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Formula One 2021 - DRAMA - #Michael Messy


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I see on here and other places conspiracy theories about Netflix which are obviously not true. Welcome as Netflix money and extra attention is, they wouldn't jeopardize the whole sport.

Equally the ideas of intentional bias towards one team or driver - I'm pretty sure they are not true either really. I think Masi and the stewards are trying to do the best they can and trying to be fair, but they know every move they make is scrutinised and debated a million times. I can't imagine how hard that must be - and no wonder he gets things wrong. I feel he has been trying to second guess his actions in terms of "what will everyone think" rather than just ruling on what is in front of him with a clear head.

 By having live radio communication between teams and Masi, and having them broadcast live to fans the FIA have made a rod for their own back as he obviously didn't cope with the pressure.

 Now the trust of the race director to have any meaningful authority and fairness has been irreparably damaged and actually gives more fuel to the fire of "manipulating races to make them more dramatic" as that's literally what he did. 

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Was thinking about FP1 last night and it struck me how utterly pointless that entire hour now seems and qualifying, as did the whole season given it was so contrived.

 

The what's the point feeling strong with me and never had that even after many an iffy incident. This was off the scale dodgy.

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I felt pretty sad about the whole thing last night to be honest. I had to stop reading about it in the end and just do something else. Around the mid-point of the season I felt like I wanted to disengage mostly from the online furore surrounding it all - and last night I remembered why.

 

We've had it all this season and it's worth remembering. The closest of inter team battles you could hope for - RB and Merc and Ham and Ver were so, so close. Each weekend you didn't know who was on top, and often who appeared on top on even Saturday, let alone Friday, wasn't who was actually on top. Just because someone qualified on pole didn't mean much in the end in a lot of races because they'd often be passed into turn 1 anyway and then whoever was second could put on immense pressure with the threat of the undercut. So many iconic moments - Max's car sitting on Lewis's head has to be the most remarkable but there were so many more. Each week practically Lewis and Max went wheel to wheel racing and it was awesome - only the lack of regulations and inconsistent stewarding threatened to (and inevitably did, of course) ruin it.

 

That move by Max into turn 5 today. I still don't know whether that's allowed or not. I get that everyone has a different opinion on whether you should be allowed to ease a car off if you have the inside and I'm genuinely not bothered which side you fall on I just want it written in the goddam rule book so I'm not sitting there going "I don't know whether that's going to be a penalty because I don't know if that's allowed or not". It's absurd that a sport in 2021 is at that point. So fucking frustrating.

 

And for it all to end with Merc not speaking to the press and instead bringing a lawyer into an FIA meeting. And to see someone lose a championship like that. It left such a sour taste. All but the most hardened of Max fans were left feeling angry, frustrated or uncomfortable. I've leaned towards Hamilton since the mid-point of the season because I feel like him and Merc were the more sporting and likeable throughout the season overall. But I think on balance of luck throughout the season Max deserved the title. So I don't begrudge him it. It's just such a sad way for it to play out - with world watching F1 just looks like a bit of a farce now.

 

I actually kind of feel a bit sorry for Masi and the stewards, but they made a rod for their own back. The safety car procedures have never been fair but often it's been the thing that's delivered drama when in fact there shouldn't really have been any. But of course when we had actual unorchestrated drama the danger is that the unfairness blights it. It was a very tough decision, and I can understand the pressure not to end the season in formation at slow-speed. But everything that needs to be said about how it went down has been said. And that the rules are written so that the RD can sort of do what they want it just the icing on the cake - and unsurprising, I suppose, considering the direction of the sport in recent years.

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I actually felt it was 50/50 or going Max's way once Max got the first free stop for softs.

 

I was worried for Merc that another safety car, not an unlikely event at this circuit, would likely give it to Max. (I hadn't thought about the possibility of ending under the safety car).

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It’s depressing how many Verstappen fans are taking the stance “Look at the steward’s response; the rules were followed. Nothing remotely untoward occurred. Mercedes just made a bad strategy call. Stop being sore losers”.
I’d like to think I’d at least be admitting it was a highly dodgy decision in the reverse situation!

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We're accustomed to having Sky pundits go over controversies in great detail at the next race, but will there be any more Sky F1 broadcasts this year? It would be a shame not to get interviews with Masi et al.

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Just now, MrPogo said:

It’s depressing how many Verstappen fans are taking the stance “Look at the steward’s response; the rules were followed. Mercedes just made a bad strategy call. Stop being sore losers”.
I’d like I’d at least be admitting it was a highly dodgy decision in the reverse situation!


That’s not going to happen. The other result of this season is that all of Max’s dive bombs have been legitimised so he’s not going to change his driving style. If the cars are close next season there are going to be a lot of accidents. It’ll be wired seeing the number 1 on a car again as well. 

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Oh and a quick word on Hamilton. It's been said a lot already but what an incredible depth of character he (and Anthony Hamilton) showed by being that gracious after the manner of the defeat. Absolutely remarkable and not something everyone could have managed. It did remind you that there are more important things than sport and winning and losing.

