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Brazil GP win gives Ferrari reason to smile after F1 championship defeat
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Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Nov 2017   |  8:35 pm GMT  |  332 comments

This was a good win for Ferrari and a painful loss for Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes. They had defied expectations on Saturday by beating Sebastian Vettel to pole position, after the German had set the provisional pole time.

But on Sunday, the race was all about the start. Vettel got the better launch and that was enough to give him a run on Bottas, as the pole is on the outside at Interlagos. Max Verstappen wasn’t able to make the attack into Turn 1 that we saw in Mexico because his fourth place grid slot is notorious for the double painted while start line that is just in front of the rear tyres. That takes the edge off the grip.

So Vettel had control of the race in the opening stint and Bottas never looked like he had an answer.

Mercedes made a speculative attempt at an undercut on Lap 27 but the margin needed this weekend with these Pirelli tyres was very small, as little as 0.6s, so Vettel had it covered and pitted a lap later.

The win is Vettel’s fifth of the season, which is encouraging for the Scuderia as is the fact that they have produced a car capable of qualifying on pole and they’ve succeeded in developing it throughout the season.

As a benchmark for next year, that’s pretty good. All eyes will be on Mercedes to see whether they persist with the long wheelbase treatment or do something different for next year, while Red Bull is finishing the season strongly (even if here their engine deficit was more obvious) and will surely be in the hunt next season for regular wins.

Vettel said tonight: “I think we can all feel that we’re getting stronger so hopefully we can carry that strength into the next couple of years, not just next year, not just the winter but also the future because I think our objective is to bring Ferrari back properly, get there and dominate. That’s what we want to do.”

Massa and Alonso roll back the years as midfield battle delivers again

Felipe Massa had a disappointing race last year, crashing out in the rain, but today he put up a good fight against Fernando Alonso in the McLaren, holding him and Sergio Perez off to the flag.

Massa started behind both on the grid, but got a good start and when Perez and Alonso had an altercation he was there to nip past Perez. He nailed Alonso at the restart after the Safety Car and McLaren didn’t try to undercut him at the pit stops. In fact Alonso came in a lap later.

Perez meanwhile tried to get back on terms with an odd strategy that saw him run longer than both, but he lost time and wasn’t able to do anything with the tyre offset he had.

It was another terrific midfield battle, as we have seen all season long. If F1 at the front were as exciting and variable as it is in the midfield it would be electric!


Hamilton revels in the power of new engine

Lewis Hamilton certainly brightened up the race with a ferocious drive from the pit lane to fourth. He led for a while, the first time anyone has done that from a pit lane start since he did it himself in 2014.

He made many overtakes, thanks to having the opportunity to fit a series V engine, or at least a new unit which was not of the same specification as the previous one. It was well worth it as it gave him great overtaking opportunities here and will set him up for a dominant weekend in Abu Dhabi, given that everyone else will be on the limit on engines at the end of the season.

At times with everything turned up, he was as much as 25km/h faster than the car he was overtaking, with DRS and a tow.

It is rare for a driver to get the chance to do that with the modern Power unit formula and next year they will have to be even more sparing with only three engines to last the season.

His challenge for the podium foundered on two moments; the second time he had to pass Lance Stroll and lost time and then the lock ups into Turn 1. Although these were a sign that the supersoft tyres were beginning to go, they also took the edge off the attack on Raikkonen in the closing laps. The Ferrari had better pace in the middle sector and that meant that Raikkonen started the long run up the hill with enough margin to keep Hamilton at arm’s length.

What did you think of the Brazilian GP this year? Did you think Bottas could have done more to get back on terms after the start? Leave your comments in the section below

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1

There ‘s of all about a 3 engine rule. But you can go from last to 4 with a engine is it really that bad

2

I lost my place but whomever mentioned gas turbines charging batteries was pretty cool. Something like that may be relevant.

I also thought just changing the engine formula as described won’t work without using lower profile tires. That would compensate some for the increase in battery weight. I’m all for less unsprung weight in the suspension and rubber weighs a lot. Wheels weigh much less and the cars will look nicer.

I wonder if teams have planned on using the halo for aero? I wonder what the rules say about putting a top on one or sides? I think some non structural stuff is allowed.

