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Thread: 2021 Saudi Arabian GP: Post Race Analysis

  1. #1
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    2021 Saudi Arabian GP: Post Race Analysis

    One of the craziest and dirtiest races in recent Formula 1 history. Commenting initially on the new track, it has to be said it is pretty impressive watching an F1 car do a lap on maximum attack. Extremely fast, and quite narrow so it looks spectacular and the drivers seem to enjoy it. However, almost everyone could see how dangerous this track is, especially when a bunch of cars are on track at the same time. It was evident in the first F2 race that the vehicle recovery was appalling and no improvements were made for the Formula 1 race as 2 red flags took an extended amount of time.

    As for the race itself, the FIA can claim how the fans won by seeing such an eventful race, but any true race fan has to be disturbed by how much the FIA play a result in each race, and of course the championship.

    Mercedes came in as the favorites, and perhaps left as even stronger favorites. The perfect start had Mercedes controlling the race, Bottas doing a perfect job in keeping Verstappen behind but not losing touch with Lewis, all until the inevitable safety car was deployed. Bottas clearly deliberately slowing down Max is supposedly against the rules, yet didn't even get noted. Some bad luck hit Mercedes when a Red Flag was called late, thus allowing the Red Bull to have a free change of tires. It's one of the stupidest rules in F1 to allow a team to repair a car and/or change tires during a Red Flag. It should be said, the Red Flag was the right call, as the barriers were compromised in a spot where several accidents have happened during the weekend. Fortunately for Mercedes, they were able to get good starts, particularly Hamilton who might have had the best start in history off the dirty side of the track. This may have partially been because of Mercedes deliberately driving slow to the grid, causing Max's tires to cool down. Was this illegal? Maybe not as supposedly the drive to the second restart was technically not labeled a "formulation lap". Lewis clearly had the lead into turn 1 which gives him right to the driving line. What was never mentioned was Lewis never even attempted to take the driving line, he missed the apex by a mile turning into the middle of the corner, and straight-lining his car to the turn 2 inside curb. No matter what this would have left Max with no place to go, but did jump the curb and took the lead off the track so it isn't surprising he was forced to give the position back. However, we saw a worse situation with Stroll taking a position off track on lap 1 despite having more room than Max did, and it was ruled okay. It could be argued that Masi should have restarted the race under the safety car rather than a standing start given pretty much every start between F1 and F2 has caused accidents, but I suppose it is preferred to do a standing restart. Fast forward to when Lewis collided with Verstappen. Very strange, and its seems very likely that the drivers were playing games. Regardless, Verstappen initially slowed down in a controlled fashion, Lewis admitted he saw that and his onboard even shows him braking and downshifting behind Max. Why did he not go by? For all he knew, Max had an engine problem. Any race car driver will blow by a slowing car without hesitation, unless there is a flag or instruction to stay behind. There was absolutely no reason for Hamilton to follow Verstappen's path and slow down the same. If Verstappen's telemetry proves he did not deliberately and abruptly brake check Hamilton, then Lewis should in fact be given a penalty for causing a collision. Mercedes still should be confident as even with a damaged car, Hamilton was easily able to put in the fastest lap of the race. Bottas, seemed to get the full power on the last lap and was able get in there for a hugely valuable podium.

    Red Bull will leave Saudi Arabia with a bitter taste without a doubt. First throwing away pole in the last corner. The free pitstop for brand new hard tires and restarting first, just to throw that away on the launch. Getting a second chance, this time with mediums and Max amazingly going from P3 to P1 only to have that fall apart. Such a shame for Perez who did a miserable job in Q3 and just bad luck in the race. Was Verstappen over the line? Perhaps. Absolutely extremely aggressive. The 5 second penalty seemed harsh and very unclear as to why it was given. Max overtook off track on the first restart, but gave the position back. Max defended his P1 position by forcing Lewis off track, but unquestionably made the attempt to allow Hamilton by, in which Lewis failed to just drive by him. After being clubbed in the back, Max still allowed Lewis to go by in which he immediately overtook him again. To me this is well within the rules based on where the DRS detection zones were placed, should not fault the driver for being clever. Besides, Lewis left the inside open. Either way, Max allowed Lewis by later anyways. So why the penalty? It wasn't for brake checking as that is under investigation. If Max is proven to be guilty of a brake check, he will deserve a post race penalty, even if that collision could have been avoided by Lewis not driving up the backend of Max's car. All of this may be moot as it seems like Verstappen's medium tires were not going to last the whole race anyways. But how much was that down to damages caused in the collision. Of course Christian Horner will claim there was plenty of damage.

    Alpine so close to another podium. A brilliant drive by Ocon. Some will say he should have defended Lewis harder, but fighting the inevitable would have only hurt his race. Alonso was a magician in the opening laps but lost his mojo and struggled for the rest of the race.

    Mclaren got a strong result with Ricciardo. Keeping Bottas behind for so many laps was a good effort. Lando seemed to get caught out by the Red Flags and just never had the track position. Still was able to get a point though.