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13 minutes ago, ryodi said:


That’s not going to happen. The other result of this season is that all of Max’s dive bombs have been legitimised so he’s not going to change his driving style. If the cars are close next season there are going to be a lot of accidents. It’ll be wired seeing the number 1 on a car again as well. 

I don't think I've ever seen the sport so polarised on who did what right and when and the tribalism feels like it's heading towards football levels.

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My straw poll of non-UK colleagues who are watching this was that Max was a worthy winner over the season and they weren't too bothered about the incident, and pointed to other decisions that went Lewis' way.

 

I don't think I was aware of the 2008 deliberate crash. It looks like it did turn the championship that year, Hamilton won by a point from Massa, Massa was the driver substantially disadvantaged by Renault's cheating.

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15 minutes ago, MrPogo said:

It’s depressing how many Verstappen fans are taking the stance “Look at the steward’s response; the rules were followed. Nothing remotely untoward occurred. Mercedes just made a bad strategy call. Stop being sore losers”.
I’d like I’d at least be admitting it was a highly dodgy decision in the reverse situation!

 

I don't think you're convincing those types of people off that hill to be honest, whether it be for Lewis or Max. This has been one of the very few places where the conversation isn't toxic to be honest and can be debated with reason and maturity. 

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The thing is this isn't a Max V Lewis or a RB V Merc issue, they played what was in fornt of them and that's all you can expect out of the teams and drivers, the problem is the officials engineering a situation to decide the WDC unfairly on the last lap of the season.

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Just so we’re clear:

 

No way would Max have won if he’d had to clear the back markers on that restarts.

 

This situation won’t be fixed next year because they don’t see they did anything wrong.

 

Hamilton will be back because he wants 8 titles. He wants to be the all time greatest.

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Just now, Cheeko said:

No way would Max have won if he’d had to clear the back markers on that restarts.

 

Is it possible he'd have 2 laps in that scenario though, because they didn't need another lap to let those cars through?

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4 minutes ago, morcs said:

 

Is it possible he'd have 2 laps in that scenario though, because they didn't need another lap to let those cars through?

 

They barely gave the lapped cars 30 seconds to get through so I'm not convinced. They were pushing (ignoring) the boundaries of the agreed time to bring the safety car in as it was, not unlapping the cars would have merely meant the SC came in at the correct time. 

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8 minutes ago, Cheeko said:

This situation won’t be fixed next year because they don’t see they did anything wrong.

 

That's the real shame here. There doesn't seem to be a public acceptance of what happened. 

 

Even with the pundits and journalists there seems to be a fear of too publicly saying 'what the fuck happened, this was absolutely not within the existing rules' presumably for fear of upsetting the hand that feeds them. 

 

No one, really, can look at what happened and claim it was within the published rules or that if you were giving a mock exercise for a FIA Steward to deal with that the solution they reached yesterday would be the decision which should have been reached. 

 

It was all about, we have 30 seconds to make a decision either way and they just panicked. 

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31 minutes ago, Graham S said:

My straw poll of non-UK colleagues who are watching this was that Max was a worthy winner over the season and they weren't too bothered about the incident, and pointed to other decisions that went Lewis' way.

I said previously that Max was a worthy winner over the season but that's wrong actually. Mercedes and Hamilton had to pull out all the stops to overcome the challenge set by RB and Max this year, and they succeeded against all odds in taking it to the last race. Mercedes and Lewis were the worthy winners this year but RB and particularly Max did give them a good run for their money. Lewis has every right to feel aggrieved and its a mark of his character that he handled the post race with dignity. Much respect to him. 

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9 minutes ago, Blue said:

I said previously that Max was a worthy winner over the season but that's wrong actually. Mercedes and Hamilton had to pull out all the stops to overcome the challenge set by RB and Max this year, and they succeeded against all odds in taking it to the last race. Mercedes and Lewis were the worthy winners this year but RB and particularly Max did give them a good run for their money. Lewis has every right to feel aggrieved and its a mark of his character that he handled the post race with dignity. Much respect to him. 

 

Agreed. Either of them would be a worthy winner - they have both been exceptional and made the rest of the field look like they are driving in a different category. 

 

Before the race the nightmare scenario is a dodgy incident which takes them both out. It is hard to believe that we ended up with something even worse than that possibility. 

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I know very little about the technicalities of F1 rules. I tuned in yesterday because I absolutely live for the kind of top level sporting rivalry that Hamilton and Verstappen have created over the season. I hadn't watched any race this season prior to yesterday and had no preference over who won the title but from my very limited understanding of the sport what happened yesterday was fucking disgusting. Not only for Hamilton and his team but the incredible achievement of Verstappen is not quite what it should be given how it was won.

 

Before the crash I was absolutely amazed at what Hamilton was doing on his worn tyres to gradually fight off the advances of Verstappen and his fresh, softer tyres. It is clearly a subtle aspect of the sport that the Director or whoever else was in charge felt viewers wouldn't appreciate but THAT was the kind of thing that should have been the talking point in a race like this. I dont know a lot about the tactics these teams employ but it was clear to me that what Hamilton was able to do staying out on the track and preventing Verstappen catching him was a staggering piece of skill and precision. Again, from my limited understanding the final lap felt like it was forced purely to create a unnecessary dramatic finale, when it all it did was create controversy and leave poor Verstappen with a Championship that will never feel quite as earned as it should.