Really they need to enclose those. Think A-10 canopy. The front can actually take a 20mm hit. A little metal could be put there for rollover. This has been in aviation for a very long time.

I also wonder if HAAS could use the wind tunnel NASA has?

3

About that pitstop. Vettel kept his lead right there. Mercedes had a slower stop and that was the difference there.

4

I dunno yeah they did win but about 5 seconds separated 1st from 4th. Mercedes seemed to be testing. I say they all do the same thing. Just really make a mockery of grid penalties. All of the places are pretty much set now. Why not test a new motor for next year.

In theory Ferrari should win Abu Dhabi easy. Mercedes needs to make their car faster on these tight tracks or Ferrari or maybe Red Bull will win cause they now have speed. Reliability comes next. The MGU-H seems to be the issue there. What exactly is the difference between that and that eTurbo on production cars?

5

how about verstappen distroying the race lap record?

6

I don’t feel too optimistic. After the Ferrari purge of non-Italian talent in 2007/2008 during the wake of Spygate, Ferrari have entered another barren period. In the following decade they have been limp title contenders only twice. Don’t get me wrong, I love a season where Ferrari are truly in the hunt as it drives newspaper columns and global hype. I also consider Ferrari as my team, having been a Schumacher fan before he went there and spending the best part of my childhood and teens buying red merchandise.

However the current management feel too insular and unable to truly innovate to take that next step. I could be wrong, this season has been a reasonable platform to build on for 2018, but if Ferrari don’t win the title or at least take it to the finale next season then Marchionne should resign given he ousted Montezemolo when Ferrari were arguably more competitive. I don’t think Marchionne promotes the positive and productive environment necessary to succeed. Montezemolo in restrospect tended to promote success more than castigate for failures. Some of Marchionne’s comments over the last 18 months have been highly unproductive.

7

This year was the most competitive Ferrari’s been since 2008. They have the same number of podiums as 2008 now (though that was over 18 races and we’re on 19 currently), and have had 5 double podiums.

Whether Ferrari makes the next step we will have to wait and see. The last steps are the hardest, and it’s much easier to fall back as others make forward steps. We’ll see.

8

Team Computer/Engineer tells driver how fast to drive each lap (ie. the “delta”) to protect the tyres, preserve the PU, and to conserve the fuel.

Driver then does that delta for lap after lap after lap.

Team Computer/Engineer tells driver when to pit to try to undercut/overcut and return him to track in good position.

Driver does that.

End of race : Driver comes second.

Is Bottas a bad/mediocre driver for “only” coming second in a race where many people expected him to win ?

Or is he a great driver for being able to exactly follow the Team’s instructions to the letter for lap after lap after lap ?

One day, hopefully, a driver will say ….
“Don’t ask me. I just do what the engineer tells me to do. Go ask him why we finished second instead of first as I’ve got no idea what went wrong”.

9

So you’re saying the Merc engineer instructed Valtteri NOT to win the race?

Now I’ve heard everything.

10

I felt the same actually. I was hoping Bottas would take the win and he should have been more aggressive shutting the door at T1, but some of the comments on him were a bit harsh. Look at what Jacques Villeneuve said- sometimes I am sure he just likes to make headlines.

11

Now the tire test has been cancelled because of lawlessness in Sao Palo — how long is it going to be before F-1 pulls the plug on that location ? Yes it is a great one with lots of passion, history, etc. Time to put a premium on safety, methinks — even if that means arming the participants for their own protection.

12

The highlight of the day for me has to be Lewis’ astonishing drive. He went completely balls to the walls every single lap, slashed through the field with more ease than Ricciardo, and ended the race 5.4 seconds off of Vettel. Even considering the Safety Car, to be able to maintain that kind of aggression and pace throughout an entire race is beyond impressive. He was simply in a completely different league in terms of pace yesterday. It was great to see him be put in the position to go balls to the walls with no pressure to do otherwise and to watch him put on a show like that- and if the dice had rolled a little differently yesterday, there is every reason to believe he could have won.

13

“slashed through the field with more ease than Ricciardo”
To be fair, Lewis has a better car than Dan, and he wasn’t turned around at the start of the race.