    AlphaTauri and Gasly in P6? No way! Back to form for him. Tsunoda crashing and ruining someone else's race. Back to form for him too.

    Ferrari won't be happy with a 7-8 finish. The car was much better than that. The safety car and red flags hurt their positioning too. Some teammate battle showed up but the team shut that down and tried to get the lead Ferrari to move forward and it just never worked out. Credit to Sainz for scoring good points from a bad starting position, but definitely benefited from some other's misfortune.

    Alfa Romeo in the points with Giovinazzi finishing 9th. Managed to get his car into Q3 so deserving for sure. Tough day for Kimi as it seemed like Vettel drove through him into the corner.

    Aston Martin had a qualifying session to forget, so P11 for Stroll can be somewhat satisfying, but it's not points. Vettel was looking really good at one point until he was taken out by Tsunoda and then slid his way into Kimi which ultimately scattered enough parts all over the track to force a DNF.

    Williams didn't look very good in the race. Latifi had his best chance at a good result with so many cars out of the race, but P12 was all he could do.

    Haas had some scary crashes. Mazepin crashing into Russell showed the dangers of such a narrow track. Schumacher didn't appear to make a mistake, it just seemed like the car didn't have the rear grip with the full fuel load. Expensive day for them.

    Driver of the Day: Esteban Ocon. Despite the pure speed of the leaders, they both drive dirty at times and made mistakes. Ocon however was clean and did the best he could in a car that should have fell well outside the top 5. A few meters from getting a podium, a well earned DOTD.

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    Thanks SS454, glad you were paying attention! And of course we aren't happy with P7/8 but Charles had the stop before the red flag dropping form P4 to P7 and I assume he didn't get the hards working until he got behind Carlos on worn mediums towards the finish. Could have been far worse with a Charles penalty for the Perez incident and of course incidents for themselves were avoided, so happy for that.

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    Glad our guys survived that fraught fiasco and harvested some points cleanly! Kinda happy too that we were nowhere close to those two crude bufoons at the front - F1 and Ferrari shouldn't condone their kind no matter how fast. The track in Jeddah is an apalling abortion that was abysmally marshalled and is unneeded and should be removed from the calendar although I know that's unlikely what with Aramco's sponsorship (in their home country no less!). Unless things change with next year's new car regulations it's likely to be my LAST season following F1 although I won't ever stop wishing the best for Ferrari.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wisepie View Post
    Thanks SS454, glad you were paying attention! And of course we aren't happy with P7/8 but Charles had the stop before the red flag dropping form P4 to P7 and I assume he didn't get the hards working until he got behind Carlos on worn mediums towards the finish. Could have been far worse with a Charles penalty for the Perez incident and of course incidents for themselves were avoided, so happy for that.
    Leclerc could have easily damaged the suspension in the collision with Perez, so very fortunate to keep going and the Red Flag allowed him to get a new front wing. So it certainly could have been worse. Thanks for pointing that out.

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    Just call the thread Merc and Red Bull race analysis in future
    Forza Ferrari

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greig View Post
    Just call the thread Merc and Red Bull race analysis in future
    Can we call every race the Mercedes and Red Bull Grand Prix too? 90% of the coverage goes to 2 drivers, and in this race it was rightfully so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SS454 View Post
    Can we call every race the Mercedes and Red Bull Grand Prix too? 90% of the coverage goes to 2 drivers, and in this race it was rightfully so.
    +1
    It's not how start but how you finish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SS454 View Post
    Can we call every race the Mercedes and Red Bull Grand Prix too? 90% of the coverage goes to 2 drivers, and in this race it was rightfully so.
    No
    Forza Ferrari

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greig View Post
    No
    Well rather than complaining, how about providing a race analysis on Haas and Williams. I'd love to read it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SS454 View Post
    Well rather than complaining, how about providing a race analysis on Haas and Williams. I'd love to read it.
    No thanks, what was the complaint?
    Forza Ferrari

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greig View Post
    No thanks, what was the complaint?
    The exact response I expected. Thanks for offering nothing

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    Quote Originally Posted by SS454 View Post
    The exact response I expected. Thanks for offering nothing
    You are most welcome. Run back to your Red Bull social media now
    Forza Ferrari

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    Quote Originally Posted by SS454 View Post
    Can we call every race the Mercedes and Red Bull Grand Prix too? 90% of the coverage goes to 2 drivers, and in this race it was rightfully so.
    ++1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greig View Post
    You are most welcome. Run back to your Red Bull social media now
    Hi Greig, please do make your own post race analysis if you feel that SS454 is not doing a good enough job, otherwise shut up and let the rest of us enjoy what I feel is a very good evaluation of what has occurred.

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    DOTD : Ocon ? Seriously? Ocon and Ricciardo were so lucky with the red flags.

    Leclerc on pure pace was faster than Perez at some point and only 2 tenths behind Bottas pace.

