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Formula One 2021 - DRAMA - #Michael Messy


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I'm struggling to think of a comparable sporting injustice with the stakes so high.

 

Of course football has had its share of controversial decisions in finals and title deciders, but those were at least based on an application of the rules, it was just the officials' interpretation of the action on the field that was questionable (e.g. incorrectly flagging offside, giving a soft penalty, a marginal sending off, missing a clear foul in the build up to a goal, etc.).

 

This is another category of controversy entirely, where the officials actually override the rulebook with the effect of directly influencing the outcome of a world championship. None of the previous race director or stewards calls this season were like this - inconsistent as they may have been, they were at least applications of the rules. This was ignoring the rules and making up a new one.

 

People saying "there's been lots of inconsistency this season" as if this is just another example of that don't seem to get it.

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26 minutes ago, Rocafella said:

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.

 

It's probably unworkable but in terms of a resolution acceptable to everyone could you have a double world champion for the 2021 season? 

 

I agree there is no good resolution but having a joint world champion would seem the only reasonable way for all parties to be able to move onto 2022. 

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Can someone that knows a LOT more than me explain what it took for Hamilton to fight-off Verstappen's advance before the crash? I was looking at the gap dwindling and the lap counter thinking it was only a matter of time but then Hamilton just told Max to fuck off and kinda went into God Mode. As much as 'F1 God Mode' feels accurate I would like to understand it better :)

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3 minutes ago, MardiganX said:

Can someone that knows a LOT more than explain what it took for Hamilton to fight-off Verstappen's advance before the crash? I was looking at the gap dwindling and the lap counter thinking it was only a matter of time but then Hamilton just told Max to fuck off and kinda went into God Mode. As much as 'F1 God Mode' feels accurate I would like to understand it better :)

 

I don't know a lot more but when Verstappen switched to hards he was around 15-ish seconds behind IIRC, and he was eating into the gap but not enough - it basically got down to 10 laps left with 14 seconds left (approx), then down to what 6 laps left with around 12 secs left.  By that point Verstappen would have needed to be eating 2 secs a lap into Hamilton's lead just to meet him at the line, and he wasn't even doing a second quicker a lap.

 

Basically Max didn't have enough laps left.

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10 minutes ago, Marlowe said:

People saying "there's been lots of inconsistency this season" as if this is just another example of that don't seem to get it.

 

Yep. This is not a questionable decision. This is not a tight off side. 

 

This is a series of set rules being disregarded over the course of 90 seconds and replacing them with a brand new procedure thought up on the fly. 

 

And the justification is that it is OK because the Race Director said its OK. 

 

There is literally no point having the rules if they can be disregarded. Plus this is a Championship, the only way it works is if the rules are the same for the duration of the Championship. You cannot have 20 races under one set of rules and then bring in new rules for the 21st race. Well, this is the FIA so you can *cough double points* but that was equally stupid and everyone knew about it in advance. Double points wasn't just announced on lap 56 of a 58 lap race. 

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I mean more about how Hamilton was able to maintain the gap as it was getting smaller initially after Max's changed tyres and then basically stated the same. I was imagining the Red Bull team talking privately as it was happening and saying "how the fuck is he maintaining this gap?".

 

Maybe I'm reading too much into it and it was more about the situation on track (and if so please correct me people), but it appeared like Max was going to catch Hamilton from the first few post change laps... and then just stopped well before the crash. So how much of that gap being maintained was down to Hamilton?

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2 hours 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 to think I’d at least be admitting it was a highly dodgy decision in the reverse situation!

 

I haven't seen any of that here.  Although only 3 of us here even wanted Max to win and only 2 are fans.

 

I'm most annoyed tbh we'll never know if Max could have passed 5 + Lewis because fuck me I want to see that lap.

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2 minutes ago, MardiganX said:

I mean more about how Hamilton was able to maintain the gap as it was getting smaller initially after Max's changed tyres and then basically stated the same. I was imagining the Red Bull team talking privately as it was happening and saying "how the fuck is he maintaining this gap?".

