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Thread: 2021 French GP: Post Race Analysis

  1. #1
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    2021 French GP: Post Race Analysis

    Paul Ricard has finally produced an exciting race. This years French GP was excellent to watch, especially for those that enjoy the strategic element. I suppose this type of racing can be expected when the cars are competitive, something that has been missing for most of a decade. Many forget that prior to Mercedes' dominating 7 years in a row, it was Red Bull Racing that was for the most part dominant during their 4 consecutive championships.

    Red Bull Racing absolutely won as a team. Their strategy was key to victory and it was a brave call to put Max on medium tires with 20 laps to go considering how bad the tire deg was. But the team had to strike first to avoid being caught out once again. Their pit stops were top class once again, and we all know what Max can do. Verstappen's outlap to undercut Lewis was brilliant. Sergio Perez once again showed a masterclass tire preservation drive that earned him a podium.

    Mercedes appear to have been pressured into some mistakes once again. Despite Lewis' post race comments, it appears they had the faster car, but the team did not get the strategies right. Though most of that can only be seen in hindsight. Hamilton had a 3 second gap when Max made his first stop, who would have thought Verstappen could find that much pace from the undercut? Bottas screaming for the 2 stop seems like an obvious call once he got passed, but I think the team made the right call to protect Hamilton for the win. Call Bottas a pawn, but this is exactly why teams have two drivers and it's a decision any team should make. Then not pitting Bottas to go for fastest lap, they made the reasonable argument that Perez could get a penalty and thus inherit 3rd place. A lot of tough decisions, where none of them worked out in their favor.

    McLaren had a fantastic race. They seemed to lack outright pace in qualifying, but in the race they made all the right moves and absolutely maximized what they could get out of the race. Great to see Ricciardo show what he is capable of, and Lando keeps putting in the results. A great day that puts McLaren back into 3rd in the constructors championship.

    AlphaTauri had a good race car. Gasly was able to carry his qual performance into the race which hasn't always been the case this season, just the McLaren's were a bit too strong. Yuki started dead last and quickly made his way up the field, but the point positions were just too far out of reach.

    Alpine I expected to have a better day. Alonso had one of his best weekends since his return, but the car didn't really appear that strong overall. Ocon did not seem to get to grips with the balance of his car at any point and could not challenge for points.

    Aston Martin did as good as they could have hoped. Vettel in the points once again, perhaps had a car good enough for 7th, but had a slow pitstop that didn't help his day. Stroll had a wonderful drive from the back of the pack. We didn't get to see how many passes he made on track, but his first stint on hard tires was one of the best. Well deserved points.

    Ferrari could not have had much worse of a day. Unfortunately their tire wear problems seem to be a characteristic with the car, and on a day with very high tire degradation, it just makes things worse. Furthermore, their engine appears to be very inefficient. Ferrari does not carry the straight line performance into the race, probably because they are saving fuel more than their competitors. Sainz can say he legitimately outperformed Leclerc, but he didn't even get points to show for it. A rough day for the Scuderia.

    Williams should be happy with 12 place from George Russell. Considering their car is basically a back marker, Russell had one of the best drives of the race. This also might show how good the Mercedes engine is, as all teams with Mercedes power appeared to have very good race pace. This might be something to keep an eye in.

    Alfa Romeo did not have a particularly good day. They still beat Latifi and the Haas cars, but at this point that is expected. I feel their lack of performance could also be down to the Ferrari power unit being inefficient.

    Haas at the back. During the weekend it started to look like Mazepin was going to get the best of Schumacher, but Mick was able to show his consistency strengths and managed to finish ahead again. Mazepin once again nearly caused a collision with his teammate, which at this point could just be a matter of time if he doesn't improve his race craft.

    Driver of the Day: Max Verstappen. His outlap to undercut Hamilton and his calm, collected attack on medium tires were things that very few drivers are capable of doing and it earned him the win.

