Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and the World Drivers' Championship trophy, Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, 2021

How RaceFans readers saw the 2021 F1 season: The year in polls

2021 F1 season review

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There was plenty of controversy during the 2021 Formula 1 season, starting well before the Abu Dhabi drama. From pre-season to that contentious finale, RaceFans readers had their say on the biggest talking points throughout the year.

Team mate predictions

Before the season, Ricciardo was expected to easily beat Norris
At the start of the 2021 season, we asked you which drivers would win in the battles with their team mates. Some of the results were relatively predictable – Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were never under any threat of being surpassed by Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez.

However two of the polls produced surprises. In among the most decisive outcomes, 85% of people thought McLaren newcomer Daniel Ricciardo would easily beat his relatively inexperienced team mate Lando Norris, while 86% tipped Charles Leclerc to prevail over incoming Ferrari signing Carlos Sainz Jnr.

But in the McLaren garage Ricciardo struggled, having to spend more than half the season adapting to the MCL35M. Although he took McLaren’s only win, it was Norris who beat him in qualifying, races, number of podiums and finished 45 points clear in the championship standings.

At Ferrari, Sainz was able to match and ultimately beat Leclerc. Although he only did it in the final race and by just five-and-a-half points, Sainz took four podiums to Leclerc’s one and was consistently competitive with him across the season, a key part of Ferrari sealing third place in the constructors against Sainz’s former team.

An equally decisive poll was that 80% of people expected Fernando Alonso to beat Esteban Ocon. He did, however, the two Alpine drivers ended the year just seven points apart and consecutive in the standings.

Formula 1’s rules revolution

F1 drivers look at the 2022 car model, Silverstone, 2021
A 2022 F1 car model was presented at Silverstone
At the British Grand Prix F1 displayed an example of what cars could look like, according to interpreting the regulations for next season. We asked readers whether they thought it would be the change F1 needed to improve racing and aid overtaking.

Major aero tweaks and a completely different way of generating downforce are hoped to help drivers race closer, with cars expected to be slightly slower but much less affected by dirty air. In 2022 cars will get heavier and, due to the restrictive nature of the new regulations (and teams’ relative lack of time to creatively reinterpret them), may well look a lot more similar than they have.

Still, 27% of you strongly agreed that they would improve racing and 51% slightly agreed, putting 78% in favour of the changes after seeing the model.

One consequence of the new rules may be that F1 no longer needs to rely on the Drag Reduction System. The 2021 season marked the 10th anniversary of its introduction.

In April we asked you if F1 should move away from DRS. The verdict was clearly in favour: 66% of you strongly agreed that it should be done away with, with a further 16% slightly agreeing it should.

At the end of 2021, F1 has held 218 races with DRS. Whether the 18% of you who were neutral or supportive of keeping DRS have changed your minds over the 2021 season is a question for the comments.

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Team mate decisions

George Russell, Valtteri Bottas, Spa-Francorchamps, 2021
Russell got the nod over Bottas from you and Mercedes
At the summer break this year we still didn’t know who would be Hamilton’s team mate at Mercedes for 2022. When we polled you, 83% said it should be George Russell, just 11% holding on for Valtteri Bottas and 5% for another driver.

In the end, Russell was announced for the role. At the time of polling, Russell had yet to finish in a points-scoring position for Williams, although the following month he’d achieve that and then a first (and admittedly, unusual) podium for the team he’s spent his first three seasons in F1 with.

Bottas moved on to Alfa Romeo, but the identity of his new team mate was a mystery for some time. When we asked you who the team should pick, eventual Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri pipped Mick Schumacher to your favourite, 27% to 24%. The driver who ultimately got the gig, Guanyu Zhou, got just 11% of your backing, less than outgoing driver Antonio Giovinazzi on 14%.

Should F1 have awarded points in Belgium?

The Belgian Grand Prix was officially the shortest Formula 1 race ever and unsurprisingly received the lowest ratings ever from our readers. The race was abandoned after just three laps behind the safety car, and the results decided on a single tour of the track. Verstappen took an entirely uncontested win, Russell and Hamilton joining him on the podium.

The FIA decided to award half points based on this extremely limited amount of running. Verstappen therefore collected 12.5 points, Russell nine and so on down to 10th-placed Sainz on half a point.

Our readers overwhelmingly objected to the decision to award points for the non-race. Over two-thirds – 67% – strongly disagreed with points being awarded, a further 12% slightly disagreeing.

Fortunately, because Verstappen sealed the title by more than five points, he would have been champion regardless of whether points had been given at Spa. But after the title fight went to the wire, the result could have proven crucial.

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F1’s plans for America

The United States Grand Prix was a roaring success in 2021, with Netflix widely credited for the championship’s rising stateside popularity. A second race at the new Miami International Autodrome has been added to the 2022 F1 calendar.

