George Russell, Williams, Monza, 2020

Points were possible for Williams at Monza – Russell

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In the round-up: George Russell says Williams could have scored points if he’d pitted around the same time as Pierre Gasly.

What they say

The car was feeling really good, really fast. Just unfortunately we had no straight-line speed so every time I overtook a car they just re-overtook me again down into turn four and was back ahead of me before the brakes. Which was a real shame.

We were unfortunate not to be pitting before Safety Car and red flag. I really believe we could have scored points today had we been in that position. But that’s just the luck of how it went. Otherwise, I think we did a good job.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

The Italian Grand Prix was no case for introducing reverse-grid sprint races, says Lenny.

You’d think Brawn would know better than this. These bonkers insane amazing races only happen very rarely, which is what makes them special.

Could you imagine if by the end of next year Kvyat, Ocon, Stroll, and Albon would have won reverse grid races? It would devalue Gasly’s win so much.

I want a good race with lots of overtaking and excitement every week. But I don’t want this kind of stuff every week, even though this is definitely in the top five races I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been watching since 2008).
Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)

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On this day in F1

Alain Prost, McLaren, Monza, 1985
Alain Prost, McLaren, Monza, 1985
  • 35 years ago today Alain Prost won the Italian Grand Prix, while Michele Alboreto’s title hopes faded as his Ferrari let him down on home ground.

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  • 38 comments on “Points were possible for Williams at Monza – Russell”

    1. One of the things I think made Gasly’s win so special, was that it didn’t feel like a gimmick or pure luck (obviously some luck, but not entirely luck). The only “front-runner” that was actually beating the midfield when the red flag came out was Hamilton. The other “front-runners” were stuck in the middle of the pack; Gasly, Sainz, et al. beat them based on pure merit.

      1. That’s in reply to cotd, by the way

      2. Yes, it was all a bit flukey, but those events or mistakes could have happened to anyone—it wasn’t a punishment of the frontrunners preordained by the rules.

        I actually wouldn’t mind having reverse grids as one of several different qualifying formats, but I hate to see this race used as an argument for them. Seems to me that what made it possible was that Monza is an outlier in downforce levels (and possibly the engine mode ban caught some teams like Red Bull off guard).

        If anything, I think this race makes an argument for a greater diversity of tracks on the calendar—in particular, more extreme low-downforce tracks to change up the order. I think it’s great that the Bahrain outer track is being used, and I hope that becomes a permanent fixture on the calendar.

    2. The IndyCar series has drivers from five different continents and countless different countries and backgrounds. I am not buying what you are selling Willy T.

      1. Yeah…but they gave Ferrucci a job.

    3. Agree with COTD completely. In a way, I wish Vettel retired and began working in F1, he knows it’s history and would seriously oppose to gimmicks like these.

      Reverse grid winners will never, ever be real winners. You can’t put them in the same basket as past race winners. You see that in F2. If a driver only won sprint races you don’t value it’s campaign as highly as those who won features.

      1. Even if they start from the back of the grid?
        That’s a lot more special than winning after starting from the front row with the fastest car.

    4. Disagree with COTD. I want a race grid with reversed Q1/Q2/Q3 qualifying positions. Currently Mercedes wins the championship every year without having to race at all. All they have to do is qualify first and second and then cruise to victory in clear air in front. Sad state of affairs that all that matters is qualifying and we don’t get to see the winning team making passes on track for position.

      1. It isn’t Mercedes fault that the other teams can’t catch them, and it doesn’t mean we need gimmicks to fix that. Or the problem of turbulent air.

        Let’s not do DRS again. Let them race, properly and without wacky races silliness.

        1. Its not Mercedes fault I’ve even decided its not the other teams fault. Its Liberty and the FIA’s fault. In the early 2000s Max and Bernie did a reasonable job it stopping one teams competitive advantage. Williams active suspension, McLaren’s 3rd break, Ferrari’s 2002 & 2004 seasons were followed with several rule changes to put a stop to there dominance. It worked both times 2003 & 2005 were great. Oh and finally Renault’s mass damper in 2006.

