Very Unsatisfactory End to an Exciting F1 Season

Bigfoot

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
It looks like this will end in the courts. The FIA has lost all credibility this season, breaking their own rules to decide the drivers championship, presiding over the debacle of awarding half points for a ‘race’ consisting of 2 laps behind the safety car and repeated failure to enforce good driving standards. Overall, this was a close and exciting season, but I am seriously considering if it is worth watching a sport where the rules are applied in such an arbitrary manner.
 

JUNI0R

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
It looks like this will end in the courts. The FIA has lost all credibility this season, breaking their own rules to decide the drivers championship, presiding over the debacle of awarding half points for a ‘race’ consisting of 2 laps behind the safety car and repeated failure to enforce good driving standards. Overall, this was a close and exciting season, but I am seriously considering if it is worth watching a sport where the rules are applied in such an arbitrary manner.
Don't want to look at an F1 car right now, let alone watch F1... Hamilton drove a dominant race today and he deserved that title- should've ended under the safety car in my opinion. Max has driven a fantastic season and has deserved the championship, but not in that way, not entirely. I could go on for hours but don't want to come across as a salty fan 😂
 

SpyderTracks

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Moderator
OMG, I didn't watch it as have found F1 quite dull for a while now. Was it really that bad? I was surprised when I didn't see Lewis got the title.
 

Bigfoot

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
OMG, I didn't watch it as have found F1 quite dull for a while now. Was it really that bad? I was surprised when I didn't see Lewis got the title.
Michael Masi (race director) seemed to be making it up as he went along, ignoring rules and previous established practice. Lewis was leading by about 12 seconds with 5 laps to go when a safety car was put onto the track. Max pitted to put on new soft tyres, but Lewis stayed on old hard tyres. As the safety car period was coming to an end, it was first announced that lapped cars would not be allowed to overtake the safety car and rejoin the pack. This was then changed, so that only the 45 cars between Lewis and Max could pass and not the others. The safety car then immediately went in giving Max a lap to hunt down Lewis, despite the rules stating that the safety car should depart at the end of the following lap, which would have been the end of the race and a Hamilton win, Masi apparently didn’t want the championship to end under a safety car, but in bending the rules, he effectively handed the title to Max. The FIA stewards have rejected Mercedes’ protests, so they have given notice of appeal. IMHO this will go all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
 

JUNI0R

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
OMG, I didn't watch it as have found F1 quite dull for a while now. Was it really that bad? I was surprised when I didn't see Lewis got the title.
This season has been incredible. Championship leader has swapped hands a number of times and they went into this race on the same number of points- winner takes all.

Fantastic start from Hamilton and ended up driving off. Later, Perez stayed out after Hamilton pitted and held him up so Verstappen could catch up the 7 or so seconds he had lost. Hamilton was able to drive off again.

Later in the race a Virtual safety car was called due to an incident which had max pitting for new tyres and leaving Hamilton out on older ones. Verstappen was on the hunt and needed to catch up 8 tenths a lap for 20 laps, but the gap wasn’t closing fast enough (looks like hamilton would win by about 10 seconds), plus there was 4 cars to lap which would hinder his pace.

A Battle between Mick Schumacher and Latifi in final stages of the Race had Latifi crash into a wall, DNFing and bringing out the safety car which allowed Max to A) catch up B) pit for new tyres. Mercedes couldn’t pit Hamilton due to risking losing track position, so Max was on new softs and Hamilton was on old hards. With a few laps to go it looked tight, but the saving grace was the fact those 4 cars Hamilton had lapped were still between him and Max which could just give the win to Hamilton.

That was until an order was called for those 4 specific cars between Hamilton and Verstappen were allowed to overtake leaving the other lapped cars in their lapped state and Verstappen right behind Hamilton on fresh softs. The safety car was ended with the last lap to go and Verstappen quite easily made the move- Hamilton fought back but didn’t get past and therefore Max won the 2021 championship.

The massive uproar here being about allowing ALL lapped cars to unlap and not just the 4 Masi chose. Merc aren’t happy as it lost them the title, and neither am I. I’d recommend watching the race highlights on YouTube when you can.
 

Bhuna50

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Total farce but ultimately over the season I did say to my lad that I think Verstappen edged it - even if I didnt want him to win.

I think the FIA should rule that they have to both put brand new Softs on the car - line up level on the start line and do a five lap race to decide :D
 

barlew

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Clearly this will be the outlying opinion but I thought it was a phenomenal end to such a crazy season. Finishing it with a final lap decider was class.
 

Bigfoot

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Clearly this will be the outlying opinion but I thought it was a phenomenal end to such a crazy season. Finishing it with a final lap decider was class.
It was a contrived finish created by ignoring the rules. It wasn’t an exciting last lap, as Lewis Hamilton was a sitting duck and had no chance on old hard tyres against new soft tyres..
 

barlew

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
It was a contrived finish created by ignoring the rules. It wasn’t an exciting last lap, as Lewis Hamilton was a sitting duck and had no chance on old hard tyres against new soft tyres..
Mate I'm not saying it's right but frankly I am sick of watching the first race of the season then being able to accurately state Lewis Hamilton will win hands down. F1 has got mega boring and it has been for nearly a decade.

The FIA had two choices this afternoon. The first was to keep the safety car out and call the end of the race. The second was do what they did and allow a final racing lap. Either way they were going to get slated.

The FIA need to do somthing to make it interesting again.
 

