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2021 Russian GP
#51

Gutted for Lando, disappointed in McLaren pit wall (i didn't hear them telling an obviously excited/stressed Lando that the real rain would hit before the end of the race). Lando will learn a lot from the experience today.
Hamilton for me was lucky to get away with his pit wall escapade yesterday but Max lucked out and to that extent I would agree that Lewis had mixed fortune today.
Bottas poor and has checked into the departure lounge in my view, if Merc were as ruthless as RBR they would have Bottas out before the next race if the contract(s) allow it.
Good race, i enjoyed it but again almost all of the interest was due to weather and strategy, not so much the overtaking (as evidenced by all the DRS trains).
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#52

Like everyone I feel bad for Norris. How can you not? The guy is driving great whole weekend and loses out of his first F1 win by something not his mistake.
But that is how it always will be; some luck and bad luck (and it is never evenly given).

Hamilton did fine as expected, but that is about it. I agree with Neil that in the championship battle, Verstappen could just got the upper hand now. Mercedes/Hamilton tried to take maximum points vs Verstappen today and even slaughtered Bottas for it. Well, Bottas like always sucked balls at hard racing to stop Verstappen so that was pointless. In the meantime Verstappen is (like this whole year) driving fantastic and for once luck was on his side (and his team did good); he takes P2.
The point maximalisation Hamilton was hoping on is minimal and Verstappen has a new engine. Not what Mercedes wanted...
We are watching a championship fight so tight and between two great drivers, just very exciting.

The Ferrari car is a enigma to me; thought it was good on circuit like Monaco and look at Saintz. Fantastic work. Wasn't Leclerc his weekend though.

Perez, what to say?

Got to have a 27B-6.
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#53

It was for sure an interesting race. The race start was not good for my guy he saw a gap went for it and it cost him. I have to say Alonso should have picked up a penalty for cutting the first corner he absolutely gained an advantage from his move. He did this prior to the race as well so you know he was lining it up at that stage.

McLaren, what can I say huge mistake both by driver and pit wall but in my opinion the pit wall should shoulder a lot more of the responsibility for the decision to stay out. Hamilton pitted at the end of lap 49. At that stage Norris was about two seconds ahead of Hamilton and fifty two seconds ahead of third placed Perez. He was firmly in the driving (Pun intended) seat! The same information that Mercedes had available was also available to McLaren and indeed all the teams.

Hamilton too said he wanted to stay out but here is the difference he was told to box and did as he was told. He not only trusted his pit wall team but it went against his own thought process. Big lesson here for McLaren. Sometimes you have to over rule your driver. In an absolutely worst case scenario Norris was going to be second but had a more than even chance of winning had he pitted. I do not agree with anyone saying it was an easy decison for Hamilton as he was in second place and could pick his strategy. No, he could not. Had he not boxed he would have lost that race to Red Bull and Verstappen it was a chance Mercedes could absolutely not take. Gutted for Norris.

Red Bull and Max as I stated earlier the big winners here. Second place was never in play for them until the rain came but fair play they saw their opportunity and took it unlike McLaren. The fresh engine Max has is so valuable. Morini you seem to think I don't have faith in Hamilton. I absolutely do I NEVER write him off. Many times during a race in chat many of you guys have said he is done in a given race and I have disagreed with you and so far I have been right every single one of those times. However you have to also be realistic . If what we are led to believe is true most the teams privately expect Mercedes to have to take a new engine. If there is one thing neither Hamilton or Verstappen can afford its a DNF. I think Mexico is where Hamilton will take his engine that is a Red Bull track for sure.

I would think there is zero chance of Russell getting into that Mercedes this season unless it is the last race or two (and even that is a huge stretch) But with a fresh engine that was the best he could do. He was outside the points when he too like Verstappen lucked out on the weather. It was a pathetic performance given what Verstappen and Leclerc achieved.

What else did we see. Well Perez proving he does not belong in the second Red Bull. Alonso proving he has still got it. Russell scoring points again when he has no rights to do so in that car. Danny Ricciardo proving he belongs and is beginning to get that McLaren and himself on the same page.