14

Mr Allen , I have said it before & I will said it again your site J.A on F1 with your expression of comments attached is simply numero uno period ! However at times you do tender to some favouritism that is understandable , in Italy they say one never sh**t on his door step, but I would like to have a fair crack of the whip in regard to last Sunday Brazilian F1 & in particular L. Hamilton, very true Hamilton is a good driver but an exceptional one ? one doubt ,his achievements occurred in the last three years with the dominant equipment at his disposal , the same can be said about S Vettel too, prior to him . However so much song & dance Hamilton finishing 4th starting from the pit line, in truth he started 14 th, where by Vettel started very last & he finished 4 th too. As to the shake up at Marinello ? Mr Arrivabene should go back to Phillip Morris , the manager of English football club West Ham Mr Bilic got the carrot last week, he in turn phone the players asking where did he went wrong ? was told you were not hard enough in disciplining the players. Arrivabene is a salesman not a manager.

15

With the championship won, I said to myself – ” Avoid responding to trolls”. Unfortunately, addictions are a difficult thing to break. Here we go!

Questioning Lewis’s caliber can mean one of two things; you are blind, or biased. Look, everyone has an opinion and rightfully so but there’s a distinct difference between subjective and objective commentary.

Any driver with statistic similar to lewis enjoyed a sustained period of dominance. Most consider Schumacher and Senna greats forgetting they too had dominant cars. Senna’s mp4-4 was and still remains the most dominant car in formula one history, yet it doesn’t take away from his achievements. Micheal probably won all 91 of his wins barefooted pushing a wheelbarrow, I’m not sure but its fair to say his ferraris were no slouch. Why can’t you afford lewis the same respect. Bare in mind, before joining mercedes lewis had 26 poles and 21 wins compared to fernando’s 22 poles and 30 wins.

Good driver, definitely not exceptional. Mercedes, out of the goodness of their hearts decides to throw untold millions at him for the fun of it.

16

@Oblah , I thank you for the reply & the comments with in . Here is my take , I have been around for quite some time, most of my life has been associated with in Motor industry, have had opportunities to race for number of years in tin tops mostly in my back of the woods called the down under . My point was not intended to degrade Hamilton or any recent or current drivers over their abilities but rather the ( word ) exception ? which I value very highly , thus I shall nominate my racing drivers past & current as exceptional
1st ) Alberto Ascari ,who beat the might of Silver Arrows/Auto Union in his 2.2 lt Alfa Romeo in the German GP.
2nd ) Gilles Villeneuve. what a racer, perhaps greatest of them all.
3rd ) Niki Lauda, yup Niki was good in anyone language .
That is my take , & I thank you .

17

gogo, which German GP was this where Ascari beat Mercedes and Auto Union, in an Alfa Romeo?

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that all three of your highlighted drivers are former Ferrari drivers, eh?

Might there be some Everything-Was-Better-Back-in-my-Day sentiment going on?

18

@gogo

In truth, Lewis started in the pit lane.

If he had started 14th, he would have had the benefit of warmer tyres from the warm up lap.

But no. He had to find the grip in relatively cold tyres.

Because he started at the back. In the pitlane.

19

Lol @ Torchwood Mobile
That didnt matter though did it as there were two crashes , several cars out the race and a safety car!

20

i thonk this comment summarizes the issue/challenge that F1 has yet to be able to address: “If F1 at the front were as exciting and variable as it is in the midfield it would be electric!”. HAM is a great driver, but the fact that mid race he was already fourth starting from the back illustrates the huge disparity. I am all for F1 for be the pinnacle of technology, but it needs to be that not just for the two or three teams that have the most money. Why not bring the world’s auto manufacturers to the table and agree on a formula where they would be willing to compete, with some non-negotiable principles that make sure the DNA of F1 is preserved (e.g open cockpit and open wheels, no broad standardization of components, internal combustion engines) and make changes that limit the advantage of current incumbents?