AgentCooper

я за україну ✊
Moderator
F1 has got mega boring and it has been for nearly a decade.
THANK YOU! I’ve been saying this for years and have occasionally been sneered at by some F1 purists.

I’m not saying we need to turn it into Mario Kart or have the plod lobbing stingers across the track, it’s just lacking the magic of the Prost/Senna days.
 

SpyderTracks

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Moderator
Mate I'm not saying it's right but frankly I am sick of watching the first race of the season then being able to accurately state Lewis Hamilton will win hands down. F1 has got mega boring and it has been for nearly a decade.

The FIA had two choices this afternoon. The first was to keep the safety car out and call the end of the race. The second was do what they did and allow a final racing lap. Either way they were going to get slated.

The FIA need to do somthing to make it interesting again.
THANK YOU! I’ve been saying this for years and have occasionally been sneered at by some F1 purists.

I’m not saying we need to turn it into Mario Kart and have the plod lobbing stingers across the track, it’s just lacking the magic of the Prost/Senna days.
I gave up watching it a number of years ago, really after Lewis's first season, nothing to do with Lewis, I love lewis and think he's a fantastic driver, maybe it's just me getting old, but I just get bored with it these days.

Prost - Senna - Schumi - Hakkinen (who was an absolute legend in Rally racing) - Hill

Golden Era.
 

barlew

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Very interesting response to both of Mercedes challenges from the FIA.

Count one Verstappen overtook Lewis whilst the safety car was deployed. The FIA stated whilst Verstappen did pull ahead slightly he backed off before the safety car was pulled in. So there is nothing to see here.

The second count which was basically the FIA did not follow the rules is even more interesting. They basically said the race director controls the race including the deployment of the safety car and all aspects of the process. So this is our race we direct how we see fit, was basically the response. They however go on to say that the rule Mercedes were monking about is superseded by the following rule which if implemented early enough takes precedence.

"The Stewards consider that the protest is admissible. Having considered the various statements made by the parties the Stewards determine the following:

"That Article 15.3 allows the Race Director to control the use of the safety car, which in our determination includes its deployment and withdrawal. That although Article 48.12 may not have been applied fully, in relation to the safety car returning to the pits at the end of the following lap, Article 48.13 overrides that and once the message "Safety Car in this lap" has been displayed, it is mandatory to withdraw the safety car at the end of that lap."


What I absolutely loved about that race was the fact Lewis had it in the bag. There was absolutely no way Max was going to catch him. At that point Red Bull built their race strategy around luck. They banked on a safety car and made some clever pit stops which put him in the perfect position when a safety car did finally materialise.

This clearly put Mercedes in a difficult position because the only way they would have been able to swap tires would be to concede the position then fight to get it back. The discussion around the interpretation of the rules will go on until the end of time but no-one can deny Red Bull had their strategy on point.

I honestly cannot think of another race where I have been so excited throughout. That in itself says a lot considering it was a pretty boring race until the end.
 
I wanted Max to win the Driver's Championship (to give Hamilton a kick up the bum and possibly stop his Mother Teresa act), but I though this was a complete farce - and Masi has done himself no favours (except with Red Bull) - and he has form of trying to 'make a race' when there was none (recall the 2 lap race behind the safety car at Spa earlier in the year - we can't even get a partial refund for that abortive poo-show).

I think Hamilton was robbed by a decision to use a rule that's never been used before...to artificially gift Max the win.

If Masi had stuck to either of the tried and tested rules (i.e. allow all to overtake and add a lap for the safety car to collect everyone, or allow none to overtake and restart it whenever he wanted) then neither team would have been able to protest and that would have been it. However, Masi seemingly decided to use the rule that's never been used before to create a 3rd way (or infinite way it seems now in that he could make up the rules as he goes along) to remove any benefit Hamilton had over Max.

All through the season there's been decisions one way or the other, but none of them have been this blatantly stupid in support of one party or the other.

Unfortunately, whichever way the FIA, CAS, and possibly the High Court decisions go, Mercedes will come out of it looking like villains. However, it's a bit strange that Mercedes won the big money in the Constructors Championship, Lewis was (publicly) magnanimous in defeat, yet it's the Driver's Championship that Mercedes are protesting.

If this is the way it's going to be in the future (one ring rule to rule them all), then it means Masi has the power to decide the result on his own before the race, and then tell all the drivers to swap places on the last lap to match his decision :rolleyes:

Maybe Masi can audition for the next Judge Dredd movie..."I AM the LAW"?
 
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Steveyg

VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
As someone who knows nothing about F1 I've had a mate describe as such in football terms, how accurate was he?

Basically Hamilton was 3-0 up at the 90th minute, the ref blows and whistle and basically says next goal wins.
 
As someone who knows nothing about F1 I've had a mate describe as such in football terms, how accurate was he?

Basically Hamilton was 3-0 up at the 90th minute, the ref blows and whistle and basically says next goal wins.
More or less, except the ref also told the team that was 3-0 up to remove their boots and play barefoot.
 
That's not entirely accurate. The teams management told the team to do that not the ref.
Yes, it was a strategy call. However Mercedes made their decision based on the globally understood safety car rules that were in their favour...until Masi changed them.

In the 'free' stops that Max had, it was a no-lose option. Still don't know why Mercedes brought Hamilton in straight after Max had stopped for hards, as Hamilton's mediums were fine and he could have had another 10 laps on them and avoided the Perez defence.

If Bottas had turned up, then both teams might have been able to use the same defence.

I hope it doesn't drag on, and the bosses (or Hamilton) asks the team to back down and accept the result.
 
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