Rumours continued to abound that a third US event will follow. Is that something our readers want to see? The verdict was mixed, tending towards negative. More than a third – 35% – strongly disagreed, with 57% of voters overall against the idea. Comparatively, only 35% were in favour of a third US round.

Stewarding and racing fairly

Readers blamed Hamilton for crash which halted British GP
Undoubtedly the most contentious area of debate in 2021 concerned the policing of the sport by the stewards and race director. Consistency was often cited as an area of concern. When we asked at the end of November, before the title fight’s final, decisive moments, 64% of you slightly or strongly agreed F1 should have permanent stewards to ensure less variable application of the rules.

But when it came to the two big collisions between the title contenders, RaceFans readers tended to chime in with the stewards’ assessments. After Silverstone, 60% of you believed Hamilton was wholly or mostly responsible for colliding with Verstappen, while 61% said that Verstappen was chiefly to blame for their second clash in Monza. You also weighed in on subsequent rows at Interlagos, where Verstappen escaped an investigation, to the surprise of many, his Jeddah “brake test” which many felt received too lenient a sanction and the lap one incident in Abu Dhabi, in which more than half of you believed Hamilton deserved a penalty.

But by far the most controversial decision of the year was, of course, the one which cast a shadow over the conclusion to the championship. Did FIA F1 race director Michael Masi handle the last-lap restart at Abu Dhabi correctly by allowing only a portion of the field to un-lap themselves? The vast majority of you – 79% – said no.

Join us for more RaceFans reader debates throughout the 2022 F1 season. In the meantime, don’t forget to vote for your driver of the year before we announce the results at the end of the year.

2021 F1 season review

Browse all 2021 F1 season review articles

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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85 comments on “How RaceFans readers saw the 2021 F1 season: The year in polls”

  1. Let’s all be honest with ourselves. There’s only one poll around here that counts: are you a Hamilton fan, or a Verstappen fan (to be generous you could also add ‘or neither’).

    All other polls and discussion can probably be surmised based on the outcome of the first. This has been the most divisive season of F1 by far and unfortunately the worst for the discussion on this (and many other) fan sites.

    I’m hoping for a much better discourse in 2022, hopefully aided by a wider variety of drivers contending week in, week out.

    1. That’s a very narrow minded view of the whole thing. You don’t have to be a fan of either to acknowledge how the stewards and Masi made some truely attrocious decisions this year which soured some of the better things that happened.

      1. I agree, Craig. Both Max and Lewis made some moves on track that left a sour taste in my mouth but one which could be excused by, “they are racing drivers battling in the heat of the moment.” The officiating however is entirely different and pretty much spoils the season for me. I can only hope that there is a new Race Director and a revamp of the stewarding practices in 2022.

      2. Absolutely, I thought verstappen was on the wrong in brazil and didn’t blame hamilton for abu dhabi lap 1, despite the rest of the polls going the obvious way for me, and in case of hamilton abu dhabi I was actually in the minority.

    2. As a ‘neither’ I disagree.
      Some decisions made this year were at least poor and at worst incompetent. Whether the final poor decision of the year was deliberate, conspiracy, or poor judgement it had the appearance of being purposeful and that’s not a good look for F1 in general.

    3. As you’re asking, my F1 affiliations in ranking order:

      1. Formula 1 (the sport should come first)
      2. McLaren
      3. Either McLaren driver (if you pushed me I’d go for Lando)
      4. Don’t mind (as long as the FIA isn’t ruining the sport)

    4. Haha I have posted the same comment in the last poll. These polls are not objective questions about rules’ tracklimits or decissions therefore useless

    5. erhmmmm…. who cares, really?
      as an F1 fan, neither

    6. The 2022 season had quite a few controversial moments and we pick sides as we see fit, not being able to watch racing without being biased. Apart from Abu Dhabi I have seen remarkable decisions leaning towards Mercedes more than to any other side….

      – Bahrain… how where the Mercedes drivers allowed to go outside the track 29 times, my guess for the simple reason the stewards didn’t noticed it. RBR have people checking every move in every corner, the stewards have just the three of them.
      – Rear wings… before the season all wings have been tested and approved, why change the rules mid season, without as much as an investigation on Mercedes front wings… it baffled me.
      – RBR is well know for doing the fastest pit stops, I believe they had a record for doing 9 out of the 10 fastest stops over a season. Why did the FIA change these rules mid season, it took away a main strength from RBR?
      – Engine updates, all team have agreed on a budget gap and to race within the right spirit of the rules. Three teams used 6 ICE’s, six team 8, Mercedes needed a staggering 11 ICE’s and have know to update ICE’s after just one race. None of the ICE’s Mercedes replaced had a defect of reliability issues. Mercedes didn’t comply to ‘we race within the right spirit of the rules’ instead kept updating ICE’s for the simple reason of powergains.
      – Ignoring yellow flags in Qatar and Jeddah…. 5-3-0-0 grid penalties for four different drivers?
      – Cutting corners…haven’s een any driver gain as much as Lewis did in Abu Dhabi, even if Max move was late, Lewis never intended to make the corner or cut as less as possible.
      – Brake test? A brake test is the words Lewis used to describe slowing down from 300 to 100km/h, shifting from 8th to 3rd gear. they did fight for positions all season long, but when one has to be given back Lewis simply refuses to overtake. The FIA might want to look into this… when a driver needs to give back position he can not wait to long, refusing to overtake created a very awkward situation. If anyone wanted to brake test the other he would have been on the brakes with full force….not less than half.