21

I can’t agree that Hamilton breezing through the field unopposed brightened up the race. It was, in fact, a sad indictment of the current state of Formula 1. The fact that there was next to no overtaking through the field beyond Hamilton and Ricciardo coming through because they had clearly superior cars (and a brand new engine turned up to 11 in the case of Hamilton), when nobody else could overtake because their cars are too similarly balanced, is exactly what’s wrong. Add that to the fact that the FIA insists on putting DRS zones on the straights where overtaking has always been historically possible, Hamilton and Ricciardo were handed a massive advantage and didn’t really have to work for it. Seeing them actually have to fight their way through rather than breeze past would have been far more entertaining.

22

I hope everyone has registered their bidding account. What a deal at $4M expected.

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/buying-maintenance/a13509813/michael-schumacher-ferrari-f2001-pictures/

23

No good – Nowhere to put the wife’s weekly big shop.

24

No room for wife either!

25

Nice article.

26
Tornillo Amarillo

On Lance’s side, he had a problem with his gearbox yesterday which meant we damaged his fourth power unit of the season and he had to revert to his third power unit for qualifying and the remaining races this season. That power unit is down on performance in comparison so it was never going to be easy for Lance to get points today.

– Paddy Lowe.

Massa and Lance had not the same power from their Merc PU in Brazil, and they won’t have it neither in Abu Dabhi unfortunately. Let’s 2018 begin.

27

Vettel said tonight: “I think we can all feel that we’re getting stronger so hopefully we can carry that strength into the next couple of years, not just next year, not just the winter but also the future because I think our objective is to bring Ferrari back properly, get there and dominate. That’s what we want to do.”

Hamilton revels in the power of new engine

deancassady.com summary of ‘race’:
This race exposed many of the problems at this point in time, with Formula One as a whole, including the current direction that it is moving in.
1. Following up on my previous comments, starting before Hamilton clinched the championship (2017 that is), payback to Bottas was NOT successful; taking Lewis ‘out’ by giving him a new engine (they should have specifically inspected the oil consumption in the race, but I bet they didn’t!), wasn’t enough to keep a determined Vettel at bay, after Bottas’ ‘glitch’ at the start.
Indication: current aerodynamics in F1 gives an overwhelming advantage to the lead runner, making qualifying results overly-weighted for race competition.
2. Hamilton battles back from pitlane to fourth, “he was as much as 25km/h faster than the car he was overtaking”, and “rapidly catching Verstappen, breezing past the Red Bull on lap 60”.
indication having started in the pitlane, and storming through and past even the third fastest car at Interlagos… very easily, by James’ description, then challenging the second fastest car, on well-worn tires, strongly suggests that Vettel’s stated aspirations, as quoted above, “…bring Ferrari back properly, get there and dominate.” are less than hot air, in substance; if anything, Mercedes is further ahead now than they were at the first race in this current ‘hybrid’ era, and there is little to suggest that any other team will get into a truly competitive challenge for them!
3. Chatter and the ‘forward’ ‘vision’ for F1
The takeover by Herr Cary and ‘Liberty’ (now there’s a misnomer if I ever read one) reminds me of Woodrow Wilson thinking he could competently negotiate the ‘armistice’ following the conclusion of the Great War (WWI) swimming into the shark tank of high pressure politiquing in Europe. The 1910s era facial hair doesn’t hinder the imagery (nice tan, though!) While Niki’s credibility isn’t bulletproof, and the team bigwigs are simply bound to whinge and foretell doom, I completely agree with his position on contrivances to ‘artificially’ level the playing field to ‘create’ competition as being toxic to the DNA/business/sporting niche of F1. The ‘tinkering’ with the engine formula is tepid and inadequate to even scratch the surface of the underlying structural issues in F1.
For one direction that would likely work better than any of this proposed tinkering, please see exchanges on previous post, here: https://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2017/11/analysis-there-is-going-to-be-a-giant-fight-in-f1-so-lets-get-it-done-sooner-than-later/#comment-3784151 (strangely difficult to navigate to, for a recent article).

In summary, not only is the headline of this article false, “Brazil GP win gives Ferrari reason to smile after F1 championship defeat”, it is ridiculously so.
The fact that this slightly points gain over Bottas makes Vettel’s securing of second, slightly more probable, is only making him more likely to be the first loser of the season; Vettel and Ferrari are no doubt painfully aware of this reality.
The structural and engineering brilliance that enabled the Merc dominance, will not be changed adequately to enable true competition against them by anybody, including Ferrari. Again, one must acknowledge the phenomenal job Merc did to attain this position, but it is simply killing the ‘sport’!