          Then it got lazy. DRS for artificial overtaking was a death nail for the sport that can’t figure itself out. Were 9 years into DRS and still we rules that set up to design cars that can’t overtake. Not any of the teams fault its the rule makers.

          And its the same with reverse grids. We go there and Panis, Gasley, Fisichella’s Jordan win all become normalized as well as the basic fact that the fastest drivers and cars don’t lead? That just opens the window for shambolic qualifying like 2017 when the messed around with the best qualifying rules we’ve ever had wouldn’t listen to teams and fans telling them its a disaster went ahead and was a disaster.

          Pushing the 2021 rules back is another black mark that offers little reason to watch from a championship point of view so these fools at liberty are left fumbling around desperatly trying to keep fans on board with gimmicks.

          I watch GP2 for these reverse grid gimmicks and Indycar for unpredictable racing where the top drivers still fight for the title every season. F1 only has its name at the top of the ladder. It falls short on every other check point. I said almost a decade ago it needs to get its notebook out and take notes from Indycar. I thought American owners would do so. Instead they have made it even worse. Its 2022 rules or bust for F1 then its going 1 of 2 ways. Great competitive racing multiple drivers and teams going for the title. Or a gimmick fest with DRS helping the fastest drivers through the field after qualifying put them to the back. That sentence just doesn’t make sense does it???

          Sorry for the long rant but after almost 30 years of watch the ups and downs of F1 I’ve never felt so poorly about how the sport is ran and how we’re extending the dullest decade of action in memory.

          1. @mrgrieves I don’t disagree with a lot of your points but just on the reverse grid format, it seems a lot of people have the idea that there will be a qualifying session, after which the grid will be set in reverse order of that session. That is not the proposal that’s being put forward. The proposal is that for a few races next season there will be races where there is no qualifying session, but a sprint race held on Saturday instead, which will start in reverse order of the WDC standings. The sprint race would offer no points, but the result would set the grid for the Grand Prix held on the Sunday.

            I think it’s important that people at least realise what the proposal is, before starting to debate it. Maybe the FIA and Liberty need to put more effort into explaining exactly what the proposal is if they’re looking to assess public support for it.

            1. Either way is a farce. Imagine this at tracks where overtaking is near imposible even with DRS. Slowest 6 cars just need to work together to keep the rest behind. I’ll jump on the M25 if i want to watch that.

            2. @mrgrieves I don’t think they are suggesting to do it for every race. If they did it at Monaco it would be nonsense obviously, and some other circuits might not be much better. They are talking about trialing it for three races, which would be selected carefully in a way that makes sense. Personally I think if they were going to try anything, 2020 would have been the season to do it. But given that next year is likely to be similar in a lot of ways (Mercedes dominance certainly), I’m not entirely against experimenting at a few races just to see how it goes, then they have some data to make a decision going forward.

      2. Which will never happen, as surely (by this year’s standards), Williams, Hass and AlfaR now have an incentive to drive as slowly as possible in Q1 to get a higher grid position, and why bother going out in Q3 at all if being 10th means being first?

      3. @aliced why not just draw straws for qualifying. Reverse quali is basically the same thing to me.

      4. @aliced strange that you seemed to rather dislike the idea when Ferrari was qualifying at the front of the grid, rather than at the back – can’t help but feel that your position is more influenced by a hope that it might help your favourite team rather than actually caring about the sport itself.

    5. Will Montoya’s be considered if he wins Lemans in lmp2? Feels kinda hollow as it isn’t an outright win

      1. Wonder if it devalues what Alonso is trying to do. Hehe

      2. Ipsom, if it is a class win, that is usually not considered to count towards the “Triple Crown” – as an example, Mario Andretti won the F1 Championship and the Indy 500, and he took a class victory, but not overall victory at Le Mans (note that I am referring to Graham Hill’s original use of the term “Triple Crown”, where he was referring to winning the World Drivers Championship, not the Monaco Grand Prix).

        If a class victory was considered to count, then Mario Andretti would also be a holder of the “Triple Crown” – however, he is not usually considered as having won it, indicating that it’s overall victory at Le Mans which counts.