Finally. We saw a liberal interpretation of the rules for Norris. He could easily have picked up a penalty for his entry into the pits but I guess they took circumstances into consideration and maybe thought he had suffered enough.
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#54

Well, Neil, if there's one thing we can agree on it is that 2021 is a gripping championship to watch. I believe the Red Bull has been the faster car (particularly in qualification trim) just about all year and yet Hamilton is still in there. This is despite a couple of high profile mistakes as well, the most costly being throwing away a certain 18 points in Baku. Yes Red Bull have a slight advantage now because they have introduced a 4th unit for Verstappen without losing any ponts. BUT, anything can happen in F1 and in a tight battle experience counts. Don't write off Lewis Hamilton taking an 8th WDC this year.

Regardless of the outcome of the WDC Mercedes are going to win the WCC. Both Perez and Bottas have been generally poor this year but Merc have a reasonable buffer in the constructors now. Also, I disagree with Anti as Perez drove a good race yesterday and it was "flip of a coin" circumstance which switched that on its head. Where Max gained hugely during the rain phase Perez gambled and lost in equal measure. Without the rain he's most likely have been third yesterday with his team mate back in 7th. Max's early fightback through the field was going quite well until he came up against faster cars then it stalled. Also, he clearly went far too hard on his medium tyres early in the second stint and that ruined his chances resulting in him losing places. I would not rave about Max's drive yesterday as the rain saved him, simple as that.

Lastly, nobody apart from Mercedes knows for sure that Hamilton will take a 4th PU. Nobody even knows how many races remain. Let's wait and see how it all pans out.
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#55

Bomb  100    Bomb

Chuffed a Brit has achieved this milestone, simply incredible.        Big Grin

Same as everyone gutted for Lando, guessing all Lewis fans we were cheering him on Sunday.

*If* it had stayed dry Lewis said it would have been hard to get by him, so close but so far, we all know his time will come, so pleased having two young Brits who are so hugely talented.

McLaren fighting at the front where they belong in my mind, so pleased for the whole team.

DOTD, in my World Max shares this with Lando, to finish 2nd even with the weather helping was also an epic drive.

So we can have an exciting race at Sochi who would have thunk it.     Wink



 

"When a man holds you round the throat, I don't think he has come to apologise" 
Ayrton Senna on Nigel Mansell, SPA 1987.   Angel
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#56

(27-09-2021, 01:52 PM)PapaofGags Wrote:  DOTD, in my World Max shares this with Lando, to finish 2nd even with the weather helping was also an epic drive.

Nah, Lando yes, in with a shout of DOTD. Not Max (this time) for me, purely because he could have done better. His stint 1 on the hards was impressive, but there are two reasons why it wasn't a DOTD performance IMHO

1. Very close to a catastrophe impatiently trying to get past a Ferrari (think it was LeClerc). He was lucky the Ferrari jumped out of the way otherwise both cars were out.
2. He wrecked his mediums by going too hard on them too early and was (in all truth) going backwards with dead tyres until the rain saved his bacon. Alonso passed him with little difficulty on a dry track.

Hamilton on the other hand, didn't panic, was measured when stuck in a DRS train and unleashed what pace he had at the correct times. He may or may not have won it without the rain, but he was a second faster than anyone else when it mattered. A champions drive to finally get to that magnificent 100 benchmark. It's been a long time coming.

And yes, I did feel sorry for Lando. But his time will come, in the right equipment he is WDC material without a doubt. Diver of the season for me.
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#57

Lets be honest and realistic here The only way Hamilton is ever getting driver of the day in most races is if he started last, rushed into the stands mid-race and gave someone the kiss of life and saved them got back in his car got back into first pace. Then saved a Cat or Dog from an untimely death on the circuit.

It was a good and solid drive by Max but as you said Morini he wore out his tyres twice. I do not begrudge him some fortune it has gone against him so far this year. I would have give it Norris he really drove a great race chased Sainz down and passed him stopped and gained the lead back and it is very questionable whether Hamilton would have got past him had it not rained. He could not get past Ricciardo earlier in the race and although he closed in fast the old addage catching is one thing overtaking is another.

I agree with all your other points Morini. The only thing I would say I am unsure of is which is the faster car. That Mercedes looks like its hauling ass big time lately. Maybe I will compromise and say Red Bull is the better all round car but I think the Mercedes in pure speed is now faster. I am sure I heard they were running more downforce for this race than Red Bull but even so through the twisty part of the circuit just as at Baku the Red Bull was far superior.
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