 

 

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1 minute ago, MardiganX said:

I know very little about the technicalities of F1 rules. I tuned in yesterday because I absolutely live for the kind of top level sporting rivalry that Hamilton and Verstappen have created over the season. I hadn't watched any race this season prior to yesterday and had no preference over who won the title but from my very limited understanding of the sport what happened yesterday was fucking disgusting. Not only for Hamilton and his team but the incredible achievement of Verstappen is not quite what it should be given how it was won.

 

Before the crash I was absolutely amazed at what Hamilton was doing on his worn tyres to gradually fight off the advances of Verstappen and his fresh, softer tyres. It is clearly a subtle aspect of the sport that the Director or whoever else was in charge felt viewers wouldn't appreciate but THAT was the kind of thing that should have been the talking point in a race like this. I dont know a lot about the tactics these teams employ but it was clear to me that what Hamilton was able to do staying out on the track and preventing Verstappen catching him was a staggering piece of skill and precision. Again, from my limited understanding the final lap felt like it was forced purely to create a unnecessary dramatic finale, when it all it did was create controversy and leave poor Verstappen with a Championship that will never feel quite as earned as it should.

 

 

 

The problem with that is that's how Formula 1 has always been but people say "oh it's boring" and yeah it can be boring at times, but to counter those claims the governing body have invented ways to "add a little spice" which has escalated and escalated until we got yesterday's events.

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Waking up today, for me, it’s the Masi “it’s a Motor race” comment to Toto that I can’t get past.

 

Incredibly unprofessional and arrogant, when he should have been explaining his reasoning after throwing all precedent out of the window. 

 

Depending on how far Merc want to take this (i.e. CAS) I’m sure they’d put together an incredibly strong case at how badly this was handled.

 

But I keep agreeing with Brundle on the post-race chat, basically saying, ok fine, if they have broken rules, what’s the resolution here? I can imagine some token gesture from the FIA to tighten up/clarify the rules, but Max will stay champion, whatever happens. 
 

In terms of Masi, how can you replace him when the ‘22 season starts in 3 months time? I doubt there’s a ready-made replacement to come in. It would just add to the chaos.

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28 minutes ago, McCoy said:

 

Agreed. Either of them would be a worthy winner - they have both been exceptional and made the rest of the field look like they are driving in a different category. 

 

Before the race the nightmare scenario is a dodgy incident which takes them both out. It is hard to believe that we ended up with something even worse than that possibility. 

 

Yeah, forgot to say something about this. I have no doubt whatsoever that while Red Bull may have once again pointed to the early incident that kept Hamilton in the lead they would have graciously accepted the result had it been finished behind the safety car and were as surprised as everyone else when the final lap kicked off the way it did. What we got was surely the worst possible scenario for what seems to have been one of the greatest seasons of the sport ever driven.

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6 minutes ago, wev said:

 

The problem with that is that's how Formula 1 has always been but people say "oh it's boring" and yeah it can be boring at times, but to counter those claims the governing body have invented ways to "add a little spice" which has escalated and escalated until we got yesterday's events.

 

Absolutely. I have always understood why things like the DRS zones, etc. have been introduced and again from my limited understanding it seems to have made things more interesting for viewers, but you cant have a sport that is built on cutting edge science and engineering then undermine all that by manufacturing 'exciting' scenarios.

 

My take away from yesterday is that Hamilton is Superhuman in terms of what he gets out of the machine Mercedes built for him. That few laps before the crash where Verstappen was gradually gaining but then Hamilton eventually went "you have much to learn young one" like a Jedi Master and just maintained the lead is as impressive as anything I've seen while watching F1. Its a shame that this race wont be remembered for something like that, purely because it wasn't obviously exciting enough for the directors, producers or whatever the fuck they are.

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Just now, MardiganX said:

 

Absolutely. I have always understood why things like the DRS zones, etc. have been introduced and again from my limited understanding it seems to have made things more interesting for viewers, but you cant have a sport that is built on cutting edge science and engineering then undermine it by manufacturing 'exciting' scenarios.

 

I'm broadly at ease with things like DRS. I also get safety cars and sometimes they change races but everyone is affected the same. 

 

I can cope with making the spectacle exciting but it has to be done in a controlled manner that treats everyone the same. Everyone also needs to know the rules before you go racing. 

 

Yesterday changed the procedures on the fly, favoured certain cars over other cars and was ended up with the result being a farce. How on earth can you ask a team to come up with a racing strategy if the rules that should be followed are disregarded five minutes later. 

 

No one is saying Mercedes made the wrong tactical decision. They made the right tactical decision to win an F1 race, they just made the wrong tactical decision to win a Masi Mario Kart race. 

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14 minutes ago, Rocafella said:

 

In terms of Masi, how can you replace him when the ‘22 season starts in 3 months time? I doubt there’s a ready-made replacement to come in. It would just add to the chaos.

Surely there must be a bank of qualified people out there, no? A senior steward perhaps? 

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