“Really impressive” Piastri is Tsunoda’s top rookie of 2021

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Yuki Tsunoda names Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri as the best rookie of the top three FIA categories this year.

In brief

Tsunoda says Piastri deserves ‘best rookie’ honours

After capping his rookie F1 season with his best finish of the year in fourth place, Tsunoda was asked if he felt he should be considered the best rookie of the year.

“I don’t know… now I can say me!,” he replied.

“Before this race, I don’t know. I think Oscar had a good year consistently in Formula 2 and he was really impressive. So, yeah, I would say also Oscar, I think.”

Vettel questions need for “stupid” reprimand fines

Sebastian Vettel says he believes monetary penalties handed down to teams and drivers for breaching regulations is “unnecessary”.

Asked by RaceFans for his views on the actions taken by race stewards in the latter part of the season, Vettel said “I don’t think it has been any better or any worse than the past.”

“With the exception of the fines for reprimands in terms of cash,” he added. “I don’t know, that’s just unnecessary. I think it looks stupid to ask for $10,000, $25,000, $50,000. I would like to see the receipt of what happens with the money!”

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Comment of the day

Did race control make the right call in the late restart to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that saw Max Verstappen pass Lewis Hamilton to win the world championship?

Reader @flyingferrarim believes there’s a better solution to getting lapped cars out of the way of leaders under a safety car…

Maybe the best option in the future to fast track restarts at the end of races like this. Is to not “allow” lapped cars to un-lap themselves, but have all lapped cars (keep their order with no pit-stops) drive down pit lane to let all those on lead lap through and queue back up behind them keeping their order. This would allow lead lap cars race each other and lapped car fairly race each other. That would be my suggestion and would provide Race Control one an additional option as no option available here was really ideal!

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dermot Farrelly, Carlo Grlj and Majed Almadani!

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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85 comments on ““Really impressive” Piastri is Tsunoda’s top rookie of 2021”

  1. Mercedes seem to be going from one PR disaster to another currently. From looking on twitter it seems they’ve been messaging people on that platform for their contact details after the twitter user shared a video of Toto and the team intoxicated on Sunday night. The Mercedes share price dropped for a period yesterday (I’m unsure if its continued to drop)

    1. RBR winning is good for Mercedes, then they can win from portrayed underdog position.

      1. Toto tries the unterhund shtick at any opportunity already, so now he’ll be in overdrive.

  2. Electronic Gravel Traps sound like the way to go. The Tech has to be there, I know the E-scooters in our town are geofenced, with the speed dropping down to 10kmh when entering certain parks & busy malls.

    Good on Tsunoda & Piastri too, hope they both do well.

    1. Gravel traps, electronic or otherwise, would still be only a part of the solution. There still needs to be a clear and fair penalty system that’s policed competently. Even if there’s a gravel trap one driver can push the other into it and not allow fair racing room. What’s bemused me is people claiming Verstappen’s lap 1 overtake was fair, or that what happened to Hamilton was fair because he should have given that place back on the first lap. Whatever happened to leaving a cars width on the outside?

      1. @skipgamer yeah I was thinking about the “car’s width” rule as Brundle commented at how the move was fine because he kept it on track—it used to be Brundle always harping on about needing to leave a car’s width of space (rightly so).

        Time for the rules to be re-established and reiterated. Otherwise you can literally just send it down the inside of any driver and as long as you make the corner, it’s fine—regardless of whatever happens to your opponent; which is absurd, right?

        1. No one like Brundle to contradict bundle himself at the very next race.

      2. That’s the thing @skipgamer – from what I’ve seen of the lap 1 incident Verstappen missed the apex of the chicane and turned left without leaving Lewis any space on the outside, having nearly had his entire car across the white line on the outside of turn 6 and a very narrow angle for turn 7. While the manner in which Lewis rejoined is why this whataboutism is being used to justify the result, his cutting the corner effectively eliminated Max needing to be penalised or being told to return the place for an illegal overtake.

        I just wish that F1 would stick with the obvious simple rule – if your car entirely crosses the white line, that’s a penalty/deleted lap time. As Brundle has said many times most sports have a definition of in/out-of-bounds and F1 should be no different.

      3. He passed lewis completly so the corner was his. I do not mind this was not penalised this time ( maybe if it gifted the win to lewis i would have reacted different ;)
        The problem is this action is very inconsistent seen by the stewards and the influence of all those penaltys is big.

