Max Max Max Super Max Max Max Super Super Max Max Max
December 12, 2021 11:59 AM   Subscribe

 
Fav for the title. Wonderful stuff.
posted by ominous_paws at 12:14 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


Although I'll admit to generally being on Team Lewis, I'm sort of glad that Max managed such a great pass at the very end to kind of wash away the bad taste of the lap 1 incident and win the race on ability rather than lose it on a technicality. I mean, I don't like those sorts of aggressive corner passes where the person who was leading gets to choose between going off line / off track (and all the "did they gain a lasting advantage" drama that ensues) or getting t-boned by the passing car. I mean, I know it's racing, but people always say "just treat the white lines like a street course with no off-track", but drivers tend to not pass like that in street courses because if they don't make the pass (i.e. insufficient braking or turn-in) they're going into the outside wall or getting driven into the armco themselves. But when there's a football field's worth of track for the cars to go off onto, everybody takes advantage of it, both ways.

Same feeling as last week - Max had a kind of not-super-clean pass on Lewis, had to give it back, and eventually had a super great pass on the ... 3rd restart? That's great racing, and shows what he's capable of when he's not trying to push his car into an opening that doesn't really exist.

But yeah, Red Bull had all the strategic options and they used them, and it was a great race and a great end to a season.

Here's hoping the 2022 spec has less ungodly lasting advantage for the leading car(s) - I'm tired of the first 3-4 cars damn near double-lapping the rest of the field though.
posted by Kyol at 12:18 PM on December 12, 2021 [2 favorites]


Sergio Perez brilliantly blocked Lewis Hamilton for over two minutes turning an 8.5 second gap between Verstappen and Hamilton into a 1.05 second gap...

Sorta, I guess. Lewis had a fairly stable 10-12 second lead over Max going into the final 10 laps, with traffic between the two. A fairly comfortable margin given the conditions. Lewis had the race in the bag, for all intents and purposes, at that point. Latifi’s crash, and Max ducking into the pits for fresh soft tires, is what really made the difference. Perez had to retire before the restart and was a non-factor.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:25 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


Well done to Max, he's driven a great season and there has been a whole load of twists and turns that got us to this point, but the ending of that last race was a mess. It can't help feeling a bit off when one driver dominates the race but ends up losing because the race officials improvise a new start procedure for the very last lap of the last race of the season that happens to give a massive advantage to the second-place driver.

This season has been really messy, and has exposed some major issues with the officiating. Hoping they get that fixed for next year.
posted by Urtylug at 12:30 PM on December 12, 2021 [10 favorites]


Followed F1 for many years and all I wanted was a clean, clear race and a clean clear winner.

This is a dirty, unsatisifying end.
posted by I shot a fox in Skyrim and it made me sad at 12:31 PM on December 12, 2021 [25 favorites]


Race director Masi flagrantly violated article 48.12 in two ways on the restart:
  • Only the 5 lapped cars between Verstappen and Hamilton were instructed to pass the safety car. The rules mandate that all (or no) lapped cars are to un-lap themselves prior to restart. There's no discretion given under the article for only some lapped cars to un-lap.

  • The race restarted at the conclusion of the same lap where those 5 lapped cars passed the safety car. The article indicates that a full lap under caution shall follow the un-lapping of cars before the restart (i.e. allowance for the un-lapped cars to be fully clear of the leaders and to ideally reach the back of the lead lap).

  • This is going to leave a big stain on the FIA (and an ugly footnote on Verstappen's championship) for a long, long time.
    posted by Consult The Oracle at 12:45 PM on December 12, 2021 [21 favorites]


    Mercedes not pitting was what sealed it. It could have been a battle at the end.
    posted by Space Coyote at 12:47 PM on December 12, 2021


    Verstappen's win is as clean as Trump thought his was.
    posted by chavenet at 12:48 PM on December 12, 2021 [4 favorites]


    I've seen people comparing it to WWE "refereeing", and I can understand why. The officials were in a tough spot though. The officials could do what they did, basically guaranteeing Verstappen a win, or they could do literally anything else and end with a guaranteed or close-to-it win for Hamilton.
    posted by ethand at 12:50 PM on December 12, 2021


    The officials could do what they did, basically guaranteeing Verstappen a win, or they could do literally anything else and end with a guaranteed or close-to-it win for Hamilton.

    This was less of a guarantee than many of the other options - a pass needed to happen on track.