28

brazil 2017 reminds me of monza 2008. vettel won both races while hamilton charged up the field from the back..

29
Tornillo Amarillo

A tricky day for teen Lance, he was in the back foot after missing FP3 because a mechanical problem and, like a domino, the pieces were falling. He couldn’t qualify properly and from the back of the grid, he couldn’t do much on Sunday. With two flat spots and the front left tyre destroyed, he had to pit again and just bring the car home. A new circuit for him and I am sure on a bad day is when you learn a lot.

30

James, I find it disingenuous to say Ferrari will take pride in outqualifying mercedes, when vettel has been outqualifying bottas all year long. Contrary to what is often reported, mercedes engine mode is lewis. Had he not binned it, there’s a good chance he’d be 2 tenths up bottas. Before you say, they were close in the practices – nico and even jenson are often faster up until q3, where lewis often rewrites the form book.

If anything, ferrari should be worried about mercedes new suspension. Without her diva tendencies, the w08 would’ve been the class of the field, especially in the king’s hands. Running in dirty air and finishing within 6 seconds of the lead, especially in the jungle like temperatures unseen since malaysia bodes well for their development direction. Difficult to say how much of it was lewis, either way it’s very positive.

The engine is a V4, if I’m not mistaken. Even so, looking at fp1/2, it was obvious lewis was miles ahead of everyone. It tightened on single lap pace but he was ballistic on the longruns. Sigh, had he not binned it, it would’ve been an easy win. On the bright side, we got to see pre-mercedes yellow helm lewis. Ah, the good ole mclaren days…minus the mechanic failures and atrocious pit stops.

Worryingly you haven’t mentioned redbull. Isn’t it curious how, all of a sudden their pace has diminished? They were very strong in the last 4 races, over a variety of track configurations and surfaces. What changed? Maybe the new directive on suspension… Word on the street, RBR has figured out how to make their car squat on the straights again, reducing drag, increasing top speed. The FIA has once again clamped down on that, hence max’s constant whinging about no grip since friday. Coincidence? Possibly… Would go someway explaining their massive deg on race day compared to ferrari/mercedes. Normally the rb13 loves the SS, not yesterday.

Finally, I like this blog. It is well done and professionally moderated. Not always in my favor…nevertheless hat’s off. Would it be possible, maybe in the future to give more in-dept articles on the technical aspects. In my view, too much time is spent on politics or driver relation, while the engineering goes mostly unreported. It’s fascinating stuff, which I’m sure many of your readers would appreciate. Cheers.

31

Isn’t it curious how, all of a sudden their pace has diminished? They were very strong in the last 4 races, over a variety of track configurations and surfaces. What changed?

Horner says it is the engine mode: ““We ran pretty safe on engines,” team boss Horner revealed. “Obviously reliability has been a concern.
“I think the layout of this circuit, that long, last sector, just is a bit more punishing for us than Mexico.”

In another article, Max says that Renault has run out of engine spares, and are not making new parts, since they are focusing on the 2018 spec engine.

32

“The King”? Dear Lord save us….

33

Baron. So sorry. I meant Lewis Hamilton.

34

Noted

We go through phases I guess depending on who is helping from the pool of ex F1 senior engineers

We have plenty of plans on this front for 2018

35

Was just reading on the BBC…. Hamilton said reducing the number of engines would mean drivers were able to push hard in races less often.

“I don’t like the idea of going to three. That sucks. Sprinting is what we are missing in F1,” Hamilton said.

Well said Hamilton.

36

yep. a total clusterf**k of FIA ignorance and Liberty clue-lesness and in-effectualness…

37

Well put.

James, how about an online poll on this? If it shows great fan dissatisfaction then send it to Liberty. The weekend was a joke, with units turned down, grid penalties, etc. Speaking for myself I want rid of this. Surely the teams could vote for say 5 engines per season, more MGU-Hs, and bring this in for 2018? Next year could be even worse than the farce we’ve had since mid season.

Stop the conservation of power units, tyres, brakes, and fuel please Ross and Co. Over-engineer so the cars can be ragged for the whole season please…..