        It also has to be said that, under the original definition, Montoya wouldn’t have the “Triple Crown” because he never won the World Drivers Championship.

        1. @anon Ok I see, as should be… thank you for the clarification. Because I did remember reading a year or two ago when montoya was racing in the Lmp2 category in lemans about how if he won it he would have gotten the triple crown.

    6. So no news on Hamilton’s new team? I’m shocked.

    7. Russell’s comments: I disagree. Just see what happened with Räikkönen with a car that lacked speed in a straight line: he went from P2 to out of the points in a dozen laps. I suppose the same would’ve happened to the Williams.

      1. Yes that must have ben soul destroying for Alfa/Sauber.

        On the other hand ‘highly rated’ ‘Mr Saturday’ has so not scored a point and Latifi has their best result since Kubica’s point last year. Jury is still out on Russell, he’s way too cautious off the grid and lacklustre during the race. Not seen anything that would get him a better drive, let alone a Mercedes seat.

      2. @kaiie I agree with Russell here. Latifi was 9th at the restart and fell to 11th at the end, just 2 seconds behind Perez in 10th, who was 1 second behind Kvyat. Raikkonen struggled a lot because he had no good tyres to go on, so was forced to use a soft which degraded quite badly. Latifi overtook him in the closing stages. So if one of the Williams had started a little further up, say by not pitting before the red flag like Stroll, then points were definitely on the cards.

        1. I’m read the gap wrong actually, Latifi was nearly 10 seconds behind P10. So yeah, it would’ve been hard, but I still think maybe possible if they’d got Russell up there for the restart. That would’ve been two cars that could potentially block and disrupt their rivals coming through to try let the lead car grab a point.

    8. Oh dear COTD. Try GP2, 10 different winners, wheel to wheel, high excitement.. reverse grids. If anything the wins for Mercedes and Ferrari are devalued because they have so much of an advantage. If you have 10 winners, the win isn’t devalued. Quite the opposite as you’ve had to beat 9 other cars that can win.

    9. During the BLM moment before the Grand Prix on Sunday, my six year old daughter asked what it was all about. I said it was about everyone making sure everyone was equal in the sport and the World. She seemed perplexed and then asked: “Are there any girls driving?”.

      1. @mattb Hope you got to have a productive conversation about how there are some people trying to increase girls’ and womens’ participation in motorsport.

        And, hope by the time your daughter is in high school we have some viable competitors knocking on F1’s door.

    10. Absolutely baffled reading people touting these ‘rare’ wins like Gasly’s as a reason why they should stay. So we’re all cool with 20 out of 21 races a season being predictable processions where the same four to five people are at the front of the grid and on the podium while tuning in every weekend in the HOPE that we might get (1) really exciting and ‘special’ one? So 90% of them are cool to be mind-numbing snoozefests but hey we had exactly (1) that was exciting and different! Insanity. This is why I get strange looks when I tell people I like F1 and why none of them bother watching.

      Wouldn’t it be worth trying to see if we could have races that are actually different and exciting *every* weekend, instead of hoping for the rare and ‘special’ ones? How can anyone say with a straight face they DON’T want that for every race!?

      1. @rocketpanda We all want to watch exciting races, but a lot (most?) of us don’t want gimmicks to make it happen. I’m also guessing that most of those people who “give you strange looks” don’t watch any form of motorsport at all.

        1. Lol but what counts as a dismissive gimmick? Insisting on using two tyre choices during a race is done for no reason other than enforcing a pitstop. We’ve had multiple different qualifying formats – some successful, some not, in just the time I’ve been watching F1 – as well as at least two different points structures. We’ve seen the appearance and removal of double points finales, the switch to a standing start after a red flag, high-deg tyres, the introduction of DRS which is now in all the support categories, KERS – then no KERS, etc.

          All of these ‘gimmicks’ have been done to improve racing and improve the ‘show’ – some started off as hated, others are still hated, and some are missed. The sport has continually changed and evolved, introduced new stuff, tried new things and gotten rid of them when they’ve had their day. So what you lot are calling ‘gimmicks’ could end up being something actually super integral to the sport. Like personally I struggle enormously with change but honestly, it’s worth trying.

