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Thread: 2021 United States Grand Prix: Post Race Analysis

  1. #1
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    2021 United States Grand Prix: Post Race Analysis

    What a great weekend around COTA for the US GP. Saturday provided perhaps the best dry weather qualifying session of the season and set up an absolute nail-biter of a race on Sunday.

    Red Bull Racing squeaked out an incredible victory by Max Verstappen. Track position is extremely important for Red Bull as the car just does not have the straight line speed to attack against the Mercedes, however the car looked exceptional in the corners. It made sense to undercut, which played into the car's strong points, and the early second pitstop was necessary to avoid being undercut by Mercedes, as if Hamilton got ahead, Max would eat the tires quicker in dirty air, and not have the power to pass down the straight. Gutsy call nevertheless. Perez looked fantastic all weekend. It's unfortunately he fell a bit ill prior to the race and had to struggle around with no drink for the entire race. Toughed it out for a deserving podium.

    Mercedes didn't have the outright cornering speed, but they are still mighty strong on the straights and appeared a bit better on tires. Lewis Hamilton was easily the fastest car on track in the end, but the turbulent air stalled his pace to the point he could not get within DRS range, and that was costly. Hamilton and Verstappen drove unbelievable all race, it was very impressive. Bottas appeared to be having a lackluster performance, which perhaps is correct behind Tsunoda, but getting through the McLaren and Ferrari's was not going to be easy, especially since tire wear and tire overheating were a big issue. He actually had a very solid result.

    Ferrari finally got to show their true pace with their upgraded PU. Obviously it wasn't going to bring them into the fight for wins, but it appears to be a strong upgrade to put them ahead of McLaren, which is their true fight this season. Charles Leclerc had a drive nearly as good as Max and Lewis, except he wasn't under pressure like the leaders. Sainz could have had a better race. Starting on soft tires was a huge disadvantage, then the Stewards getting involved in the scuffle with the McLarens, getting bumped by Ricciardo which gave a little bit of damage, and another slow pitstop. Carlos probably should have finished P5. The team must be encouraged with their pace leading into the final races of the season.

    McLaren may have lost some ground to Ferrari, but it was still a decent day. Daniel Ricciardo was on form and had such a joyful spirit all weekend. It isn't very often he outperforms Lando.

    AlphaTauri has to be happy with Tsunoda, who really put in a hard fight for points. He wasn't going to give any freebies to anyone and he earned those points. Given how much better Gasly has been over Yuki this season, it makes you wonder what could have been for his race, but we will never know. Tip a cap for Tsunoda today.

    Aston Martin have not been on the pace around COTA, but Vettel had some drive in him and battled his way into the points. Some mistakes and DNF's played into their favor, but Vettel was the strongest of everyone below McLaren. Stroll getting spun in Turn 1 certainly didn't help his race.

    Alfa Romeo had one get away. Always there to scoop up points when given to them, but sadly Kimi spun himself out of 10th and Giovinazzi could only settle for 11th. A good result, but it must be a hard one to swallow since the opportunity was there.

    Williams have gone from being well ahead of Alfa and Haas, back to being one of the worst. One would have expected Russell to battle with the Alfas and even Aston Martin, but he had another average Sunday performance.

    Haas as the worst car was expected to struggle as COTA is a very difficult track. Schumacher obliterated Mazepin all weekend, but Mick's ignoring of blue flags on the second to last lap of the race was a pretty bad decision. Sure Mick has some right to hold position, but what does he gain at that point in the race? Slowing down and letting the leaders past would have cost him maybe 5 seconds and meant nothing to his race, yet it could have been very impactful to the outcome of the race. The 2 tenths Max gained in DRS would not have made up for the 1+ second lost by following him for half a lap. In the end it was no foul, but it was unnecessary.