        1. I struggle with this debate.

          If it is permissible to maintain position having got yourself ahead by coming up the inside and only being able to slow/turn at the outside extremity of the track, then surely the person on the outside would never stand a chance. If they carried the same speed to keep ahead they will never make the corner.

          As has been stated, it used to be a cars width, and I see no reason why that should change. If you look at any of the classic wheel to wheel battles over the years, these are a result of leaving enough room for both drivers to compete.

      4. @skipgamer

        Leaving a gap is for entering the corner, not for the exit, where it has been allowed to push the driver out for a long time.

        1. This. I don’t like it, but there’s plenty of precedent for it in recent seasons.

        2. It is slightly different in chicanes though to be fair @aapje, as the driver on the outside on exit is also in the inside on entry. I’m not saying what Max did was wrong (personally I would have stayed put if I were Hamilton, but then again I would have lost the championship on lap 1 doing that), but it’s not quite as clear cut. Also I worry about this allowing dive bombing like this, perhaps it’s ok, to be honest I’m not sure but it’s not the clean racing from the past 20 or so years.

          1. @john-h

            Sure, but at Monza the stewards decided that Lewis didn’t have to leave sufficient room for Max, but could squeeze him out, even though they were long past the first corner of the chicane and going into the second. As I see it, that move was way more debatable than what Max did, if you purely look at the ‘leaving room for the other car’ bit, since Max squeezed out Lewis long before you’d line up for the second corner in the chicane.

            An issue with these very late braking dive bombs is that there is no opportunity for the chasing driver to back out or do much correction. It’s basically up to the lead driver to recognize it and avoid it. So I think that it is fair to give a decent punishment if the chasing driver gets it wrong, as the inability to correct, gives a higher responsibility to get it right. However, I’m wary about punishing it if they get it right (like Max did at Abu Dhabi, in my opinion, as he got deep enough at the apex).

            Ultimately, a defense against the deep dive bomb exists, the switch-back. That’s what Perez did during this race to counter the initial overtake by Lewis. In general, there is a nice symmetry in that both the lead and chasing driver can choose a dive bomb entry, but pay for it with a slow corner exit, that can be countered by a wide entry, shallow exit. Such an move can be done offensively to overtake a driver that defends the inside line very aggressively or defensively with a switch back.

          2. With respect @aapje, I think the situation is different because at Abu Dhabi Hamilton is the defending car taking the inside line. At Abu Dhabi, Max is the attacking car coming from way back to dive bomb in there. That’s the difference, it’s not as simple as “purely look[ing] at the ‘leaving room for the other car’ bit”.
            Indeed, the switch back is a well known move, but Max simply has to park his car on the apex and it’s not available, of course he has to be good enough to do that, which he is as he’s an absolute master.

            Ultimately, dive bombs from way back really should not be allowed if the result is simply to ram the guy who was originally over a car length ahead basically off the track – nope, that’s not hard racing, nor is it ‘taking the racing line’ on corner exit (which as an unwritten law is allowed as I understand it, and indeed on this very site I supported Max when he did it on Leclerc of course in Austria). However the type of dive bombs we’re talking about simply should not be allowed as if the car originally way ahead is to take the corner, he basically has to crash.

            I’m not happy with that personally, and there needs to be some clear rules written to stop that because the switch back is not always available.

            “no opportunity for the chasing driver to back out or do much correction”

            Well, don’t do the dive bomb!

          3. (sorry for the first one I mean Monza of course, edit button please ;)

  3. Kinda funny Vettel won an overtaking award now, given that it was his biggest weakness back in his Red Bull days.

    1. Hard to overtake when you earn pole every race.

    2. As much as I like Seb, it’s just a ‘you haven’t qualified high enough’ award, probably because of engine penalties @aesto. I’m not exactly sure if that’s right, but I would hazard a strong guess that’s the case.

      1. He looks soooo happy with it to. I’m sure if you rummage around the bins in Abu Dhabi you might find yourself a trophy..!

    3. Vettel still holds the record for most positions gained in a single race from his Red Bull days. It is true he never won from way down the field, but even those champions who did rarely did so more than two or three times and almost exclusively in chaotic rain affected races.