    Really, if it'd been decided that lapped cars could unlap themselves in the first instance, this could all have been avoided. I realise the rules do have provision for not having any cars unlap themselves, but I cannot think of the last time that happened - it's basically unheard of. It felt like a bullshit decision that they then walked back in a bullshit way.
    posted by Dysk at 1:01 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


    I've seen people comparing it to WWE "refereeing", and I can understand why. The officials were in a tough spot though. The officials could do what they did, basically guaranteeing Verstappen a win, or they could do literally anything else and end with a guaranteed or close-to-it win for Hamilton.

    Right, and this is why you have rules and a clear process to follow - if you follow the rules you've written in advance, you can point to them when asked to explain your decisions, and nobody can accuse you of favouritism. The problem is that they ditched the established ways of dealing with this situation (either finish behind the safety car or restart with the lapped cars still in the queue) and invented a new one that happened to favour one side.
    posted by Urtylug at 1:01 PM on December 12, 2021 [5 favorites]


    (What I mean by 'finish behind the safety car' is that they usually release all the cars from the safety car queue, but there wasn't time to do that before the end of the penultimate lap, so they'd have needed the safety car out for the final lap, which would have neutralised the race).
    posted by Urtylug at 1:07 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


    Mercedes not pitting was what sealed it. It could have been a battle at the end.

    But any time Lewis would have pitted from the front, Max would have just stayed out to take the lead unless if his tires were really degrading like his softs were at the start of the race. It's a catch-22 - Lewis pits, Max doesn't and takes the lead. Lewis doesn't pit, and Max does and only has a ~14 second deficit to make up on newer tires, possibly with a SC to neutralize things, there's nothing for Red Bull to lose here. That's sort of the core strategy for winning from behind.

    But yeah, the officiating has been sort of a clown show the second half of the season. Some of it I understand, although disagree with? Like the end of the SC should have been either of Max battling through the lapped traffic (as is an option for ending a SC) or unlapping everybody (as is also an option for ending a SC period) and ending the race about 200 feet after the safety car line, not really under racing conditions. Feh, those are both unsatisfying. I suppose they can't release the lapped traffic until the end of the SC period, because the whole point is to keep them bunched up behind the SC until the on-track work is done.

    This was less of a guarantee than many of the other options - a pass needed to happen on track.

    And here's where I think Lewis was sort of hamstrung by the results leading up to the race - if he defended harder and maybe takes both cars out of the race, he still loses. If he doesn't defend as hard as possible, he gets passed and he loses. Lewis had a hell of a race to win today, no matter what.
    posted by Kyol at 1:09 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


    So the question that maybe some of the bigger F1 fans might know from the pre/post-race commentary and whatnot - what changed in the last mmm, third of a season that made Lewis' car so much better on track? For the first third-to-half of the season it felt like Max had a serious pace advantage. The only thing I can think of is the engine swap before Sao Paolo, but it felt like maybe the momentum was swinging before then too.
    posted by Kyol at 1:17 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


    The race restarted at the conclusion of the same lap where those 5 lapped cars passed the safety car. The article indicates that a full lap under caution shall follow the un-lapping of cars before the restart (i.e. allowance for the un-lapped cars to be fully clear of the leaders and to ideally reach the back of the lead lap).

    *Lewis skips a corner*
    FIA: "No investigation required"
    Hamilton fans: "QUESTION MARK ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP!"
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:19 PM on December 12, 2021 [6 favorites]


    And here's where I think Lewis was sort of hamstrung by the results leading up to the race - if he defended harder and maybe takes both cars out of the race, he still loses. If he doesn't defend as hard as possible, he gets passed and he loses. Lewis had a hell of a race to win today, no matter what.

    2 on 1 was a bit unfair. If only Lewis and Toto had some sort of third member, a second person on the track who could have been an integral part of the team and helped Lewis fight out there... 🤔
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:20 PM on December 12, 2021 [2 favorites]


    ...so they'd have needed the safety car out for the final lap, which would have neutralised the race.

    It seems racing of all breeds have bought into the NASCAR-originated idea that races must end on a green, come hell or high water. FIA hasn’t gone so far as to extend races by however laps necessary to get a green-white-checkered finish, but it’s pretty apparent they really wanted the championship to be determined by racing, rather than a safety car.