    Alpine had a race to forget. Apparently some rear end or rear wing issue forced a double DNF. To be fair the cars didn't look very competitive anyways. Alonso who is typically one of the top drivers, looked pretty scruffy out there. Points would have been unlikely in the best circumstances.

    Driver of the Day: Max Verstappen. The pace, the tire management, and the immense pressure the entire race. Very impressive.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS454 View Post
    What a great weekend around COTA for the US GP. Saturday provided perhaps the best dry weather qualifying session of the season and set up an absolute nail-biter of a race on Sunday.

    Red Bull Racing squeaked out an incredible victory by Max Verstappen. Track position is extremely important for Red Bull as the car just does not have the straight line speed to attack against the Mercedes, however the car looked exceptional in the corners. It made sense to undercut, which played into the car's strong points, and the early second pitstop was necessary to avoid being undercut by Mercedes, as if Hamilton got ahead, Max would eat the tires quicker in dirty air, and not have the power to pass down the straight. Gutsy call nevertheless. Perez looked fantastic all weekend. It's unfortunately he fell a bit ill prior to the race and had to struggle around with no drink for the entire race. Toughed it out for a deserving podium.



    Driver of the Day: Max Verstappen. The pace, the tire management, and the immense pressure the entire race. Very impressive.
    yep, Newey is also back after a cycle accident. He definetily worked out the "bugs" of the RB16Bb.


    Regarding Mercedes: The problem Merc have is not strategy—it’s that they no longer have such a dominant car that they can make any strategy work. Or that they could split strategies so they always have one of their drivers up front and then use team orders to put HAM in 1st. Now, they have to race every lap… and risk breaking engines to do so on top of that.


    Regarding Ferrari: Driver's did very well and the PU upgrade shows progress against the Mclarens for 2021. Ferrari could take 3rd in the WCC rankings against Mclaren. Leclerc finished 52 seconds behind Max at the end of the race......so stlll a ways to go as I'm sure more upgrades for Ferrari in this turbo-hybrid era. The pit crew still needs to improve on the pit stops.
    It's not how start but how you finish.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgonzalesm6 View Post
    yep, Newey is also back after a cycle accident. He definetily worked out the "bugs" of the RB16Bb.


    Regarding Mercedes: The problem Merc have is not strategy—it’s that they no longer have such a dominant car that they can make any strategy work. Or that they could split strategies so they always have one of their drivers up front and then use team orders to put HAM in 1st. Now, they have to race every lap… and risk breaking engines to do so on top of that.


    Regarding Ferrari: Driver's did very well and the PU upgrade shows progress against the Mclarens for 2021. Ferrari could take 3rd in the WCC rankings against Mclaren. Leclerc finished 52 seconds behind Max at the end of the race......so stlll a ways to go as I'm sure more upgrades for Ferrari in this turbo-hybrid era. The pit crew still needs to improve on the pit stops.
    I agree. Mercedes have had it ridiculously easy since 2014. A car that is often 1 seconds a lap faster, an engine that at times was so strong they detuned it to not show how fast the car was (was still 1+ second faster), and between 2014 and 2020 qualified 1-2 74 times (before penalties). It's like playing on cheat mode. In 2021 Mercedes for the most part still has the best car, still has the best engine, but without such a massive advantage are making plenty of mistakes by both team and driver.

  4. #4
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    CL : “What a race. It was definitely one of the most physical drives of my career. The rear was moving quite a lot and temperatures were high throughout. I am satisfied with my personal performance. I don’t think that I left much on the table today and I really pushed the car to its limit on every lap.Our pace was a positive surprise. Although we are mostly focusing on 2022, the few upgrades we have brought this year have allowed us to make some important steps forward. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone back home in Maranello at our factory as well as at the track for all the hard work they have put in. This weekend the result of their efforts has shown. Being back in the United States has been great and it’s been a real pleasure to race on this amazing track again. Next up is Mexico, which I am also very excited for. The track there should suit our car fairly well and we will push to continue on this positive trajectory.” –

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