      It’s always been tough to overtake when you more or less qualify where the car is supposed to be. This year that’s been harder for him, and the lower midfield is traditionally quite tight so a few tenths can mean the difference between making Q3 or starting P16. It’s something he can hopefully improve on next year.

      Still it’s no surprise that Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen were up there in the overtaking stats. They may no longer be as quick on Saturdays aw they once were, but they are crafty and experienced champions who will usually make the most out of their races.

  4. Mercedes withdrawing their appeal I think would be the nail in the coffin that would turn a lot of people away from F1. There wouldn’t be much of an argument against the entertainment element being of more importance than the sporting element.

    No sports team in their right mind would abandon the appeal of such a clear injustice.

    That being said, this isn’t a sport like any other sport. There’s so much money at stake that hurting the reputation of the competition could arguably devalue the companies involved, moreso than the value they would gain out of appealing. F1 has never been just a competition of drivers and teams on the track, it’s a business competition, a political competition, an engineering competition. There’s so much more at stake than the outcome of one race, or the outcome of one championship.

    Going through with the appeal, let alone further action in external courts, could expose and unravel F1. Not just the question of how, but the question of why the decisions were made the way they were. And considering Mercedes have benefitted greatly from this great ambiguity all throughout as undoubtedly any championship winning team has, it makes sense that they would be having second thoughts.

    1. What injustice? Mercedes could have pitted and have HAM on fresh rubber for the final lap as well.

      It’s over, let it go.

      1. Nah, they couldn’t.

        Max did because he had the space behind him to keep track position, so had nothing to lose even if the race didn’t restart

        At no point could Lewis have pitted under that safety car without giving up track position to Max, and there was a high probability that the race was going to finish under the safety car, Masi notwithstanding.

        1. Still a strategic decision and mercedes paid dearly for it.

        2. @callmeasynic Doesn’t seem that high, considering how removing Latifi’s car got delayed so much. But imagine how embarrassing it would be if they did lose the race by giving up track position to Red Bull if the race finished behind the safety car.

          Lewis on fresh tires would’ve had a better chance to overtake Max than defending against Max as he actually had to do, but also that wouldn’t be guaranteed considering how Perez on old tires kept Lewis at bay for a while, especially as Lewis can’t risk crashing.

      2. Exactly what @callmeacynic said.

        If Mercedes had pitted Hamilton, they would’ve given Verstappen the track position and Red Bull obviously wouldn’t have pitted Verstappen. It was a tough call for Mercedes, since they had to calculate whether the race was going to end behind the safety car or not – and they actually got it right, the race should’ve ended behind the safety car according to the rules. What they didn’t guess was that Masi was going to full dictatorship mode.

        I can understand the argument that Mercedes should just “let it go” (even though I disagree), but this nonsense about Mercedes screwing up needs to stop.

        1. But knowing masi stated several times he always tries to end a race in green conditions. The strategist at mercedes should have expected this situation. As Lewis did during the race when he was warmed about the SC and knew immediately there would be consequences. He questioned the not pitting, knowing max on newer tires would be a imminent threat.

          1. @erikje
            Yes but Mercedes obviously thought Masi was going to follow the rules nevertheless. If Masi had red flagged the race like he did in Baku, giving up the track position would’ve been stupid.

      3. Mercedes decisions on whether or not to pit Hamilton are not the issue, I’m not sure why people continue to bring up this red herring. The issue is, and always has been, the safety car procedures – handling lapped cars and withdrawing the safety car. The sequence of events that led to the safety car are completely irrelevant. What happened during the safety car period is the focus of the Mercedes protest and the ire of many (but not all) who are speaking negatively about the situation.

    2. Mistakenly reported your comment when I tried to reply. Don’t know why it’s so black and white!

      Anyway I feel it’s important for Mercedes to go ahead with it and go to all lengths too. For understanding and clarification. For the themselves, for the teams and for the fans. If it puts F1/FIA in a very tricky spot then so be it as they brought it upon themselves and not just due to this call.

      As well as that they deserve to answer properly for their own actions for once not just investigate themselves as usual and of course go on to find no fault. Many cases but eg the hidden engine deal with Ferrari (that played it’s part in this years championship let’s not forget) and one that really hurts a lot is bianchi’s crash and unfortunate death. I mean they couldn’t even take a simple we’re sorry at spa this year and still awarded points, implied there was a race, somehow did an absurd podium ceremony and went for the money and screwed the fans.