      Abu Dhabi maybe was a controversial decision, but as Masi mentioned, one rules overrides the other, he had the authority to restart the race after the local marschalls gave a clear. Apart from hard racing which I am a fan off, there was much more controversy than just a last lap decision.

    7. I think this has some merit, but it’s not completely born out by the facts. Most of those who responded to the poll about the Silverstone incident (myself included, and I’m openly a Hamilton fan) said it was Hamilton’s fault. Given that a large percentage of those on this site are Hamilton fans, this shows that not all decisions are made on partisan lines.

      That said, I’d love RaceFans to stay including an option (or even requirement) to declare your allegiance when responding to the poll. This would allow such biases to be compensated for.

  2. It continues to surprise me that, with all the noise surrounding the SC decision in the final race, the fact the first race was won by an even more controversial decision, i.e. the stewards changing the parameters of the track halfway through the race, is never mentioned.

    Without Hamilton being allowed to take the shortcut 29 times, he probably would not have won that race and the decision in the final race would have been irrelevant.

    1. This is the “fairness” in the officiating which I have mentioned before;
      – track limits having a different interpretation from race-to-race and corner-to-corner
      – pushing a driver off track being penalized sometimes but not other times (Brazil)
      – brake testing a competitor (I still can’t accept how this is anything but a black flag)
      – the inconsistent definition of “lasting advantage” (e.g. Hamilton’s move off track in Abu Dhabi which he should have given the place back, Max’s Saudi Arabia move where he let Hamilton past just before the DRS detection only to repass him in the next corner)
      – Belgium and awarding points for a “race” in which no driver was given an opportunity to pass.
      – Abu Dhabi and allowing some lapped drivers to unlap while not allowing others

      1. And in this “list” the farcial Silverstone race is missing.

        1. @iejerk – Why are you so angry? Your guy won – get over it. Don’t let SLH live in your head all the time.

      2. Brake testing, I still can’t accept that if you are a racing driver and the sole purpose is to overtake everybody so you can win, the moment you have an opportunity you don’t materialise it. There was no excuse for not overtaking at all. (And don’t start with the DRS line)

        And the way the stewards went along with that story is as shameful as the not overtaking itself.

        What was it what Ayrton Senna said,

        If you no longer go for a gap that exists,
        You are no longer a racing driver.

        1. Nobody is debating the silly game of chicken the drivers played with the DRS detection line. That is nothing new as well, look up Hamilton and Alonso in Canada 2013.
          There is no issue with Max wanting Hamilton to pass him before the detection line, nor with Hamilton not wanting to make the pass in such a detrimental place; if Max’s intention was to let Lewis by then he should not have driven down the centre of the track, he certainly shouldn’t have brake tested Hamilton because he didn’t pass him. That is the point at which the stewards again failed to do the right thing. As far as drivers are concerned you can now brake test a competitor, cause damage to their vehicle, and expect just a time penalty.

          1. You still don’t see the underlying problem.

            First there was plenty of room on the left hand side to overtake. So driving in the middle is a non-issue.

            Second if he wanted to pass he should have driven left of max and if there wasn’t enough room we could have seen that.

            None of it happened because Hamilton choose not to overtake. It was his choice to stay behind.

            Hamilton started this whole sequence. He should never have been in that spot in the first place. And that is the problem

          2. You either don’t understand the principle of precedent or you believe Max is entitled to special officiating. The Dolphins is right, now any driver can brake test the guy behind him and rightfully only expect a small time penalty for it because that’s what Verstappen got. I’d be interested to see your reaction if a series of drivers brake tested Verstappen next season and only got 5 second penalties.

            Also, Hamilton is not obliged to overtake Verstappen at a position that suits Verstappen and unless you can point me to a clause in the rules that stipulates this is in fact the case, Verstappen had no business brake testing the car behind.

          3. You quite clearly have never raced anything without brake lights!

            It’s irrelevant what Hamilton was doing. Max was trying to gain a completely illegal advantage within the drs zone. In his ‘frustration that Hamilton figured it out’ he stamped on the brakes.