    FWIW, I’m good with Max winning. I was ok with Lewis winning, too.
    posted by Thorzdad at 1:25 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


    So the question that maybe some of the bigger F1 fans might know from the pre/post-race commentary and whatnot - what changed in the last mmm, third of a season that made Lewis' car so much better on track? For the first third-to-half of the season it felt like Max had a serious pace advantage. The only thing I can think of is the engine swap before Sao Paolo, but it felt like maybe the momentum was swinging before then too.
    The 2021 aerodynamic rule changes seemed to initially favor "high-rake" chassis designs (e.g. RedBull). It took Mercedes quite a bit of time early in the season to adapt.
    https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.its-physically-not-possible-mercedes-rule-out-shift-to-red-bull-high-rake.2idQiF3wrpAhYDMEzhlYpr.html

    posted by Consult The Oracle at 1:31 PM on December 12, 2021 [2 favorites]


    2 on 1 was a bit unfair. If only Lewis and Toto had some sort of third member, a second person on the track who could have been an integral part of the team and helped Lewis fight out there... 🤔

    I'm not sure where it was two on one in the last lap defense of the lead when Checo was already in the pits. But yeah, it would've been nice if Valtteri hadn't checked out the last half of the season, but that's always sort of the risk they take when driver changes are announced, isn't it. On the other hand, Checo really grew into the car as the season progressed. He seemed to be doing no better than the F1.5 cars at the back of the pack in the beginning of the season, but by the end he was right up front to help out Max. I'm honestly sort of surprised RB didn't take the constructor's championship too, but I guess Merc was slightly more consistent, or RB had more DNFs?
    posted by Kyol at 1:37 PM on December 12, 2021 [2 favorites]


    I've seen some chatter on the hellsite that, "They didn't want to decide the championship off the track in the Steward's Room." They did decide the championship off the track .

    Been an F1 fan since watching the race from Monte Carlo on ABC's Wide World of Sports sitting next to my Dad on the couch. Seems to me like it will be a long time before I watch another race.

    In conclusion, Liberty Media delenda est.
    posted by ob1quixote at 1:41 PM on December 12, 2021 [2 favorites]


    I'm just amazed at the frequency of posts about this duel that made it into r/all over the last couple months.
    posted by achrise at 1:51 PM on December 12, 2021


    I’m new to F1 this year and it’s absolutely bonkers to me that the team principals are allowed to lobby and wheedle the race director while the race is taking place. I agree that Masi screwed this up but my god, he has a terrible job. Toto Wolfe and Christian Horner whining in your ear for nine months would make anyone a bit frantic and prone to error.

    I get why Mercedes is furious but I also think Red Bull would be furious if they’d let those cars stay between Max and Lewis. Once Masi let the decision go until the last lap, there was no way out of it without screwing someone over. I don’t understand why they didn’t tell the drivers to reorganize themselves earlier? They were under the safety car for five laps. Alonso said the same thing while he was on the track - “they should have done this two laps ago.”

    Regardless, Max and Lewis gave us an insane season and both of them deserved a championship. I’m seeing a bunch of people swearing off F1 after this debacle but man, I don’t know how I’m going to make it for 3 months of no racing! Imagine what craziness might happen next year!
    posted by something something at 2:17 PM on December 12, 2021 [4 favorites]


    Just saying but if Lewis had come in second behind the VSC, and the FIA gave him an actual 5 second penalty for skipping the corner post-race I doubt we'd see as many Hamilton fans crowing about the sanctity of rules.
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 2:39 PM on December 12, 2021 [2 favorites]


    They couldn't reorganize earlier because they were still working to get the track safe.

    This whole situation was a bit of a shambles really. I understand the decision from the FIA's point of view. It was better for entertainment to have a race at the end.
    Normally the race would have finished behind the safety car and that would have been a disappointing end of this season. It was a pity that Lewis got shafted by this decision though.

    Ideally Max and Lewis would both be on new tires for that last one lap. A red flag instead of safety car would have provided just that. It's easy to say that after the facts though. People who have to judge the situation have only seconds to make the decisions.
    posted by Kosmob0t at 2:45 PM on December 12, 2021


    A clear win for Team Netflix in the drama category!
    posted by nickggully at 3:21 PM on December 12, 2021 [7 favorites]


    I didn't really have a horse in this race though I suppose I ended up pulling for Hamilton mainly so he could outright own the record for Championships.

    But man, they fumbled the ball on this one. It would've been less exciting but magnitudes more fair (and in line with the regs) if they'd just let it end with the safety car.

    Best one liner goes to James Hintchliffe:

    "Man, racing is wild when Netflix is making the calls!"
    posted by philip-random at 3:23 PM on December 12, 2021 [2 favorites]


    > They couldn't reorganize earlier because they were still working to get the track safe.