      They can apparently do no wrong and never have to answer for their wrongs, it’s time they have to do that now. Especially going in to the future new F1 that is hype and show driven there need to be answers, and on what F1 now is going forward, why and if that is correct in a sporting and fair play sense.

      Throughout the years people say I’m losing interest in the sport or its changing and so on. For me even if I agreed I thought I’ll still watch F1 I love it dearly. But if F1 truly become even more of a WWE contest, manipulated, fake absurdly random etc. Then its not credible as sport anymore or truer racing and I struggle too see how to enjoy that. Moto GP seems to be the only true high level racing series left. Almost with Indy car.

      I can see why it might not happen but Mercedes have to take this all the way and they deserve all the support too.

    3. I forgot to add that I believe Mercedes deserve support from their fellow teams as well, potentially red bull too. As this isn’t as I mentioned entirely about Abu Dhabi etc, it’s going forward too and concerns all the teams

      1. They have in a way. I read (although I can’t find the link now, but I’m sure of it!) that none other than Helmut Marko has called for much more clarity in the rules about procedures (I can understand he will not go as far as demanding they finish the race a lap earlier). And Horner was actually doing the same after Jeddah, when he questioned the nature of dealing with race control. It seemed to him Masi was putting out his wares like on a market and you could haggle about what you wanted.

        1. Good, we all are expecting some answers as well as clarifications going into the new future of F1

    4. Nah, the only thing which would unravel F1 is answering the question : why the lapped were suspiciously forbidden to overtake for 2 laps, a situation which directly favors mercedes ?

      1. *lapped cars

        1. You think cars should unlap themselves whilst marshals and debris is on the track? So what’s the point of the safety car then?

      2. After lapped cars pass the safety car, they’re supposed to attempt to catch up with the back of the pack. If marshals are still on track, this creates a safety issue. When the track is clear of marshals and equipment, then it is safe for lapped cars to overtake. Given the wording of the rules with the safety car being withdrawn the lap following lapped cars being waved through, if the process is going to take more time to complete thana there is available in the race, it makes no sense to allow them through.

    5. @skipgamer No, it would be an acknowledgement that these things are won on the track, as they should be, and that nobody gains from dragging the sport through the mud just because the chips didn’t fall your way.

      1. If we just let it be @red-andy that’s also not right. The race director needs disciplinary measures brought against him, he is the one that has dragged the sport through the mud already

    6. I disagree with you to a point. I admit this race has far reaching consequences. But I don’t think F1 will unravel because of fans being turned off.

      IF F1 were to unravel, it’d be because a manufacturer like Merc pulls the plug because of how ingrained they are in the sport by supporting 4/10 teams.

      I say if, because I don’t think it will happen. I genuinely feel a back room deal will take place and that the positives of F1 for Merc overall outweigh the harm losing a championship would do.

      Don’t get me wrong, this was a gong show by F1. But if the sport was damaged in a big way it wouldn’t be because of the fans revolting, rather the loss of such an important manufacturer.

    7. 36 hours later I still want to see this taken all the way. There’s no question that there’s a good case to be made.

      The stewards cited that 48.13 overrules 48.12. Does the rulebook actually say that anywhere? I’ve not seen any mention of some articles overruling others and one taking precedence over the other appears to be open to interpretation without a specific list of which articles can overrule others.

      Fox Sports Australia raised an interesting point on rulings being overruled, mentioning Ferrari in 1999. Technically their barge boards were illegal but Ferrari countered on appeal that they had run them in the race before Malaysia without issue – and won the argument on the basis that the FIA’s measuring equipment was faulty.

      Going back further they talk about James Hunt being disqualified from the Spanish GP in 1976 – only for the win to be reinstated 2 months later. It also mentions BAR being banned for 2 races – after the FIA appealed the stewards decision to not investigate the car being underweight. That last one is interesting to me as it shows that both the teams and the FIA can challenge the result and while unlikely, some have been overturned in the past. At the very least I expect Mercedes to follow this through to the end. Otherwise I’m left with no choice but to refer to this year as Max’s “win” and say that he’d need 9 championships to overtake Lewis should the result be left to stand. Fairness really does appear to have been lacking and it’s come from the FIA itself.

      1. @skydiverian Is that you Donald?

      2. I have seen a report of Fred Flinstone who want to change his wheels during a SC periode but the quarry was not opened.
        He lost the race to barny…

  5. Re: COTD,
    I might be missing something but how is this different than lapped cars just dropping to the back of the field?

