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 .

tmracht

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A lot of takes on social media that Yuki will have an issue around lap 10.. to give Verstappen a cheap pit.
But would RBR risk a Crashgate 2 fiasco? It's Horner and Marko so maybe if it looks like Lewis on mediums will have a successful overcut. That just seems difficult to see them getting away with it.

The big worry for Hamilton would be Norris beating him by T5 and then Max being able to extend the lead early while Norris on softs plays some unintentional defense for Max.

Going to be fascinating where Hamilton on Mediums ends up after T5 with everyone around him on softs.

Bottas not being in the picture is a problem but with Perez on softs it would be hard for Perez to overcut Hamilton and hold him up.

Should be interesting if this becomes 4 on 2 with the Red Bull drivers or we get a 1:1 like France where Hamilton is trying to catch Max cause of the tire delta at the end.

8am seems so far away.
 

kfoss99

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Of no real concern, but after a great for them middle-of-the-season, Williams is back to 2nd to last. Seems like they exhausted their budget a few races ago. I'm glad they scored points and showed signs of being competitive.
 

tmracht

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Yeah budget has been quite a wrinkle for the back markers. With Haas saying they were low on spare parts and out of chassis. I'm sure much of it was related to focusing budget on 22 but even Merc didn't use their change tokens. And the chip shortage causing teams to pivot to more expensive chips also had to hurt. Fascinating aspect that has nothing to do with the on track racing battle but everything to do with final standings.
 

Chainsaw318

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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.
I think the broadcast said that softs are worth .6 seconds per lap, but I wonder how long that advantage lasts, and if DRS is enough to negate it when chasing/passing.

If Hamilton and Verstappen get away fairly clean and have the pace ahead of the field they have shown recently, it may be that the Red Bull is faster, but can’t pull away with the 2 longs straights.
 

tmracht

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I think the broadcast said that softs are worth .6 seconds per lap, but I wonder how long that advantage lasts, and if DRS is enough to negate it when chasing/passing.

If Hamilton and Verstappen get away fairly clean and have the pace ahead of the field they have shown recently, it may be that the Red Bull is faster, but can’t pull away with the 2 longs straights.
It'll be interesting with the low downforce setup, and a full tank of gas how long those softs last if Lewis is in his gearbox. If Perez or lando can get in between Max and Lewis though so that Max can conserve a little bit how far he can stretch that on the first stint. News was that Mercedes was still in the paddock doing simulation runs so they must be trying to figure out what's the optimal strategy, I'm sure they're initial planning didn't have Bottas on the third row and everyone else on softs.
 

Average Reds

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It'll be interesting with the low downforce setup, and a full tank of gas how long those softs last if Lewis is in his gearbox. If Perez or lando can get in between Max and Lewis though so that Max can conserve a little bit how far he can stretch that on the first stint. News was that Mercedes was still in the paddock doing simulation runs so they must be trying to figure out what's the optimal strategy, I'm sure they're initial planning didn't have Bottas on the third row and everyone else on softs.
Absent a terrible start from Hamilton, Perez isn’t getting by him from P4 on the grid. And Norris has already said that he isn’t going to force his car into the middle of the championship battle.

Of course, nothing has gone according to plan this year, so maybe I shouldn’t assume anything. But The most likely scenario is Verstappen pulling away quickly with Hamilton right behind him and then it becomes a strategy game.
 

tmracht

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Yup this is where I just assume nothing will go according to El Plan.

On another side note. Going to miss a few of the outgoing drivers. Kimi for sure, but Giovinazzi as well. Hopefully Kimi has a good send off.
 

cgori

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Absent a terrible start from Hamilton, Perez isn’t getting by him from P4 on the grid. And Norris has already said that he isn’t going to force his car into the middle of the championship battle.

Of course, nothing has gone according to plan this year, so maybe I shouldn’t assume anything. But The most likely scenario is Verstappen pulling away quickly with Hamilton right behind him and then it becomes a strategy game.
Was discussing this (your last sentence) in a group text, because it seems the most likely to me as well. The consensus was that Max will go soft -> hard, and Lewis will go med -> hard. I really can't see Max trying to 2-stop this race, I don't think the math works, absent a safety car, and maybe not even then.

The big questions seem to be (for everyone's reference - it's a 58 lap race):

-How far will Lewis push the mediums? (20 laps? or only 15, if following closely?)
-When will Max have to switch to hards (10 laps? or could he make it 15 because of clean air? Does he need to reach say, 15 to have the hards last full-race without a safety?)
-What's ~10 laps fresher hard tires worth per lap and can Lewis chase Max down?
-What's the "cliff" for the hard tires? (40-45 laps?) This seems like the most crucial point to me, if Max has "dead" tires with 5 laps to go, we could see some insanity.

and then

-What kind of defending does Max do when Lewis tries to make his pass????

Also, if you are awake for this, vote for Kimi for driver of the day. It'd be a proper send-off.
 

Average Reds

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Wow … that was an overly aggressive move by Max, but I did not see did see the stewards letting the cut through by Hamilton go.