 

Maybe I'm reading too much into it and it was more about the situation on track (and if so please correct me people), but it appeared like Max was going to catch Hamilton from the first few post change laps... and then just stopped well before the crash. So how much of that gap being maintained was down to Hamilton?


@MardiganX Not sure - Hamilton did run into back markers which may partly answer that one.

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2 minutes ago, MardiganX said:

I mean more about how Hamilton was able to maintain the gap as it was getting smaller initially after Max's changed tyres and then basically stated the same. I was imagining the Red Bull team talking privately as it was happening and saying "how the fuck is he maintaining this gap?".

 

Maybe I'm reading too much into it and it was more about the situation on track (and if so please correct me people), but it appeared like Max was going to catch Hamilton from the first few post change laps... and then just stopped well before the crash. So how much of that gap being maintained was down to Hamilton?

 

They were both hard tyres, it was a good drive but it's not quite as earth shattering as it looks, those are tyres designed to be good performance for a long time, Max used up the newness and was pretty much on the same plateau. They were designed for and did the whole race pretty well.

 

The reason Max was lightning on the last lap is those tyres would have been mush 5 laps later but it didn't matter.

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Just now, MardiganX said:

I mean more about how Hamilton was able to maintain the gap as it was getting smaller initially after Max's changed tyres and then basically stated the same. I was imagining the Red Bull team talking privately as it was happening and saying "how the fuck is he maintaining this gap?".

 

Maybe I'm reading too much into it and it was more about the situation on track (and if so please correct me people), but it appeared like Max was going to catch Hamilton from the first few post change laps... and then just stopped well before the crash. So how much of that gap being maintained was down to Hamilton?

 

How long is a piece of string really. 

 

Hamilton is a superb racing driver. He is good at managing the tyres and I think he had the race pace advantage around the track. You put a different driver in the car and it is likely Max catches much quicker. 

 

Lewis looked like he had it under control but I guess we will never know if the tyres would have completely dropped off with a further 6 racing laps. 

 

Max can also only push so hard, at some stage he too has to hold back to ensure his tyres will be in a decent state at the end. 

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4 minutes ago, MardiganX said:

I mean more about how Hamilton was able to maintain the gap as it was getting smaller initially after Max's changed tyres and then basically stated the same. I was imagining the Red Bull team talking privately as it was happening and saying "how the fuck is he maintaining this gap?".

 

Maybe I'm reading too much into it and it was more about the situation on track (and if so please correct me people), but it appeared like Max was going to catch Hamilton from the first few post change laps... and then just stopped well before the crash. So how much of that gap being maintained was down to Hamilton?

 

I'm certainly no expert but I think the theory is (I'm getting this from from The Race podcast) that Red Bull ran a smaller rear wing for qualifying and the race that they first intended to do at the start of the weekend, which gave Max the opportunity to rag the car around a bit and set a super fast qualifying lap, but it meant that in the race their tyre wear was compromised. So all race Max was running out of grip much quicker than Lewis.

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1 hour 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. 

Yes, I agree with that. I just was trying to make the point that in this thread we're mostly either leaning towards Lewis or we're across the detail and are sticklers for F1 not being a total shitshow. I wonder if people and countries that are more inclined towards Max will see the issue about whether some of the lower ranked cars unlapped themselves or not as a marginal technical point that can be lumped in with all the other complaints that have gone for/against each driver all season. They might feel that for Mercedes to take it further is showing unsportsmanlike behaviour / whining / being bad losers. But I don't want to construct too much of a straw man for a position I don't hold myself, I just found it interesting that I started off complaining it was outrageous to a group of colleagues and was surprised to find nobody else agreed.

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https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-abu-dhabi-grand-prix-tsunoda-grabs-brilliant-p4-with-last-lap-overtake-on-bottas.1718956313221683582.html

 

This clip of Tsunoda passing Bottas on the last might raise the spirits a little :). Fresher tyres obviously, but still a lovely move. Damn we had some good racing yesterday despite everything. Hamilton - Perez was epic. Not for the first time in the season!