    The rules say the race director chooses whether to let all the lapped cars go past and get out of the way (and if he'd chosen that and let *all* the lapped cars past, the race would have finished under the safety car and LH wins) OR that he lets none of the lapped cars go past (in which case MV has five lapped cars and Hamilton to overtake in a single lap, which means that effectively LH wins). Instead he chose a new, unknown, and not in the rules option that put MV and LH right next to each other for a single, final lap. MV had fresh tires, LH had been nursing his for nearly fifty laps, so no surprise who got it.

    I understand the subjectivity of eg the ruling on turn six on the first lap and on other rulings this season. You win some, you win lose some, it all tends to come out in the wash. But why bother with all tthe other rules and regulations that surround F1 if you don't follow them when there are only two choices? Let all the cars past or let none of them. Not "let a few past so we grant an odd artificial end to the race and season and championship."
    posted by humuhumu at 3:34 PM on December 12, 2021 [5 favorites]


    Thanks for ruining the race for me... Accidentally read too much above the fold before sitting down to watch the race. Yeah, it's been a wonky season. Mercedes having that first half of the season new regulations car design problems that took them a while to work out. That let Red Bull actually keep up and get wins making this end of the season so close. The stewards have been wonky, doing strange things like this sprint qualifying (but only sometimes).

    All in all, Hamilton is a better driver than Verstappen. Max is a bit of a hothead and sometimes dangerously playing really hard like willing to take you both out. Lewis is mostly calm and cool and able to come back to win from starting halfway back in the pack.

    Fingers crossed for next year.
    posted by zengargoyle at 4:01 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


    It's a whole new formula next year, low-profile tyres, ground-effect aerodynamics, supposedly closer racing. Same stewards, I guess, and race director. :-(

    Our commentators on UK Sky TV/Channel 4 and former world champions couldn't explain the steward's decision for last week's stuff or today's turn 6, lap 1 event. This should be transparent and the people working for the broadcaster should know why decisions go as they do. There seems to be some aspect of 'neutralise the advantage' not 'yield track position' that's not been clearly explained to these events which leave one car off circuit to avoid a collision.

    The season has been Max Verstappen's to lose, and Horner's Red Bull outfit has played better tactical racecraft over the past many seasons. Lewis Hamilton remains the driver with the most career race wins and career pole positions while sharing most World Championship titles with Michael Schumacher, who also has 7.

    I didn't like how it ended. I could respect a race win where the lapped cars were passed in racing sequence -- they have to yield within few corners -- and then fresher tyres enabled Max Verstappen to overtake. I don't respect partial application of a rule for a TV spectacle that makes the racing nonsense -- there were four cars fighting for 2 and 1 world championship points and huge prize money, places 9 and 10, before the safety car who may have lost out with the split field.
    posted by k3ninho at 4:30 PM on December 12, 2021


    Could someone explain to me what a virtual safety car is, as that might help me understand what happened? Thanks. EDIT: I have heard it described as both a safety car and a virtual safety car. I don't think it will be a surprise to anyone if I say I know nothing about F1.
    posted by Elmore at 4:39 PM on December 12, 2021


    I had never watched Formula 1 at all before like three months ago. Didn't even know what it was. But a friend recently got into it, and she invited me to watch a race with her, and it was an excuse to go hang out, and OOPS now I've seen four races and have somehow become a Formula 1 fan.

    Anyways, in my extremely uninformed opinion the ending of that race was some hot steaming nonsense, regardless of who you support.
    posted by showbiz_liz at 5:06 PM on December 12, 2021 [5 favorites]


    Could someone explain to me what a virtual safety car is, as that might help me understand what happened? Thanks. EDIT: I have heard it described as both a safety car and a virtual safety car. I don't think it will be a surprise to anyone if I say I know nothing about F1.

    A non-expert explanation:

    VSC: the cars' top speed is reduced (limited electronically) by 40% or so, making it much less likely they'll go outside the track in corners, thus making it safer to clean up debris/remove cars that would make it unsafe for the race to run at full speed.

    Safety car: there's an actual car on the track, driving "slowly" and the f1 cars aren't allowed to pass it. Used for similar reasons as the VSC, but also has the effect of bunching up all the cars behind it. This gives a larger time window for removing debris from the middle of the track without dodging cars.

