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F1 2021 Round 15:Russian Grand Prix 2021



  • Disagree. He was unable to control the car because he was on the wrong tyre.

    He made a brave decision which proved to be the wrong choice. It gave us the "will he, won't he" for those few laps while we waited to see if the track would get drier or wetter and drivers should be encouraged to make brave decisions.

    Applying rules like a jobsworth, without common sense in unusual circumstances, is the opposite to what they should do. They made the right decision, taking the track conditions into consideration.

  • Just because he was "brave" and provided some entertainment doesn't give him an exemption to the rules - as was pointed out every other driver on track managed to pit correctly in the conditions. It's not about being a "jobsworth", it's about being consistent and fair. At the moment the FIA are happy to have really vague application of the rules so they can decide who they want to punish and who they want to turn a blind eye to, and it makes a mockery of the sport.

    We've seen some really egregious penalties handed out for little or nothing this year, while major offences have gone barely punished. And now they're even taking the most uncontroversial and simple black-and-white rule in the book and setting the precedent that the stewards can decide on a whim to apply that rule differently whenever they like now too.

  • I think the last time I watched a Grand Prix in its entirety, Schumie was going for title number 5 or something. I was a big fan in the late 90s/early 00s but eventually got bored. Today was incredible entertainment! It’s great to see a bunch of young, capable drivers really pushing for it. There were battles all over the field, each as good as each other. I was gutted for Norris but his time will come. Hamilton is a tour de force: I’ve consumed most of his career via news bulletins but he and Mercedes just gave a masterclass in mature racing today. Verstappen’s charge was great viewing, along with the ups and downs of Perez and Leclerc, and pit lane strategies (last time I watched, it was all about fuel). I’ve been away from the sport too long to be a fan of anyone in particular, but from a neutral perspective, this was F1 at its best.

  • A reprimand isn't a complete let off though. It's a sort of post race Black and White flag, the yellow card of motorsport. and as noted by the stewards in the notice posted by Jennie Gow, Lando's first offence. T'sounoda probably got reprimanded for something else earlier in the season so by the time he was wandering the pit line in Austria, that was taken into account and the penalty applied.

  • yeah him and lewis know how to work the radio alright...

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  • Norris had 2 options and chose the safer one, so I’m not massively bothered by the reprimand. The rules allowed him to choose to stay on slicks for the rest of the wet weather so when getting to the point where it’s nearly impossible for him to control the car and it crosses the white line, expecting him to stay out for another lap is just being harsh for the sake of it.

  • Yeah this is it. You say "We've seen some really egregious penalties handed out for little or nothing this year", and you want to add another silly penalty to that list, without any cop on, in the name of consistency - that's what jobsworth means.

  • Early on in the season I thought he had shown enough to be useful to Red Bull-he can be very quick, and is happy to be considered the second driver. While he was inconsistent we had some races where he’s been in or about, and has had an impact from a strategic viewpoint. So I’m not surprised at all he secured the drive for 2022.

    But yeah, any sort of form he’s had has disappeared since then. Too busy playing catch up or making bad decisions and getting himself out of races. With the Merc dominant tracks out of the way, the home stretch this season could be hugely important for him. He needs to start qualifying consistently in the top 5 to help the team disrupt the Mercs-it could be the deciding factor in where the WDC ends up.

    If he can’t do that, he should absolutely be looking over his shoulder. Gasly in the AT has been exactly what he hasn’t been, consistent. He’s massively matured as a driver since his first RB stint IMO, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to think he’s targeting that second RB seat for 2023.

  • He did have a third option. Pull up at the side and retire. Not saying it would be the correct thing to do "within the rules" but it was an option.

  • Ah yeah but that's not very realistic. In truth he picked the best option. He chose to come into the pits and take the penalty they gave him and hope the penalty is sensible and not too punitive. And that's what they did. They gave him a reprimand, which is a light punishment, and he didn't lose any more places.

    Good decisions by both parties.

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  • That still wouldn't have been the safest thing to do - you can't retire the car by pulling up and leaving it off track, it then becomes a massive hazard for the other cars that are still driving. If he did that, the race would have had to be yellow flagged while the car is moved back into the McLaren garage.

    So even if you consider it an option, after he originally lost control of the car he still made the correct, safest decision.

  • Just looking at the data there, and McLaren really lost that race twice. When Lance Stroll broke the pack in two on Lap 12, there was the early pitting group of Russell, Stroll, Sainz - and there were the late pitters of Riccardo, Hamilton, Perez (on hards) with Lando also well ahead of this pack. The key for the late pitters of making that work was getting a pit stop ahead of the early pitters. They were relying on those early pitters (on better tires) getting stuck in traffic behind long runners - which is what happened. Pierre Gasly held them up and stopped them doing better laptimes on worse tires. While there was never a full pit stop there, the late pitters were able to emerge in and around the early pitters, but on much better tires.

    Ricciardo lost 29.5 seconds (compared to Lando) during his combined in and out lap including McL making a balls of releasing him from the pits. Hamilton lost 23 seconds pitting a few laps later. When Ricciardo emerged from the pits he was behind Ocon (half a second), Russell (4 seconds) and Stroll (9 seconds). So if he'd managed the same in and out lap as Hamilton he'd have got out behind Stroll and quickly driven up to the back of him.