          Currently the sports financial and technological structure, and obviously the rules are preventing closer racing without these gimmicks – so currently, whether you like it or not, they’re needed – and even with the ones we have we’re still getting exceptionally processional and predictable racing. Nobody wants this do they? Maybe that will change in 2022, maybe it won’t. So if F1 wants to gamble on making widespread and dramatic changes to a race format to experiment, to try new things, to do something different, then I’m totally all for it – especially as next year is the perfect time to try.

          1. @rocketpanda – If we were assured that most races would be exciting, I think it would be a real discussion for more people. Maybe. I am on the fence and that is due to two main concerns.

            1. It would be such a change to the way F1 exists, that a lot of records would no longer be attainable. Grand Slams (chelems) would be all but impossible. Qualifying-related records wouldn’t make much sense. Depending on the length of the reverse grid qualifying race, Hamilton could conceivably never get another pole. That sort of thing. I’m not saying that this alone means I could never come around to reverse grids, but it is a huge change.

            2. More fundamentally, gimmicks or odd circumstances tend to fail if repeated. Rain races where the weather changes are exciting because things get mixed up. If Bernie’s sprinklers were guaranteed to pop up at least once a race, the teams would figure it out quickly. Look at the first race in Austria this year, there were a lot of hiccups. A week later, it was pretty standard. DRS, was exciting (or at least interesting) when McLaren and others were developing the f-duct and derivatives. Now, even if you like it, you have to admit it is not exciting. IMO, it is boring and predictable.

            I don’t think the race was exciting because Gasly won. It was novel, and it made it interesting to watch because the circumstances were unexpected.

            I’m split on it though.

            1. Separately, I would like to see a supporting race be F1 drivers in spec cars. Whether that is Porsche or Renault Cup cars or sports cars, or something. Could have that at a few circuits that have smaller alternate circuit setups.

              Would give us a break from expected outcomes. And you could test things in that venue. Have some reverse grids in the spec race, and if the top drivers rise to the top in a spec series then you know it is more than just the car. If they do not, then maybe you can focus on making the F1 cars more equal.

    11. How could anyone have predicted the top-three correctly in its entirety? Unless that guy came from the future to bet on something with full knowledge of the outcome beforehand a la BTTF II. Yokes aside, I could understand getting one of these positions correct, and in this case, Sainz’s as his grid-position was closest to his eventual finishing-position out of the three, but how could this person have foreseen a driver in a ‘midfield’ car winning from P10 on the grid in a dry race on a circuit with a relatively low probability of SC (and even lower probability of red flag) historically? I tend to go for more likely options, i.e., HAM-BOT-VER, etc., but maybe I should try something as unlikely as this one for some future race, maybe some of the non-original 2020 events like Nurburgring given the potential weather conditions there.

      I wonder how does he have Gasly’s number in the first place? Yes, he’s a person with a high-level status, but still.

      1. Regarding the betting: I’m guessing they bet on multiple different combinations (the “Supertripla” game allows you to play up to 18 different combinations, unless I’m mistaken). With a 20 c bet it doesn’t cost that much to have most of the possible combinations in play, though the odds are you will lose some 20 e instead of winning thousands.

        1. @kaiie OK, I might try more than a handful of possible top-three combinations to see if my luck would come.

    12. I have learned something from the comments here in that I understand the FIA proposal is that there would be a sprint race held on the Saturday of the weekend to determine the qualifying position for the main race on Sunday. I can see this makes a certain amount of sense but it still strikes me as being too messy and contrived.

      This would only work at certain circuits for a start so there would be an inconsistency between races. Then I still think that with DRS in place it might be relatively easy for the really fast cars to get past the slower ones quite easily. None of this will tackle the problem that the current generation of cars are fundamentally difficult to pass.

      I think the FIA really need to give the 2022 rule changes a chance before they start messing around with the qualifying or weekend format. The goal surely is to have a field of more evenly matched teams and cars that can race more competitively when close to each other and pass if they are fast enough. It should not be about gimmicky rules and systems like DRS to make up the failure of the design specifications and of the tyres to do their job properly.

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