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28 minutes ago, Marlowe said:

People saying "there's been lots of inconsistency this season" as if this is just another example of that don't seem to get it.

 

And there certainly has but all were judgement calls.

 

Even that lap 1 incident, as much as I think it was a textbook swap positions back and it's very clear to me Max did absolutely nothing wrong and made the corner you can argue both ways within the framework.

 

But there is nothing that allows a partial unlap of cars at all.  Not even close really.  And somehow it happened, after previously announcing an unusual but viable other decision (Not unlapping to let the race happen).

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Thanks guys. I guess it all comes back to the fact that all these things above should be more than enough to satisfy the viewers of this kind of sport. The intricate tactical and strategic decisions that are made and then how the  drivers enforce them on the track. That is what the sport is about from my perspective and its always been enough. Things like this happen and it sadly all comes back to the commercial side of things for the most part. Draw in viewers, draw in sponsors, draw in revenue and the fear of the most watched and exciting race in years ending behind the safety car prompted one of the worst decisions any senior person has made across any sport EVER.

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2 minutes ago, John0 said:

https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-abu-dhabi-grand-prix-tsunoda-grabs-brilliant-p4-with-last-lap-overtake-on-bottas.1718956313221683582.html

 

This clip of Tsunoda passing Bottas on the last might raise the spirits a little :). Fresher tyres obviously, but still a lovely move. Damn we had some good racing yesterday despite everything. Hamilton - Perez was epic. Not for the first time in the season!

 

Fuck yes. Totally forgot about that. The way it was summarised with a 'Battle Forecast' before it happened too like some kind of gladiator event while a bit much was fun. The actual battle itself was no fun in the slightest, instead it was the fucking pinnacle of the sport being played out and sadly not being crash, bang in your face enough for the general viewer that F1 seems to need to draw in.

 

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4 minutes ago, myoozikk said:

 

Lewis had passed the back markers & Max was just reaching them as we got the SC. 

Yeah by that point the gap was pretty much being maintained, I think the person I was replying to was talking about the period earlier i.e. just after Verstappen had changed tyres when he was pretty much reducing the gap down.

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15 minutes ago, MardiganX said:

 

Fuck yes. Totally forgot about that. The way it was summarised with a 'Battle Forecast' before it happened too like some kind of gladiator event while a bit much was fun. The actual battle itself was no fun in the slightest, instead it was the fucking pinnacle of the sport being played out and sadly not being crash, bang in your face enough for the general viewer that F1 seems to need to draw in.

 

 

Some of the races can be a procession. Styrian/Austrian and Monaco GP stick out in particular. But then you get a race like Interlagos where Lewis recovers 25 places over the sprint and race itself to win comfortably.

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35 minutes ago, John0 said:

https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-abu-dhabi-grand-prix-tsunoda-grabs-brilliant-p4-with-last-lap-overtake-on-bottas.1718956313221683582.html

 

This clip of Tsunoda passing Bottas on the last might raise the spirits a little :). Fresher tyres obviously, but still a lovely move. Damn we had some good racing yesterday despite everything. Hamilton - Perez was epic. Not for the first time in the season!

 

I couldn't get past the adverts, annoyed me too much. :(

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As mentioned the Perez trying to prevent Hamilton past was fantastic to watch and a big fucking hats off to Perez for keeping it hard but clean. Would have been so easy to collide & finish Lewis' race, great integrity that made my respect for him grow even more.

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2 minutes ago, Pug said:

As mentioned the Perez trying to prevent Hamilton past was fantastic to watch and a big fucking hats off to Perez for keeping it hard but clean. Would have been so easy to collide & finish Lewis' race, great integrity that made my respect for him grow even more.

Did Lewis have any foundation for claiming it was dangerous driving, or was he just stressed out / working the refs?

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