            I implore you to have that done to you at around 130kph anywhere.

            Your view will change.

            For your information- anyone does that in European long circuit racing in gearbox karts where we race without belts and safety such as F1 but interestingly under the FIA, at speeds of up to 170MPH, instant ban and loss of license. No fuss muss or argument. It’s just not tolerated at any level.

            You might want to look up a few such races and unde4stand why such behaviour simply cannot be tolerated.

            It killed two karters at brands hatch in the 90s for example.

  3. It’s Hamilton that seems to divide F1 fans like no other driver in my opinion. It also seems like he is a bit of an oddball amongst the driver’s and media too although they seem respect him for his driving ability. The sport is definitely better with him in it and I hope he is competing next season. I think Max was aggressive on track this year, especially after Silverstone and really had to be to unsettle and dethrone Lewis. Max said himself that it doesn’t always have to be like this and I have a feeling that he might be a bit more measured next season after claiming his first title. Hopefully we get at least 3 teams battling it out with the new rules next year.

    1. I think that after Silverstone the RB had lost ground to Mercedes, that is why Max had to be pushing more. I certainly hope we get a great season next year, with more contenders.

    2. The problem is, when Max says “It doesn’t have to be like this”, what he really means, is if everyone would just get out of his way, there wouldn’t be any problems.

      His wheel-to-wheel style is all about intimidating the other driver to yield, or to rush into the corner fast enough that he can claim it was his corner all along.

      Unfortunately for F1, the FIA is either going to have to clamp down pretty hard on forcing drivers off track, or we’re going to see more drivers adopting Max’s style– and there will be carnage.

      1. It’s racing… You are used to a driver in the fastest car by far, taking out in the distance for years.
        Now we have a battle and Lewis lost it first under pressure in Silverstone.
        That was the defining moment in the season. Hard driving got very ugly.

        1. I can picture Max sat in the hospital at Silverstone watching Lewis and Mercedes over-celebrating their 25 point swing and vowing to give him a taste of his own medicine for the rest of the season. It definitely sparked a war that day.

        2. Relax, @jerkie, just let it go. Your guy won the championship, why does that upset you so much?

    3. It’s Hamilton that seems to divide F1 fans like no other driver in my opinion.

      The question is why?

      1. Yes, liberal-minded black men are normally sooooo popular in middle-class, white male dominated environments.

        It’s a mystery! 😉

        1. Maybe Rico Tubbs can help you get to the bottom of it? ;)

          1. He’s out on a date in the Testarossa this evening.

            I’ll check in with him in the morning!

        2. liberal-minded black men

          ah that always work in a discussion. Throw in the discrimination card. You sure its not about sport anymore and real arguments a missing.

          btw, Lewis has a “”white” mother.. is he not just as white as he is black? Just asking..
          Never took his color as a defining “thing” for the person Hamilton. Its his constant moaning that scares me off.

          1. btw, Lewis has a “”white” mother.. is he not just as white as he is black? Just asking..

            Your comment is pretty much exactly what many white men tend to say in these situations. There were 8 years worth of comments like yours when Barack Obama was president.

            He identifies as black so that’s good enough for me. Unless you’d like to explain to him and the rest of us why that’s wrong.

            When I described him as “liberal-minded” and “black” I forgot to add “highly successful “. That combination is usually exceptionally popular!

            Look, this year Lewis has shown a champion’s wisdom, steely patience and he’s been magnanimous in defeat, as have the whole Hamilton family. Anybody who dislikes him despite those traits needs to consider their motivation. If he leaves F1 then there is a huge hole that probably won’t be filled for many, many years to come.

            And I say all of this as a fan of the sport (and McLaren), not as a Hamilton groupie.

          2. (@sonnycrockett)
            Interesting reaction. Racism is not a white privilege. A lot of black people are extremely racist about ” colored” people. I never ever took Hamiltons “color” as a defining issue. Nor should you. Institutional racism is fed by that reasoning. When in a f1 car no driver is seen as colored in regard to his performance. Of course there are delusional fans who use racist remarks to “hurt”. Social media is an easy platform for those toxic remarks.
            But seeing verstappen as the big white hope is as much racist as the reversed remarks.

          3. erikge- It’s good to know that your constant knee-jerk Hamilton bashing is not based in racism.

          4. @ erikje

            I am sorry but your years of posting telling us that Hamilton is somehow ‘less’ along with the constant ‘posting’ simply exposes your agenda.

            Regardless of your attempts to provide some sort of intellectual smokescreen to the discussion.

            We get it. You have a problem with him.

            He is currently the statistically best driver the world has ever seen. That is a a completely unarguable fact.

            And you cannot stand it.

        3. @sonnycrockett That’s choosing the most simplistic reasoning, but yes there will be a few in the crowd that hold a ‘race’ based view, but we’ve seen dominant champs in the past become divisive.