    Also TV director did such a poor job. Bottas was fighting against Ocon and there was a Ferrari battle for many laps but he decided to show Hamilton cruise to the victory for several laps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp View Post

    Also TV director did such a poor job. Bottas was fighting against Ocon and there was a Ferrari battle for many laps but he decided to show Hamilton cruise to the victory for several laps.
    This has been happening for quite a time. The commentary, coverage has been focussed towards Ham/Merc , to some extent Max, and to a negligible extent Ferrari and other teams. Hence, I don't watch the races, just watch the highlight if something was worthy in the race, else skip that too.
    I though F1 was supposed to be centric, but its becoming more Ham/Merc/English centric.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riccardog View Post
    Hi Greig, please do make your own post race analysis if you feel that SS454 is not doing a good enough job, otherwise shut up and let the rest of us enjoy what I feel is a very good evaluation of what has occurred.
    I enjoy SS454's analysis too and it saddens me to see so many petty arguments developing from some fairly innocuous posts, everyone has their opinion on various aspects so does it really need to turn into schoolyard bickering? Calm down, everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp View Post
    DOTD : Ocon ? Seriously? Ocon and Ricciardo were so lucky with the red flags.

    Leclerc on pure pace was faster than Perez at some point and only 2 tenths behind Bottas pace.

    Also TV director did such a poor job. Bottas was fighting against Ocon and there was a Ferrari battle for many laps but he decided to show Hamilton cruise to the victory for several laps.
    Ocon benefited from the SC by going from 7th to 4th, got the lead with Max and Lewis going off track but still got ahead of Bottas. Then held 3rd place until the very last straight of the very last lap despite Bottas being in a much much faster car. I think that earns DOTD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 20000rpm View Post
    This has been happening for quite a time. The commentary, coverage has been focussed towards Ham/Merc , to some extent Max, and to a negligible extent Ferrari and other teams. Hence, I don't watch the races, just watch the highlight if something was worthy in the race, else skip that too.
    I though F1 was supposed to be centric, but its becoming more Ham/Merc/English centric.
    Me too, it saddens me to say but I still do watch some races but why I don't know because their outcomes are almost always predictable if not from the start then after 1st pit stop sequences :(

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    Quote Originally Posted by wisepie View Post
    I assume he didn't get the hards working until he got behind Carlos on worn medium.
    --> SF21 weakness (only one race remaining)
    If 6/7 restarts a race, we could be last
    Last edited by Gilles; 8th December 2021 at 22:37.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 20000rpm View Post
    This has been happening for quite a time. The commentary, coverage has been focussed towards Ham/Merc , to some extent Max, and to a negligible extent Ferrari and other teams. Hence, I don't watch the races, just watch the highlight if something was worthy in the race, else skip that too.
    I though F1 was supposed to be centric, but its becoming more Ham/Merc/English centric.
    The commentary and coverage has always been predominantly focused on the car(s) at the front. Nothing new. It's one of the perks of running at the front. Ferrari had most of the coverage when King Schumacher was in charge. I remember when people used to say F1 was boring because Schumacher was winning all the time. The same when Vettel and Red Bull were dominating. The only way it will change is for other teams, like Ferrari, to produce a car that can fight for the championships. It will happen. Mercedes' dominance won't last forever

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheeseman View Post
    The commentary and coverage has always been predominantly focused on the car(s) at the front. Nothing new. It's one of the perks of running at the front. Ferrari had most of the coverage when King Schumacher was in charge. I remember when people used to say F1 was boring because Schumacher was winning all the time. The same when Vettel and Red Bull were dominating. The only way it will change is for other teams, like Ferrari, to produce a car that can fight for the championships. It will happen. Mercedes' dominance won't last forever
    the issue of the merc dominance though is not just because they are winning, but also the fact that many, many decisions made in the last 10 years have been blatantly favourable to them at the expense of all other competitors, as well as the RIDICULOUS and PATHETIC engine freeze at the start of a season which basically dictates that there cannot be any change in the status quo for the season, which makes for a boring racing series.
    rip Davide Giri
    I see no bending of the knee on this unprovoked RACIST murder.

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    OK ...

    First off, what we need to acknowledge is that there is a problem with F1 and it boils down to how it 's served sort of speak to the customers (ie. us).
    And we can see it right now, in this thread.
    Merc vs RBR, Lewis vs Max etc etc.
    Sure, everyone loves a good battle, but this has become way too binary, if you will, and people do enjoy the sport for more than this are just fed up.
    And I believe that Liberty Media (who is responsible for this) do not get it.
    @SS454 , great analysis, as always, you have my thanks, and keep doing what you're doing, you're adding value to this forum.
    I have nothing else to say regarding your post, other than I do hope that Merc loses this championship, however I do think chances for this are getting slim.
    And come 2022 I do pray that we do get a package that will remind everyone what Ferrari truly means.
    "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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