  2. #2
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    @ SS454 very well formulated analysis. I am quite ok with Ferrari falling back into the 5th or even 6th team for the season, as the whole development is now fully on 2022... and the lower you finish, the more resources you can use.... so a no-brainer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riccardog View Post
    @ SS454 very well formulated analysis. I am quite ok with Ferrari falling back into the 5th or even 6th team for the season, as the whole development is now fully on 2022... and the lower you finish, the more resources you can use.... so a no-brainer.
    That's all very well, but I'm not convinced that Ferrari have any answers even going into to 2022, they have spent the last few years taking one step forward and three steps back, the drivers deserve better and so do we.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wisepie View Post
    That's all very well, but I'm not convinced that Ferrari have any answers even going into to 2022, they have spent the last few years taking one step forward and three steps back, the drivers deserve better and so do we.
    We have taken a step forward though. I mean it was hard not to from last season but we are gaining a better understanding. We know we switched development early so progress was always going to be limited and our car is very track specific with how it performs. Even so we are continuing to put the pieces into the puzzle, understanding the car, understanding the roles back at Maranello, the dyno, the wind tunne correlation and maximizing all of that for next year. The big thing was the tyres this weekend, wether that is a result of increased pressures, we've struggled all season with tyres. In Baku practice I think they only lasted 8 laps before they were shot to pieces. Having a weaker engine means we can't run the same kind of downforce as others, look at McLaren for example. I wouldn't say we got swallowed down the straights at Paul Ricard, we had enough pace down the start/finish and the chicane in the middle just about covered our arses for a while but once the tyres went it was a nightmare. Only Ferrari have the answers here as it's pure speculation but our engine is obviously hindering our aero performance from the outside looking in. We can't really win with aero setup especially at a circuit like this. No matter which way we go the result wouldn't be much different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patrese86 View Post
    We have taken a step forward though. I mean it was hard not to from last season but we are gaining a better understanding. We know we switched development early so progress was always going to be limited and our car is very track specific with how it performs. Even so we are continuing to put the pieces into the puzzle, understanding the car, understanding the roles back at Maranello, the dyno, the wind tunne correlation and maximizing all of that for next year. The big thing was the tyres this weekend, wether that is a result of increased pressures, we've struggled all season with tyres. In Baku practice I think they only lasted 8 laps before they were shot to pieces. Having a weaker engine means we can't run the same kind of downforce as others, look at McLaren for example. I wouldn't say we got swallowed down the straights at Paul Ricard, we had enough pace down the start/finish and the chicane in the middle just about covered our arses for a while but once the tyres went it was a nightmare. Only Ferrari have the answers here as it's pure speculation but our engine is obviously hindering our aero performance from the outside looking in. We can't really win with aero setup especially at a circuit like this. No matter which way we go the result wouldn't be much different.
    I accept your view patrese, but I'm sick and tired of the 'we need to understand' attitude although I realise the limitations of what the team is allowed to do this year. Once one issue is understood, another seems to crop up, as if one aspect of the car doesn't correlate with the other. Yesterday was possibly circuit and temperature influenced plus the weight of full tanks, the mediums worked at the start but when the tyres went off very quickly, they struggled massively. It was still a sobering sight to see them finish P11/16 and the drivers must have been beyond frustrated. We have made progress since last year, but starting from such a low point and then seeing this kind of performance was soul-destroying. I can only hope it isn't repeated, and Mclaren will have been ecstatic which is even more maddening to me!
    Last edited by wisepie; 21st June 2021 at 16:57.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wisepie View Post
    That's all very well, but I'm not convinced that Ferrari have any answers even going into to 2022, they have spent the last few years taking one step forward and three steps back, the drivers deserve better and so do we.
    Then there should absolutely be NO EXCUSES if Ferrari doesn't finish in the top 3 in every race in 2022. If they don't, Mattia Binotto needs to be fired.

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    If Ferrari want to add sandbags to the car capable of being 3rd best this year, all in the hopes of finishing 5th or 6th to get more 2022 tokens... well that is a risky gamble.

    I believe the best way to get the most out of the team, car, and drivers, is to push it to the max and understand it's short comings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SS454 View Post
    If Ferrari want to add sandbags to the car capable of being 3rd best this year, all in the hopes of finishing 5th or 6th to get more 2022 tokens... well that is a risky gamble.