    I understand the fuel consumption reasoning for having them drive a lap and catching up to the field. But I don’t see how the COTD is any different?

    1. Not missing anything, it’s the same same and been brought up dozens of times before. Pretty uninspiring.

      1. @skipgamer, thanks for confirming.

        Hell, I’d even be open to just giving the lap back through timing and avoid the need to actually drive around the track and call it even on the tyres and fuel. But I also understand that could open Pandora’s box.

    2. Yeah it’s the same solution, but I guess it’s tidier as it means the overtaking doesn’t have to happen on track around potential hazards that are still being cleared and no waiting for the hazard to be cleared first before the pack then sort themselves out afterwards (the lapped cars can come through the pits as soon as the train has formed, even if they are still clearing the track).

      I’ve never understood the fuel consumption argument though since lapped cars never complete the full distance anyway and have therefore never used that fuel (I’d even hazard a guess that some teams expecting to be lapped multiple times in a race probably even under-fuel a little to take this into account).

      What I don’t think is fair about this solution is when you have two cars battling for position a couple of seconds apart. The second car in line is lapped, but the first one hasn’t been lapped yet, and the Safety Car is deployed. This solution means the second car now has to drop to the back of the pack, a lap down, essentially losing a whole lap to the car they was battling whilst their rival gets to stay on the lead lap at the back of the train.

      So, no matter the solution, there are always going to be big winners and big losers from a Safety Car situation.

      That being said, I do think this solution is probably the least worst option. It gets the lapped cars out of the way quickly, allows the lead pack to resume fighting, without extending the Safety Car period too long. And if you want to avoid the possible bad luck of the Safety Car situation, then you just need to avoid being lapped in the first place.

      1. @sbewers

        What I don’t think is fair about this solution is when you have two cars battling for position a couple of seconds apart. The second car in line is lapped, but the first one hasn’t been lapped yet, and the Safety Car is deployed. This solution means the second car now has to drop to the back of the pack, a lap down, essentially losing a whole lap to the car they was battling whilst their rival gets to stay on the lead lap at the back of the train.

        Not really, the car order isn’t changed at all when lapped cars are allowed to unlap themselves. As the word suggests, they effectively unlap (unless they’ve been lapped twice) and are now on the same lap as the lead driver. Thus the fuel consumption issue, you’d be on the same lap but having used one last “lap” of fuel and tyres. A very schematic demonstration:

        Race situation, let’s say with your example driver in position 8 has just been lapped, position 7 hasn’t (numbers are race position, order is track position, relative space is time between cars): 1 8 2 3 4 5
        6 7…

        Safety car comes out: SC 1 8 2 3 4 5 6 7…

        Lapped drivers unlap themselves (regardless of how this is done): SC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8…

        Not sure if it’s the best way to show this, but the idea is a SC bunches up all the field so all cars lose whatever lead they had to the next driver and gain whatever lead the preceding driver had. Except the race leader, of course.

        1. Sure, if we are having them drop to the back of the field and programmatically giving them the lap back on the timing screens then yes, you’re right – car 8 is now behind car 7 on track and on the same lap too, but with an extra lap of fuel.

          But COTD is talking about not allowing them to unlap themselves at all and just sending lapped cars to the back of the pack, still lapped. So in the COTD example, using the scenario you mentioned, car 8 is now at the back of the pack 1 lap down on car 7. That’s what I was referring to in my comment above.

          1. @sbewers you’re absolutely right, I misread that bit.

  6. I’m not British, but it seems weird to me that Hamilton misses out on a nomination for Sporting Personality of the Year in a season where he has arguably been at his best, involved in a close championship battle, for the first time in years.

    They nominated him when he had no competition and was winning easily, but not in a close fight where his character was actually on display?

    1. Sports personality is a bit of a joke @exediron in the sense that it has little to do with ‘personality’, having said that Emma Radacanu winning this year for what she has achieved is totally justified, I mean I would be surprised if they’re even taking bets on that one.

    2. Apparently the world in all areas only cares about results and success, not effort determination and perseverance

  7. I raised the idea of electronic gravel traps (albeit without the name) and was unsurprisingly shot down on here.

    Either the author reads deep down in RaceFans comments (unlikely) or others are beginning to arrive at the same conclusion (more likely).

