Formula 1 Thread

Ready for the Portuguese Grand Prix? Now that the various rivalries have firmed up, we can pose some constructors’ questions:

  • Mercedes vs Red Bull?
  • Ferrari vs McLaren?
  • Alpha Tauri vs Aston Martin vs Alpine vs Alpha Romeo?

And bringing up the rear:

  • Hass vs Williams?

Haas look like they are far behind.

About the upcoming “Sprint qualifying”.
Chainbear is the only one I have ever heard stating, what this concept really is: They made the race slightly longer with a very long, pre-planned red-flag period after the first quarter on Saturday. Then the pause the race until Sunday and carry on. The minuscule amount of points they award for the standings after the “red flag” will not change much.

Haas has already admitted to giving up on this year and focusing on the new formula next year.

I agree that Chain Bear’s presentation is the clearest I’ve seen of what sprint qualifying actually is and how it could impact the Grand Prix. If it brings an element of uncertainty (like a wet track), then I’m all for it.

Get that … Goddamn.Green! Off the Ferrari!

It is truly disgusting.

What a snoozer. And completely predictable results.

It was okay - not as good as the first two races but there was a lot of overtaking and some great battles in the midfield.

If you were only paying attention to the front, then once Hamilton took the lead, that was pretty much it. But at the back, Russell dropped from P11 to P16. Ricciardo battled from P16 to P9. At the end of the race, Schumacher actually managed to pass Latifi. And there was the amusing battle for fastest lap as first Perez, then Bottas, then Verstappen switched out for soft tires to claim the point in turn. Verstappen had his run nullified by track limits, so Bottas got the point.

And actually, the top three did do a bit of passing. Verstappen overtook Hamilton, then Hamilton overtook both the cars in from to move from third to first. So overall it was a pretty decent race - but nobody enjoys it these days when it’s Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas on the podium because we’ve seen it so much.

Yes, perhaps the drama of the first two races have spoiled us to a certain extent but the fact that the leadership swapped places on several occasions on track would have marked this out as notable in many other more one-sided seasons.

On a more general point, fascinating that although the RB pre-season form seems real, the gap to the Merc seems to have been eroded to the point where driver performance on the day, tyre and race-management and avoidance of minor errors is deciding the 1-2-3 rather than blinding differences in pace. Prior to the first race of the season that was not expected to be the case and Merc taking two out of three is probably the very best they could a have hoped for.

Hopefully it’ll remain close throughout the season but one thing that may throw a spanner in the works is that 2022 regulations are substantially different. In previous seasons we’ve seen differing rates of development on the current cars because teams have had to balance how much priority to give to the tweaks for this year v next year. I really don’t know how the huge changes slated for next year will affect that.

Also, Perez looking a much better bet than Albon in the RB. Nip and tuck at Ferrari, Norris showing he can maximise the McLaren and I think he may well be in with a shot at a win if the fates combine to take some of the top four out.

Romain Grosjean to return to Formula 1 driving for Mercedes!

OK, that was clickbait. It’s only a few demonstration laps at the the French Grand Prix in Lewis Hamilton’s old car. But that was a nice gesture on the part of Toto Wolff.

Robert Kubica was driving in FP 1 today. Spun and got stuck in the gravel.

Is tomorrow the first attempt at this ‘Sprint Qually’? I had the sound off. Too much jibber-jabber.

Sprint Qualifying will probably be introduced at Silverstone.

If you thought the Portugal race was boring, you should expect more of the same in Spain unless it rains. Maybe just watch out for whenever Mazepin inevitably messes up again.

Didn’t he spin on his first out lap in FP1?

Yep. Spain is where what is said is said. Ain’t no suprizes.

I think it was less of a spin and more of just losing grip and running off the track, like he wasn’t even trying to stay on. It was Kubica who spun into the gravel, ending his run. Despite this, he still placed higher than Mazepin, on hard tires no less.

(1) Predictable - The Kinks - YouTube

Yet once again we got a battle between the two title protagonists. And to see them fighting on the same bit of track is great to see. Can’t remember the last time this happened. Even when Hamilton was battling Vettel there was very little on track battles between them - instead you got some tracks that favoured Mercedes and some that favoured Ferrari.