          It wasn’t that long ago that Vettel was one of the most hated drivers, Finger Boy’s hate doesn’t have an easy ‘race’ argument, a nationalistic one is easy there, but so it goes with each and every driver.

          As many fans that dawned over Schumacher, he had an equal amount that cheered when he broke his leg and had to sit out, the media bias with him skewed the appearance to everyone adoring him. His accident softened his detractors.

          Senna was an extremely divisive character, but his death shut everyone down and only adoration seems to exist now.

          I Remember when Hamilton came into F1, everyone was super excited, he had a lot of hype and he was instantly on it, everyone loved the guy. But then the nowhere years happened, no one cared one way or the other, then he starts the domination and he’s hated.

          Verstappen is already hated in equal measure as liked, if he grabs another title, he may set the record as the most hated driver of all time.

          Not everything is about the colour of your skin, hell, all drivers are ego maniacs, that alone should make them all unlikable. I know a lot of people that hate Ricciardo, and all he does is smile.

          1. You’re right, to a degree, but then the first person that responds to my post questions whether he’s even “black”. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

          2. @sonnycrockett I was never making an argument against racists existing, they do for sure, but you can’t lump every negative fan as belonging to the racist camp, that’s a tiny but loud minority that is cloaked in anonymity.

            It’s far more likely to be myriad of other reasons, like Driver X beat Driver Y, those die hard Driver Y fans will go to extremes to spread hate against Driver X.

            Look, I’m passionately anti Schumacher, I don’t have a good thing to day about him, he hasn’t raced in years, but I’m still dedicated to my cause, and it’s got nothing to do with heritage, race, religion, nationalism, culture, wealth or even logic.

            So I know Hamilton haters can’t all be racists, he has done a lot of on track action and off track talking, so many things that could have sparked someone off. All drivers have this problem. Hell, Latifi is getting death threats, tempers run hot with sports.

  4. Coventry Climax
    28th December 2021, 15:11

    @HazelSouthwell: Overall, I think there’s little to argue with, in this article.
    However, on the rules and aero changes, you state: “Still, 27% of you strongly agreed that they would improve racing and 51% slightly agreed, putting 78% in favour of the changes after seeing the model.”

    That is a false conclusion. The fact that one agrees with that -they think- it will improve racing, does not necessarily mean they are in favor of the rules changes themselves. It’s the same as I’ll give you two cakes and take four hundred dollar bills myself. Then I ask you if you’re happy with your two cakes, and when you say yes, I conclude you’re happy with me having four hunderd dollar bills.

    I’m sure it will improve the racing, but, firstly, to what extent remains to be seen. Plus, I don’t doubt for one second that DRS will stay anyway, which instantly makes the new rules a lot less appealing. Secondly, I believe there were other options to improve the racing, without yet again further hampering teams in their design freedom. Thirdly, as a consequence of the new rules, the weight of the cars goes up – yet again, to the point where we see battle-tanks going round the tarmac.

    So, sure, it will improve the racing. But if that’s the only thing you care for, you’re much better of watching a Caterham race. Those weigh a good 300 kg less than the new F1 car, have the aerodynamics of a refrigerator so provide huge slipstreaming possibilities, and make for spectacular racing. I’m sure you could easily run them on bio-fuel as well. And actually, they sound a lot better too.

    1. Coventry Climax
      28th December 2021, 15:44

      Oh, and about the ‘Abu Dhabi drama”, as you suggestively call it.
      With every safety car situation, the field is being bunched up again. It’s happened so often that an advantage that is carefully built up, is annihilated by it. So in that respect, Abu Dhabi was no exception.
      In the old days, lapped cars weren’t getting blue flags. If you came up behind one and wanted to lap it again, then you had to prove you were faster and pull of the move, just like you had the first time. That was back when we were still racing. I’ve hated blue flags for lapped cars from the moment they were introduced. And unlapped cars being allowed to unlap themselves after the safety car is a farce in it’s own right.
      I would much prefer the virtual safety car, with cars staying on track at a (much) reduced, fixed speed, in order to keep all the delta’s as is. Slow them down sufficiently to safely clear the debris, and then resume – exactly where we left off.
      I know there’s a problem with the tyres cooling, but that’s the same for everyone, and should it need to be adressed, that’s Pirelli’s job, noone elses.
      I believe Hamilton ‘lost’ the championship mainly due to bad decisions by Mercedes. Even in Abu Dhabi, certainly at the first opportunity, they could have put him on fresh tyres. He was so much faster and then there still would have been enough laps for him to overtake Verstappen again. I can understand why they didn’t, but it’s that conservative attitude that didn’t work this time.
      So, it was drama alright, but mainly for the FIA and the future of F1.