    I believe the best way to get the most out of the team, car, and drivers, is to push it to the max and understand it's short comings.
    Great post! Push to the " MAX !" Look where it got him !! I can't agree more. And Charles has the capabilities to be a #1 driver. Forget the tokens, get the tire pressure right !

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    Quote Originally Posted by wisepie View Post
    That's all very well, but I'm not convinced that Ferrari have any answers even going into to 2022, they have spent the last few years taking one step forward and three steps back, the drivers deserve better and so do we.
    Well, there are two ways to see things. One is to be optimistic, one is to be pessimistic.
    I don't see why one has to be pessimistic and pessimists tend to think that their views are the realistic ones.

    My PoV is that Ferrari is building a beast of a car and this car is as good as it can be, already a better car than last years'. Also, yes, this was not a good race, but it cannot erase the results so far.
    "If someone said to me that you can have three wishes, my first would have been to get into racing, my second to be in Formula 1, my third to drive for Ferrari" - Gilles Villeneuve

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    Not so optimistic.

    Binotto says Ferrari’s Paul Ricard struggles stemmed from issues ‘two years ago that we should have addressed"

    https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/a...vKouJ0F92.html
    It's not how start but how you finish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgonzalesm6 View Post
    Not so optimistic.

    Binotto says Ferrari’s Paul Ricard struggles stemmed from issues ‘two years ago that we should have addressed"

    https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/a...vKouJ0F92.html
    It makes you wonder who is leading who in the technical area of development, what's the excuse and why didn't it happen? The dire situation Ferrari currently find themselves in stems back to the mistake of using our super fuel flow engine of 2019 which hobbled any chance of being competitive for two seasons. Innovation may be excellent but that was obviously a dangerous step to take and we got rumbled. Own goal, no less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aroutis View Post
    Well, there are two ways to see things. One is to be optimistic, one is to be pessimistic.
    I don't see why one has to be pessimistic and pessimists tend to think that their views are the realistic ones.

    My PoV is that Ferrari is building a beast of a car and this car is as good as it can be, already a better car than last years'. Also, yes, this was not a good race, but it cannot erase the results so far.
    I admire those people who can be optimistic, I'm not necessarily a pessimistic person but I never like to expect too much and then be disappointed, it's not good for my health! Yes the 2021 car is possibly the best it can be, but that really isn't saying enough to make me optimistic!

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    Wisepie; Our drivers for sure are to be admired for their belief in getting a shot at a podium each race; not just thinking 2022 as Binotto preaches. 2 poles is not a big deal ? I'm still feeling good about that success. Next race can't come soon enough!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brembo View Post
    Wisepie; Our drivers for sure are to be admired for their belief in getting a shot at a podium each race; not just thinking 2022 as Binotto preaches. 2 poles is not a big deal ? I'm still feeling good about that success. Next race can't come soon enough!
    At least they're still trying to get results and the SF21 can't suddenly be complete rubbish, podiums seem a long way off on normal circuits and Mclaren have a better and more adaptable car, so our hopes are being dashed too often. We suffer for our passione!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brembo View Post
    Wisepie; Our drivers for sure are to be admired for their belief in getting a shot at a podium each race; not just thinking 2022 as Binotto preaches. 2 poles is not a big deal ? I'm still feeling good about that success. Next race can't come soon enough!
    Why don’t you repeat it again another 100 times, some of the forum members might have missed it
    ~FORZA FERRARI~

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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrari1.8t View Post
    Why don’t you repeat it again another 100 times, some of the forum members might have missed it
    Seeing how you read and even keep track of my posts; I'll try not to disappoint you. Meanwhile make it 101 times, Binotto is at it again; next year maybe our tire problem will be realized and fixed. I'll do my best to keep you and other forum members aware of who's not running the show for 2021. I still watch thinking podiums for Charles and Carlos regardless of the updates from the man. Optimism is not sinful. I keep watching and hoping Mick gets a point or more soon.

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