38

IMO the only races where Ferrari have been comprehensively outclassed this year have been the British & Italian GPs. Could probably also argue Canada & US Mercedes had a clear edge, but not total superiority. Vettel has driven very well –
notwithstanding his obvious expensive mistakes – spearheading the team and giving them a focal point. I’m sure they’ll be strong again next year, but of course so too with Mercedes and Red Bull, and I think Renault & McLaren will make it a much tighter top-half.

39

Bit off topic here but there are a few things which have come to light this year. Without being too harsh on bottas as he came in late and didn’t have much time to get used to the car, his form since the break must be a little worrying for Mercedes. Carlos Sainz proved his class in swapping teams mid season and being straight on his team mates pace, albeit his team mate isn’t a now 4 time world champion.
My main point however is how underrated Rosberg was during his time in F1. He certainly kept Lewis on his toes and you have to feel that he’d have converted a few better weekends that bottas this season. Its easy to say that Rosberg had the best car last year, which he did, but the fact that he beat Lewis to the title in that car probably hadn’t earned him the praise he deserved. The ongoing digs from Lewis would also suggest that he’s hurt that Rosberg got the better of him.
So basically, no real point to my post other than Nico was a far better driver than i gave him credit for and I don’t think I was the only one……

(via smartphone hence all the typos!)

40

Rosberg was flattered by being handed all Lewis’ data, so that he could try to match him.

Where Nico is starting to earn accolades is that Valterri is also getting Lewis’ data, but, at least this year, cannot live with his team-mate as well as Nico was.

We could see Lewis’ car suffering understeer as it chased some cars; at least based on the footage I watched, we never saw him close up to Vettel enough for his car to hit the disrupted air wake coming off the Ferarri, which is the point. Even if he could not pass, there never seemed to be a point where he tried.

There was a time when we acknowledged the strangeness of disparaging drivers and performances based on tenths and hundredths of a second, but nowadays we are so used to doing that.

41

Torchwood Mobile
Sharing data means both drivers can look at each others data.
Should I remind you about how Alonso wasn’t happy about sharing data with Hamilton in 2007? But Ron made it clear to him (and Hamilton) that McLaren drivers have and will always share data for the good of te team. Do you think Hamilton benefited from looking at Alonso’s setup/data?

42

I can’t think there’s any doubt whatsoever that Rosberg was better all round than VB… Is there?

43

Baron, I don’t think we can say yet can we? Nico was st Mercedes for seven years, Valterri has only just started.

44

Nico was MUCH better than his stats will ever show. not placing him among the very finest all time, but he should be thumping-his-chest proud of his accomplishments!

45

Well, Vettel won but what a drive from Lewis. Given they can go all out with the engine again in Abu Dhabi it should be a walk in the park for him. Tough blow again for Bottas, lost the start and he should have finishes miles ahead of him.

Not sure what’s going on with Renault. What a shambles with the engines tuned down in qualifying without telling anyone. Puts Fernando’s “next year is going to be fun” in a different perspective.

Also what was going on with Romain – there’s always someone else to blame – Grosjean and Williams? Did Massa completely outperform the car or was Stroll just miles off the pace?

46

Thanks James, now I need not bother watching Abu Dhabi.

47

Vettel’s pitstop was 2.1 seconds while Bottas was stopped for 2.7 seconds. That 0.6 seconds cost Valtteri the win.

48

Shows how good Vettel is, beating VB in a slower car, alot of people rate VB as a good challenge for Ham this year in defence of him having had the WDC handed to him.
SV or MV would destroy VB in equal cars, lucky Ham has a willing number 2 this year, he would have been in trouble otherwise

49

Vettel probably wouldn’t have won if the Merc was as good at following as the Ferrari is. VB couldn’t get close enough on the twisties to overtake on the straights. On that circuit the Ferrari is the better all-rounder.

50

SV is also a much better driver than VB, if it were HAM he would have done it.
Also if it were HAM, VB would have been left out to block Seb, to give im a shot at the win

51

I agree, SV is better than VB by some way.( See, I’m not one of those haters who pretends the closest competitor to my favourite is utterly useless.) I think SV is a great driver, he’s come on loads in recent years. He always used to only lead from the front, now he’s proved he can come through the pack as well.