And the explanation of “the gap being given back” is gibberish. Utter gibberish.

edit: on replay, I can see how they would have ruled that Max would never have made the turn if he hadn’t made contact. I still don’t agree with the stated rationale.

second edit: nope, no contact at all. There’s no excuse for not giving the slot back.
 
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SocrManiac

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That’s really going to be the talking point moving forward. Max has set a narrative that there’s a double standard. It’s hard not to think he has a case here.
 

tmracht

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I don't think it's a penalty on either but that's tough to say Lewis slowed to give back the advantage.
 

Average Reds

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I don’t think Lewis gave anything back. Red Bull seems to have a legit beef there.
That was my point earlier.

I understand the lack of action given how aggressively Verstappen went into the corner. But the stated rationale of “giving back the advantage” is such garbage that it completely undercuts the legitimacy of taking no action.
 

kfoss99

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This pit stop seems to be the race. Barring a pit problem, Hamilton may lap the field.
 

Average Reds

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The virtual safety car will absolutely turn this into a nail-biting finish. Also brings the possibility of extremely aggressive late driving into play.

Edit: Hamilton’s tires not falling apart as quickly as I expected.

Second edit: The safety car means that we may have a one lap drag race with Verstappen on soft tires. In which case Hamilton will be fucked.
 
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Average Reds

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F1 disgraced themselves all race long with absolutely inconsistent decision-making.

Hamilton got fucked by circumstances beyond his control, but credit to Verstappen. He played it straight.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Can’t help but feel but the FIA kinda orchestrated that because they wanted the final lap drag race. Great theater, though - there were a lot of “holy shit!!”s in my living room on that final lap.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Throughout the season most of the major breaks went Lewis' way. Imola, Baku, Hungary, Silverstone. It was time for a major break to go Max's way and what a time it was.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Mercedes has a strong case - how the hell does it make sense to say “ok the cars between Hamilton and Verstappen can unlap themselves and then we’ll just get started before the remaining cars unlap themselves.”
 

Average Reds

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Throughout the season most of the major breaks went Lewis' way. Imola, Baku, Hungary, Silverstone. It was time for a major break to go Max's way and what a time it was.
Come on, this is cherry-picking. Verstappen got massive breaks along the way as well.

Masi (and the stewards) shit on himself all race long here.

The early decision to not force Hamilton to give the position back was bullshit. And the decision to have the one lap drag race - after allowing the lapped cars through, but not waiting for them to catch up, as the rules mandate - was nothing more than a passive-aggressive way for Masi to decide the championship.

That’s not Verstappen’s fault, but positioning this as some sort of karmic payback is nonsense.
 

GreyisGone

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I'm not going to pretend I know the rules, but I will just say if the choice - as a fan who has no real allegiance - is between no more racing so that cars that don't matter organize themselves or essentially a head to head lap I'm very, very happy we got the latter. That was a blast.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Come on, this is cherry-picking. Verstappen got massive breaks along the way as well.

Masi (and the stewards) shit on himself all race long here.

The early decision to not force Hamilton to give the position back was bullshit. And the decision to have the one lap drag race - after allowing the lapped cars through, but not waiting for them to catch up, as the rules mandate - was nothing more than a passive-aggressive way for Masi to decide the championship.

That’s not Verstappen’s fault, but positioning this as some sort of karmic payback is nonsense.
What breaks? Not of this magnitude.
 

OurF'ingCity

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This is kind of like the refs throwing a PI flag on a Hail Mary at the end of the Super Bowl and having an untimed down at the 1 to end it. It’s exciting but it’s doesn’t quite feel 100% right.
 

tmracht

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I'm not going to pretend I know the rules, but I will just say if the choice - as a fan who has no real allegiance - is between no more racing so that cars that don't matter organize themselves or essentially a head to head lap I'm very, very happy we got the latter. That was a blast.
If it was an equal footing 1 lap it would have been epic. But Merc had no shot. It's like just watching WWE like upthread. Made it a pretty pointless last lap.
 

Average Reds

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What breaks? Not of this magnitude.
This is an absolute tautology, in the sense that no one could possibly have been given a break of this magnitude earlier in the year.

Look, the season is over and Verstappen is the champion. But Im not going to engage with this kind of rationalization.
 

Nick Kaufman

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This is an absolute tautology, in the sense that no one could possibly have been given a break of this magnitude earlier in the year.

The season and Verstappen is the champion.
This was surely the highest leverage situation of the season, but I watched the whole season. During the last few races, Hamiliton had the best car and he maximized his advantage. But when Max had the best car, Hamilton kept himself alive in the title race by enjoying breaks time and time again; if luck was normal, Max would have pulled away.
 

OurF'ingCity

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The Netflix team is probably doing backflips right now. “Season comes down to the final lap with some controversy mixed in” is pretty much their ideal scenario. Of course, there’s zero doubt in my mind that this was in the back (front?) of Masi’s mind too.
 

OurF'ingCity

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For those with more knowledge of the rules than me - could they have thrown a red flag instead of the SC and let both drivers get a fresh set of tires for a final lap or two?

Ultimately would have been just as orchestrated, but would have been more “fair.”