    It really isn’t a bad idea.

    1. It’s a good idea @justrhysism and one that has been in sim racing for ever of course. I wonder quite how it would play out in certain situations, for example the Hamilton cutting the chicane one in Abu Dhabi, I suspect it would be something that would have to be fine tuned and then open to going a bit wrong in certain contexts.

      I’m sure it can work, I just wish they would put real gravel and grass down instead.

      1. @john-h

        No rule or race track feature is always going to be fair. A wall can also severely punish a driver who is forced into it by another driver.

        In fact, an electronic gravel trap is always better than a wall in this regard, since it at least allows the driver to carry on.

        1. You may well be right @aapje. I guess it’s a question of how much would you lose, even after years of seeing various methods in different racing sims, there is never a fair way of doing it, so in real life it would also throw up some issues as alluded to by Johnny below. Real gravel with a little more respect on track between drivers would be a nice alternative solution for most corners at least.

    2. @justrhysism Absolutely, I think it’s technically possible to implement your solution with current technology and prevent unfair advantage by going wide…

      But what if F1 goes further and start using it to improve racing?
      For years now I’ve proposed the idea of having the DRS automatically close on the chasing car once the GPS detects it’s side by side (or just a couple of meters behind) the other car.
      It would act exactly like a regular slip stream -where the advantage goes away when steeping out of the draft- and it would guarantee both cars reaching the braking zone next to each other: exactly what Liberty wants to enhance the show!

      1. YES. I’ve been going on about the exact same thing for years as well. Just nobody seems to want to discuss it when I comment about it. Glad to finally meet someone who understands that point :) hah

    3. The idea is absolutely viable technically, and on the surface I’m all for it.

      But in all honesty this year hasn’t been defined by the car that ends up off track, rather the questions have been about the car that forces the car off track and I’m not sure “geofencing” could resolve that aspect.

      Swapping positions is already contentious, but imagine if the car that needed to inherit/regain a position had already held up by a 1-3 second power reduction and an untold number of cars that had already gotten through. The team to FIA comms would light up like a Christmas tree.

      1. The car forced off track will be penalized by the electric system. So forcing off will even profits the “forcer”.

        1. Sounds like banger racing not F1.

    4. @justrhysism except it is. Bad ideas always have side effects. That system would lead to drivers forcing each other towards the electronic line. Any time a driver goes for an overtake they would try to take advantage of the electronic line especially when they feel like their overtake could be negated on the very next straight which is often the case on certain drs zones (drs another bad idea).
      Many times when pushed wide, say Lewis in Abu dhabi, drivers elect to cut the corner even though they could actually take the corner albeit pretty badly. With the electronic system drivers would bail out of trying to make the turn as to not compound both penalties. Teams would calculate which corners are better or worse to cut, also fom would not implement the system everywhere, especially as this could lead to major safety issues. Going back to abu dhabi, cars trying to overtake on the straights often go about half a car wide of the white line, if the system was to kick in in such scenario it could cause an airplane crash.

  8. Marinated Monolith (@)
    14th December 2021, 5:13

    Ugh, I hate that people are portraying Mercedes’ appeal as if it’s part of a grudge match between Toto and Red Bull. It’s pretty clear that his beef is with the FIA itself.

    I’m not sure if it’s possible for Mercedes to continue the appeal while making clear they’re not looking to overturn the results, but I’m of the mind that that’d be best for everyone involved. Some actual clarity from the FIA on Masi’s conduct is pretty much overdue at this point.

    1. I’m sure it’s possible for them to continue while clarifying that they are against the FIA rather than redbull. I think that’s a great ven as redbull did no wrong

    2. between Toto and Red Bull. It’s pretty clear that his beef is with the FIA itself.

      Not really. Toto refused to congratulate max and Red Bull. He even stopped lewis from going to the press conference..
      That shows a lack of respect and unprofessional acting by him.
      Not directed at FIA, as it should. But directed against the winner of the race.

      1. Even Max himself has said Toto congratulated him. Would you like me to send the link or can you find it yourself?

    3. @marinatedmonolith Don’t get what Merc has to do with not having all cars unlap themselves, it is not unfair to Lewis, it is unfair to the other 18 drivers. They say they could not have pitted but that is a lie, nevertheless they were very unfortunate during that race.
      In the end the championship should not have gotten to the last round, one could say the right driver won regardless.