Yet I think that if VB had been able to follow closely enough he would have taken SV. Only my opinion, of course.

Re: your last paragraph: You don’t know that. If the Merc positions were reversed (and VB was WDC) you think VB would have been ordered to block SV? Hmm. Perhaps.

52

VB had a faster car, he probably would have, if HAM slowed down to give VET some turbulence, VB could have had a shot, would he have done it? who knows but with both championships over, why not give it a try?
VB has been left out to block SV a few times this year, VB and SV were fighting for 2nd in the WDC, I really hope VB realizes that HAM only does team orders if they benefit him.
I think SV, LH and MV are all top drivers, they all have their strengths and weaknesses.
LHFC rule 1# Tell people that Lewis has made mistakes but never point any out, just go back in history to find a similar mistake by another driver to deflect any blame from our god.
Also make sure you tell the non believers you are unbiased.

53

Jimothy, you’re hilarious mate. I’m happy to concede the mistakes of LH, he’s made plenty as all drivers do. Your characterisation of LH can, of course, be equally applied to some SV fans.

FWIW, it’s human nature to tend to believe what you wish were true, and discard any contrary evidence. I’ve worked hard to eradicate that from my thinking on other debates that have nothing to do with F1 – I’m not perfect but I think I’m pretty good at assessing my motivations and reducing my bias. It’s not hard if you know how and are willing to be open to new evidence. To be clear, I’m not suggesting that you lack this ability, simply pointing out that accusations of confirmation bias aimed in my direction are probably a result of the accuser’s bias rather than my own. I’m a LH fan but I’m happy to admit he gets it wrong.

However, I’m struggling to recall the time he pulled alongside a competitor then deliberately drove into the side of him in a fit of pique. I can’t remember when he swept so far to the inside off the start he gave those inside of him nowhere to go and caused a collision. It might have happened and I’ll happily concede it if he has.

LH is far from perfect. His opening lap of Brazil showed that. But on his day he’s a genius.
SV is a great driver, and until Baku I had lots of respect and a genuine like the guy. But I think Baku did a lot of damage to his reputation.

54

also 2.7 for Lewis. good, but not WCC worthy, IMHO

55

I know Lewis’ PU was a new one which could be turned up to full power and Valtteri’s wasn’t, but I can’t understand why Merc didn’t just go for it and turn up Bottas’ PU enough to give him a shot at passing Vettel in that last stint. If he blew it up trying, it wouldn’t make any difference in the championship anyway.
Now Bottas must win the final race and Seb must DNF for them to swap places in the WDC. With both Lewis and Seb in such great form, that result is highly unlikely!

Either Merc felt Bottas just wasn’t up to passing Seb and thus resigned themselves to a safe 2nd place in Brazil and a highly likely 3rd in the WDC … or Merc decided to put all of their eggs in the one basket, hoping Lewis would do the unthinkable and cover them in glory by winning the race after starting from the pitlane.
Strange!

56

Because it also has to do Abu and they want a nice clean record of no failures..

57

Is there any scenario where Mercedes knew they didn’t have sufficient life remaining in a PU component, but didn’t want any perceived embarrassment from grid-spot penalties for taking a new one, or having an engine failure? Instead they decide to have Lewis ‘crash’ the car so the manufacturer avoids embarrassment, and the driver gets a brand-new engine for the last 2 races, with the latest development specification of all the parts, and the clock is reset on the usage time of all the highly aggressive (& damaging) engine modes? The driver also gets a car set up perfectly for the race because they start from the pitlane, which also makes grid spot penalties moot. The team also figures that Lewis has the best potential finishing position starting from the pitlane in Brazil rather than Abu Dhabi (if that is indeed the case.) Or the team just wants the driver to have the best shot at finishing the final race of the season in a blaze of glory? Or the new PU has some designed-for-2018 components that the team wanted to try out?

Lewis’ crash just seemed a little unusual to me – an odd place to go off, and the first flying lap in Q1 where we know the team isn’t using the most powerful engine modes. Or is this one conspiracy theory too far (if that’s possible in the world of F1) ?!?

58

They have already had an PU failure in Spain for Bottas.

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