      1. @Coventry Climax

        A virtual safety car is still extremely dangerous for marshals and even drivers if there are marshals and equipment on track. Keep in mind that they only have to drive 30% slower, which is still enormously fast and thus dangerous if another accident happens.

        And removing blue flags seems like a recipe for unfair racing, with customer teams & subsidiary teams.

        1. Coventry Climax
          28th December 2021, 18:19

          That is under the current rules, but I did not state, anywhere, that that speed is what should be maintained. I talked about safely clearing the debris, at a much reduced speed, which might mean going 80% slower or whatever, I don’t care. What I do care about is maintaining the delta’s. Use your imagination please, instead of saying ‘no’ as a default response.

          1. Coventry Climax
            28th December 2021, 18:35

            Actually, I believe you can’t read as I explicitly said: “Slow them down sufficiently to safely clear the debris, and then resume – exactly where we left off.”

          2. one of the reasons for a SC is the fact the cars are following each other so creating space on track for work.
            If you keep the delta then still the cars are littered ovr the entire track and working i.e. on debris on the raceline is impossible.

        2. Coventry Climax
          28th December 2021, 18:20

          And how, exactly, would getting rid of the blue flags be unfair to anyone?

          1. I used to be in favour of getting rid of blue flags as it would increase excitement without being unfair, but after this year, with Alpha Tauri obviously helping out Red Bull more than Mercedes (Gasly let Verstappen through in Russia and Qatar), and Toto Wolff making Russell consider Hamilton and Bottas to be as much his teammates as Latifi, I don’t think it could work fairly. It would just increase team alliances, which I don’t like in F1.

            This is also a fear with removing blue flags:

      2. Wamted to reply but reported by mistake sorry.

        On topic: I’m the first to support people who want to go back to the old rules. The blue flags is not one of them. can’t even remember I have ever watched a race without blue flags and I’m not the youngest anymore. So for me remove DRS. time penalty’s and tracklimits and go back to graveltraps, slipstream and wheel to wheel racing.

        1. Coventry Climax
          29th December 2021, 18:54

          @Erikje: What part of the word ‘sufficiently’ is it exactly, that you don’t understand?
          Because the reason I stated ‘sufficiently’, is that even though the cars are spread out, it’s then still safe for the marshalls to do their work. That’s also why I referred to the tyres cooling off.

          @F1Frog: I think that’s an entirely different problem. It was mr. Wolff who wanted to have three cars per team as a solution to the lack of teams and thus, lack of cars on the grid. If you’d have asked him, he would also have liked to have just mercedes powered cars, and nothing else. The lack of engine suppliers is due to the over the top costs of developing an engine that complies with the current hybrid format. A format that mr. Wolff shoved through the weak FIA’s throats. And that developed into the satelite teams situation we have now. It was mr. Wolff again, who saw the need to remind Russel that he is supposed to let the others mercedes’ through, any time, so this has nothing to do with blue flags whatsoever.

          1. Coventry Climax
            29th December 2021, 19:02

            On the video you, @F1Frog, gave as an example: It was Alain Menu who showed he deserved the win after all, and the dirty move has a context, as one of the comments rightly says.
            I don’t share your fear at all.

  5. I know it’s controversial, but I really do think awarding points in Spa was the right decision. In terms of the title contenders, as an example, it is more likely that Verstappen would have outscored Hamilton in that race if it had gone ahead because he qualified two places ahead, and deserves some reward from that. The same is true for any pair of drivers on the grid. I think it would be more unfair if George Russell had received zero points after that qualifying effort, than the nine points he did receive, even if it is a bad way to get a first podium. There is no way in which this race could have been concluded in a satisfactory way, and I think this was better than the alternative. I have seen it suggested that this is not fair because it was given the same number of points as if half the race had been completed, but I don’t agree that this is a problem. At least this way, every driver/team had exactly equal chance to get the results and points; from the qualifying session. When a race is stopped at half-distance, you get more bad luck. One example would be Monaco 1984, where Ayrton Senna was catching Alain Prost before the race was stopped, while another would be Interlagos 2003 when Coulthard pitted just before the race was stopped. The latter was given full points. So I think it is no less fair to award half-points for a qualifying session when the race cannot take place, than for a race that is only partly completed. However, what I do not agree with is the decision not to refund the fans who sat in wet mud for six hours and didn’t see a single racing lap of Formula 1.

    1. Coventry Climax
      28th December 2021, 15:52

      I agree with you.
      But the refunding could be done by F1, as they came up with the calendar and decided that going to race in Spa in the wettest part of the year was a good idea. Dieter Rencken wrote a decent article about this.

    2. @f1frog

      I also like that qualifying was rewarded at Spa, especially since some drivers took way more risk than others. The drivers ultimately got rewarded for an actual competitive performance, even if it was a single lap and not a race.