  9. I admire most of the autosport/motorsport culture of the UK, but not the fans and the media. This championship was and is a clear quality report on how most media outlets try to control the narrative and by that even pressuring for outcomes. It’s a world championship, still most of the connected media is controlled by british companies, for a lon run before the title decider, most outlets (even FOM a bit) tried to antagonize Verstappen and paint him as some kind of reckless madman, and after the race now there is a joint crusade against the FIA, the group which actually helped Merc and HAM many times with this kind of leniency or weird rulemaking not just this year but in the last decade. Controlling the narrative is a big weapon, and the biritsh media and fans always take up on the Merc and Hamilton narrative without any second thought, although they are bending the facts as well as any other sometimes maybe even more.
    Shame on you british media, and I try to hope Racefans don’t want to take part in this in the future

    1. @leventebandi my friend this is not new and we both know that is not going to stop happening. Even when the media fails to have their way they end up effectively re-writing the history books.

  10. COTD’s idea is good. Yes, the fuel load thing, but no real impact with only a single green-flag lap.
    This exception could only apply to late-race SC neutralizations anyway.

    Whether Mercedes keeps on appealing or not, FIA or Masi should still answer for the manipulation thing.

    Electronic gravel traps: Good in theory, but I still prefer Bahrain’s solution.

    1. @jerejj

      I would actually like to make the suggestion by the COTD the standard procedure. I don’t think that the benefit of letting drivers unlap themselves outweighs the increased risks and loss of actual racing laps.

    2. @jerejj additional fuel load is the penalty for being a lap down? Yes partially unfair but also gives those at the back with higher fuel slightly different strategy on fuel saving etc whilst getting the race started more quickly.

      There is no perfect answer, let all lapped cars pass and join the back of the queue properly, go to the side / pit run the lapped cars. Or red flag anything if a marshal needs to enter the track.

      Put provision for all and use the most appropriate option, but make it clear the options and limits to avoid a mix and match as we got here.

  11. Horner: the final race should not be treated any differently than any other race.

    Also Horner: Mercedes should have known this race would be treated differently than any other race.

    1. Thats only a fact communicated by FIA.
      They would act different in the last race compared with other races.

  12. As others have said, the penalty for leaving the track can only be dealt with after addressing the rules of engagement. If you have to leave the track only because you’re avoiding a certain collision then that shouldn’t be penalised.

    The overtaking guidelines need a big overhaul with the drivers being consulted on what is allowed. This concept of running the car you’re overtaking or defending against off the track even though they’re ahead/alongside is totally wrong in my opinion.

    1. @oweng

      As others have said, the penalty for leaving the track can only be dealt with after addressing the rules of engagement. If you have to leave the track only because you’re avoiding a certain collision then that shouldn’t be penalised.

      It’s already ‘penalized’ if there is a wall. This idea that you shouldn’t just penalize a transgression, but make whole those who suffer from it is actually a major reason why the rules are getting so complex and so arbitrary.

      1. @aapje if there was a wall on the outside and Max had done that same move on the inside, Lewis would have either had to drive into the wall or be pushed into the wall. Max would have got a penalty for causing a collision.

        1. @oweng

          Or Lewis would have taken more avoiding action, or Max could have not made the move. There are a bunch of options.

          But my point is that whatever penalties or such the stewards use at tracks with a wall, they can do at tracks with a power reduction for going off. If an overtake, defensive move, etc is deemed to be disallowed at a corner with a wall can also be applied elsewhere.

          1. This is totally wrong. If a car in front is over a car length ahead and the attacker chooses to dive bomb there isn’t time to take avoiding action. I think that’s the part your missing about the difference between attacker and defender @aapje

  13. Meanwhile, Oscar is second fastest in the morning session of ‘young driver day’,

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      15th December 2021, 1:01

      Piastri should be in F1 next season. Won F3, won F2; both in his debut seasons in the respective classes. He’s clearly talented.
      But in what isn’t a terrible large F1 field anyway, four seats are now occupied by pay-drivers, some of whom (stroll in particular) are set for a pretty long career in the sport. And so; Piastri ends up being the second F2 champion in three years not to land a Formula 1 seat.

  14. Lapped cars can’t do that because they would not:
    A) actually unlap themselves
    b) they would not cover any mileage or burn any fuel in doing so.

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