teammate and have really messed with some otherwise interesting drivers while trying to find one.
 

Chainsaw318

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I added a poll for the last race. I’m on mobile and haven’t made a poll here before, but you get the idea. How do you think this wraps up?

I think Mercedes takes it and Lewis wins by several seconds. He’s got the better high speed car and this track has been updated to be a little less winding and to be faster this year. I think Hamilton gets poll and it’s never really in doubt.

Though the pure chaos and drama that would ensue if Max wrecks them both, and it looks to be intentional or if Perez take a dive into Hamilton for the good of the team, I don’t see it. Max may force Lewis to crash rather than let him past on the track, but that’s how Max races, but he’s been allowed to.
 

tmracht

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I'd go with Lewis by like 8 seconds...is that convincing or close? I'm not sure. So I'll say close.
 

rguilmar

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Yeah, I know it’s too much to ask for, but a nice clean qualifying round today and race tomorrow with no tough decisions by the FIA is what I’d like. And no crashes for Max or Lewis. There’s no drama like F1 drama, and I don’t want to deal with it for the entire winter.

Separately, I hadn’t seen those visor cameras before, but haven’t seen many practice sessions this year. I think LeClerc and Alonso had them. Really cool to see pretty much what they see. Is this new?
 

Nick Kaufman

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It seems to me that Verstappen being forced into using the softs muddles the picture and will probably have repercussions tomorrow. Verstappen won pole, but on softs. Does Hamilton still have the faster car? Verstappen will have to pit earlier tomorrow. Will Hamilton's overcut turn out to be more effective?

The F1 website says the first lap is crucial because Verstappen cannot afford to fall behind as managing the softs won't be easy under heavy fuel load and dirty air in front.
 
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