      I think that the level of controversy got greatly boosted by Lewis’ somewhat poor qualifying at Spa and the close championship standings, as well as people being upset over waiting so long for nothing and finding an outlet for it. Ultimately, it was the fans onsite that primarily got screwed over.

    3. @f1frog My take on it is that the decisions was wrong in a “sporting” sense as such, but absolutely the correct outcome as the rules specify. You can complain about the rules, but not how they were applied. They completed more than two laps after when the race officially started, so points have to be awarded. Undoubtedly in the future, they shouldn’t be awarding points unless there’s a green flag, but that needs a rule change, not changing how the rules, as they are, were applied.

      1. And to make it clear, I would still award points in the future in such a case, but maybe for qualifying, instead of having them run a procession behind the SC.

        1. Coventry Climax
          28th December 2021, 18:25

          It would be fair then, to change the rules to saying something like qualifying is rewarded with provisional (half?) points, coming into effect once the race cannot be held under normal circumstances.

          I’d not be against this.

          1. Yes, that’s a possibility for the rare cases in which a race can’t get a green flag start.

      2. I think part of the objection here was the belief that Masi only restarted the race so that half-points could be awarded, but I believe him that he was genuinely testing the conditions. And maybe the points would have been awarded anyway, given how confusing the start was! I think it’s fine to award points, for reasons already given.

        The fairest conclusion to the race would have been for the drivers to each make a paper boat with their name on it, line them up in grid order at Les Combes, put a finish line at La Source, and let the boats go. The finishing positions are then decided by the order in which the boats crossed that finish line, with any boats who didn’t make it being DNFs, and full points are awarded to the drivers who made those winning boats considering the skill required to make the best paper boat. But I guess they didn’t think of this.

    4. Absolutely agree, maybe there could’ve been yet another points option (1\3 or 1\4) for such a short race, but they had to get something for their quali performance. Shame for norris who was great in quali and got caught up by the wettest quali moment which was shortly after red flagged.

    5. it is more likely that Verstappen would have outscored Hamilton in that race if it had gone ahead because he qualified two places ahead

      Whereas I think awarding points was wrong (otherwise we could as well start awarding points for qualifying) but I don’t care much about the decision to do so, I completely disagree with this assertion that I’ve seen numerous times. Over the course of the season, we saw either of the contenders miss out on pole but end up with much better race pace and so what could have transpired in the race is a complete unknown. It’s the same reason I don’t take the “he lost so many points through bad luck” computations seriously – altering any event could have seen a completely different history created thereafter.

      1. Yes, Hamilton might have beaten Verstappen. But as he qualified behind him, it is more likely that he will have finished behind. Therefore, taking some points away, but not the full amount for the difference between first and third, seems fair. Fairer than awarding them equal points (zero) when Verstappen had showed in qualifying that he was more likely to win. And it is not the same as ‘could as well be awarding points for qualifying’, this is only being done in the absence of race conditions. It is no more that than stopping the race at half-distance and awarding half-points is ‘could as well be giving points in stages like NASCAR does’.

    6. I agree completely, and don’t see why so many people are upset about that. I also see mentioned a lot that Max was handed a win here and that contributed to him taking the championship from Hamilton, but you could argue that it was actually Hamilton who was handed free points as de difference between a win and a 2nd (let alone 3rd) place is 7 points, and here Hamilton only lost 5 with a 3rd place.

      Where I do share in the outrage is in the lack of compensation for the attendee’s.

      1. Yet that “win” meant had both crashed in the last race Verstappen would win on countback. Also take away those 5 points he gained there and suddenly Verstappen isn’t sending hail Marys up the inside in that race at every opportunity as a crash meant he’d lose. Its all ifs and buts at this stage but it just was a crap call to award points to avoid ticket refunds imo.

  6. Season started with a bang and ended on a bang. FOM really wanted to favour Mercedes but at the last moment they stood strong, it only took them the full season to stop favouring merc.

  7. A summary: One of the most exciting F1 seasons ever – just getting so close to a decision either way was incredible. Until the last 2 laps of the final race. They were wrong and awful (and I’m not particularly a Hamilton fan).

    1. Until the last 2 laps of the final race. They were wrong and awf

      The last lap wad great. Nothing wrong with the racing there.
      You could argue about the way the sc was handled but not the racing.

      1. So “great racing” is when longstanding rules are changed arbitrarily to give advantages to your personal favourite. What a pity.

        1. Racing is the part that happened on track. Strange you were so obsessed by totos reaction that you missed that important part.