    When Hamilton pitted, he emerged behind Stroll too - and to be fair to Hamilton in the critical part of the race he fairly quickly got past Stroll, Sainz and Gasly on track. But ultimately if McL didn't **** up Ricciardo's pit stop, Hamilton would have (at best) emerged alongside Ricciardo who would easily have driven up behind Stroll. Or at worst (for Hamilton) Ricciardo would have already got past Stroll and be working on Sainz and Gasly. If that's the case, McLaren have a 1-2 when the rain begins. You can't guarantee that from a different position they would have made the same decisions, but Ricciardo was one of the earliest to pit - he pit on Lap 48, same as Max and if he'd been where he could have been on track at that stage he'd have won the race.

  • Kimi had his best result of the season yesterday, finishing 8th and collecting 4 points. Well done Kimi.

  • It's a sport, it's not a civil service department, enforcing the straightforward rules of the sport evenly is not what "jobsworth" means. If the same rule gets broken by two different drivers, they should both get the same penalty. It's a pretty straightforward principal that most other sports adhere to. No amount of mitigating circumstances change that - the right thing to do for Norris was indeed to cross back in after he missed the turn, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't have gotten a 5 second penalty like any other driver who's broken that rule has gotten.

    If the team has concerns that a car might turn into a fireball after some diagnostic tests after qualifying, then the safe thing to do is indeed to break parc ferme and replace the problem parts. But that doesn't mean they won't get penalised for it, that's not how penalties work.

    It's not the specific incident with Norris that is concerning, it's the precedent that has been set that yet another rule that should be simple and black and white (what previously was just about the most open-and-shut rule in the sport), is now open for stewards to apply as they see fit and treat different teams and drivers differently meaning there will always be doubts cast over the possibility of result manipulation.

  • Yeah Kimi was one of a number of unsung heroes in that race.

    Despite being up on the podium, Sainz is one who really hasn't gotten the notice he deserves. That Ferrari is not on the pace of the McLaren right now, never mind the Mercedes, yet he qualified on the front row, got a great start and led for a good chunk of the race. He also kept his head once the rain fell and ended up best of the rest behind the two title contenders.

  • Ricciardo was another victim of the pit stop regulation changes sadly. I really really hope they revisit that as it's causing so many problems. One other thing about that stop was that Mercedes blatantly brought their pit crew out with no intention of making a stop, just to entice McLaren to react. This is explicitly against the rules, yet Merc have done it so many times and a blind eye always gets turned.

  • Aston Martin have a state of the art rain detection system installed in their car, watch it in action here.

  • While I won't disagree with regards to Perez' qualifying performance, I will say that his race yesterday was quite strong and he was booked for 3rd place before the rain chaos started.

  • Oh for gawd sake. Like, you just said it there. It's not the civil service where rules have to be applied regardless of whether they make sense. It's sport, not real life.

    Luckily a bit of cop on was applied to the rules and common sense prevailed. He got a small punishment in the form of a reprimand and that seems to be a fairly satisfactory resolution for pretty much everyone except yourself. Why you want the stewards to be jobsworths or civil servants about it and give out a silly penalty, is beyond me.

  • Yeah yesterday was a reasonably solid performance. Reasonably solid performances are against the run of form he's been on recently. We'll see if he can do it again next time.

    His races are completely undefined by his abysmal quali pace. He consistently fails to get much within 4 tenths if Max. And is often outquaoifird by some of the ferrari and mclarens (who occasionally have a fast car suited to a particular circuit) but there's no excuse for being out qualified by Gasley in a car that's always slower than his Red Bull.

    Even occasionally decent race pace and usually decent tyre management, coupled with consistently very poor quality pace can only really lead to the conclusion that he's about average overall. He can never be top tier with his poor quali and occasionally decent race pace.

    Post edited by El_Duderino 09 on

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  • If Perez would have gone to third and Max sixth, would Red Bull give up a podium for three more points?

  • No. I don't think I've ever seen a team tell a driver to drop 2 places to let a driver get an extra place. Botas taking the engine penalty is the most I've ever seen a team do to help the main driver.

  • With Hamilton reaching 100 wins, how many more will he get?

    It could be only another win or 2 depending on how they look next year.

  • Next year could be and hopefully will be the end of Mercedes dominance of the sport. I have no problem if they are still competitive and racing at the front but I hope Ferrari, Mclaren, Alpine and Red Bull will all be up there too so we will get a great year hopefully. We will just have to wait till next year to see but with Mercedes resources you can be sure they will be up at the front or still near it next year. Still this could be there year equivalent to Red Bulls year in 2014.

  • What penalty did Hamilton get when he broke that rule in Hockenheim a few years back? And that was under team instruction, to cross the line twice. My memory is he got no penalty. So this rule has not been consistently enforced in mixed conditions.

  • Lewis got a 5 second time penalty in the 2019 German grand prix for cutting across the pit lane entrance.

  • It wasn't a case like a driver or team changing their mind on the pit stop which is what the rule is for.

    The alternative is Lando goes and does another lap on slicks which would be incredibly dangerous. You can't penalise that.

  • Well Lewis got a penalty that time in Germany it was a similar weather issue and he also had a damaged front wing which was even more dangerous and he still got a penalty. While I'd have sympathy for Lando he still should have a got a 5 second time penalty.

  • Lewis didn’t get a time penalty, he got a reprimand, the same as Lando.

    The rule itself actually states “Except in cases of force majeure.” The exception Lando got and Lewis in 2018 is built into the rules.

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  • Wrong year. The incident I'm talking about is the 2019 German grand prix not the 2018 race.