          1. @jerkie – Reading all your comments this year, it’s obvious that all you care about is your favorite winning, and dissing a specific rival.
            Now your personal favourite driver has been awarded the win, you can calm down, stop being so angry and triggered all the time, and stop obsessing about that specific rival (and his team). Hey – you won! Hoorah! for you! – now get over it and move on.
            For the record, Max is a superbly talented driver, who I am sure will now mature like a fine wine. He has been crowned, we’ll hopefully see a calmer Max, and maybe after the FIA panel (or inquiry or whatever it is), the rules will be applied consistently in 2022, and we can actually see some racing again.
            In fact, the entire field of drivers are worth watching. There is worthwhile racing down the field too, you know.
            Looking forwards to 2022!

          2. @biker56

            now get over it and move on.

            LOL. i guess you missed the other reactions.
            Still grieving heavily but not earthed in reality.

            you can calm down, stop being so angry and triggered all the time,

            Like someone spamming my reactions ;)

          3. @biker56 I wouldn’t bother, they’re a pure troll. From feeling the need to respond to nearly every comment with an anti-Hamilton comment, to insisting the Silverstone accident was deliberate, they can be universally disregarded. I haven’t bothered to check, but I’d guess they found a way to blame Hamilton for the Brazil off track excursion. Of course, the temptation to respond can sometimes be too strong…

          4. @fluxsource

            I wouldn’t bother, they’re a pure troll. From feeling the need to respond to nearly every comment with an anti-Hamilton comment, to insisting the Silverstone accident was deliberate, they can be universally disregarded.

            I’ve come to the same conclusion. Every comment he makes is pro-Max and anti-Hamilton, and he then has the cheek to call out those who are posting the other way for bias. It’s clearly not even worth replying to him.

      2. That final lap wasn’t racing. It was a stitch up.

        1. So Lewis was in it.. that’s a interesting thought.

        2. Actually @erikje

          I am going to rise to your constant baiting.

          Your boy won under completely ludicrous conditions. Your happy. We get it.

          However, history, of which Lewis has a few extra years on your boy, show that when he feels unfairly treated, he comes back and demolishes the entire field.

          It’s happened a few times now and the canvas of work is undeniable and in equal cars too, so the trend is there and you cannot cry, it’s the car.

          Personally, I would be hoping he refuses to participate in such a farce. Because given the helping hand Red Bull and Max required when it got to crunch time, I really would not be too confident that max suddenly finds he is racing himself, the minute Lewis is in front despite the years of clean concise ‘racing’ as opposed to sim virtual racing.

          Frankly, your better off hoping this has annoyed him enough to say ‘why bother’!

  8. Nope, as I stated earlier. Masi stays and will get an greater power to be a referee.

  9. So we know 21% of the fans who vote in these polls are completely blinkered Verstappen fans.

  10. Who thinks Michael Masi should keep his current job?
    Now that’s a poll!

  11. Warren St Germain
    29th December 2021, 4:23

    The bottom line is in Abu Dabi Mercedes, not Red Bull made an aggressive strategy decision when Lahtifi crashed. They gambled based upon the crash and the SC regulations that the race would probably end under the safety car. If the crash had happened a lap or two earlier they may have reacted differently. They gambled, and given normal application of the rules they were correct. Masi decided to deviate from the rules, a decision that was at best arbitrary, at worst corrupt. As a result Mercedes calculated risk was destroyed because Masi changed the rules. That is no different than going to a casino. The house wins, and it appears Red Bull is part of the house. Masi needs to be fired.

    1. It was a tough call for Masi in a highly pressurised, hectic end to a title decider. He really should have unlapped cars sooner as the driver’s were all calling for it long before he did. The pressure of finishing under green flags as agreed by ALL teams led him to just unlap a select few fighting for points. Either way the result would have been the same, it just gave Mercedes an excuse to whip up a media frenzy and make all the Hamilton fans lose their minds. They were actually disaavantaged by leading when the SC came out but ultimately made the wrong calls.

      1. G – what pressure to finish under green flags? This has never been a problem before. Even for championship deciders and the final race of the season. Look at 2012. Why was this strange “strong desire” allowed to override safety rules?

    2. Nope, until the brakes caught fire there was enough time to clean the track and resume racing.
      But as you stated

      that the race would probably end under the safety car.

      they gambled and lost. That’s part of gambling you know.

    3. If the crash had happened a lap or two earlier they may have reacted differently. They gambled, and given normal application of the rules they were correct. Masi decided to deviate from the rules, a decision that was at best arbitrary, at worst corrupt. As a result Mercedes calculated risk was destroyed because Masi changed the rules.


      1. They gambled,

        and by nature of gambling…

        1. I suppose reading comprehension is more than I could expect. There actually are more words there, @jerkie.
          Maybe your favourite object of adoration will win fairly next time. He certainly has the talent.
          Anyway, there’s an old saying: “Never try to teach a pig to sing, it just wastes your time and annoys the pig”.
          Have a nice life, I’ll just ignore you from now on.

          1. Take it easy.. you do not have to get of the deep end on this. its just a forum not your life ( i hope)

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