    No passing allowed during either VSC or SC.
    posted by ethand at 5:12 PM on December 12, 2021 [4 favorites]


    after watching Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton win it all in since 2014, I've just kind of relieved to see them lose for once. Lewis is probably the GOAT anyways. Let Max have this one. It was kind of fucked up but, better than the alternative I guess? Like I could imagine a whole lot of other endings that I would find much less satisfactory, and very few that were realistically available that were better.

    I bet there's still time for Lewis to get his 8th WDC. I suspect it may happen as early as next season.
    posted by some loser at 5:12 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


    Thank you @ethand
    posted by Elmore at 5:30 PM on December 12, 2021


    Could someone explain to me what a virtual safety car is, as that might help me understand what happened? Thanks. EDIT: I have heard it described as both a safety car and a virtual safety car. I don't think it will be a surprise to anyone if I say I know nothing about F1.

    A safety car is where they send out a high-performance road car to run ahead of the field as fast as it can (which is not very fast by F1 standards) and the entire field bunches up behind it. They use it when there's a crash on track which will need marshals (trackside volunteers) to clean up.

    A virtual safety car is essentially a track-wide speed limit where the field goes around the track fairly slowly but they don't bunch up behind a single car. It's used when there's something on track that needs clearing up, but usually a quick job for a few people rather than an extended operation. This is worth knowing about but not involved in the mess at the end.

    What happened at the end of this race is that Nicholas Latifi crashed his car and the safety car came out so marshals could get the wreck to a safe location. The rules say that after the cleanup is done, they should let cars which are a lap down go out in front of the pack to get them out of the way of the leaders, run another lap behind the safety car, and then restart. The cleanup was done with another 1 and a half laps left in the race (so halfway round lap 57). By the usual written rules that govern safety car restarts, they had two options:

    1) Follow the normal procedure, let the lapped cars go during lap 57, and then restart at the end of lap 58. Except because 58 was the last lap, that would mean the race ended behind the safety car.

    2) Go for a plan B which is used sometimes - don't let any lapped cars overtake the leaders, and restart the race at the end of lap 57. Verstappen would have started with several cars between him and Hamilton, and would probably not have had time to catch and pass him (although on fresh, soft tyres against Hamilton's old hards, it might have been close!).

    Instead they invented option 3) Let only the cars between Verstappen and Hamilton pass the leaders during lap 57, and then restart the race at the end of lap 57 with Verstappen directly behind Hamilton on much better tyres. Which led to the result we saw.

    This season has been a mess from a rules perspective - nobody seems to understand how several important rules work (eg. what happens if you run off track during an overtaking move?) because they've been applied very differently from race to race, and results keep getting decided by appeals panels several days after the race. The people in charge don't seem to understand how frustrating this is from a fan perspective, and I'm desperate to see this get sorted out.
    posted by Urtylug at 5:32 PM on December 12, 2021 [6 favorites]


    It's all well and good that Verstappen won after the season we've seen, but the whole competiton being decided by a one lap race with Hamilton on old tires and Verstappen on new, grippier soft tires?

    How much of a silver plate did Red Bull need to win the championship? Maybe Masi should have pulled a Jean-Marie Balestre and just disqualified Hamilton.
    posted by BYiro at 5:56 PM on December 12, 2021 [2 favorites]


    Y’all Mercedes’ chose twice not to pit Lewis because of track position. It was a bad choice leaning too hard into Lewis’s amazing ability to remain competitive on worn tires.

    However Lewis is also great at passing people. Even Max. They should have pitted him in the first instance (VSC). As other have said the Mercedes was much quicker today, but their strategy was conservative. Red Bull’s strategy on qualifying and race gave them the better result. Their win required luck, but if Mercedes’ strategy was a bit better they would have won the day.

    Also letting them race the last lap without making it right for those farther back was unfair. However not letting the world championship fight end under green would be bad for the sport as sport.

    Also Lewis is great. Max is a hot head. Toto is the biggest hot head and sore looser since Donald Trump. I would hate to be married to Toto.
    posted by creiszhanson at 6:19 PM on December 12, 2021 [3 favorites]


    I’m new to F1 this year and it’s absolutely bonkers to me that the team principals are allowed to lobby and wheedle the race director while the race is taking place.

    This is a recent development, at least this scale of it, and it is not a welcome one. Whiting took less shit, ran a much tighter operation. The teams didn't feel able to lean on him in the same way, I think.
    posted by Dysk at 6:37 PM on December 12, 2021 [2 favorites]


    Yeah honestly for like most of the last lap I was pretty sure Hamilton was still gonna win it, he performed incredibly on those used hards compared to max, like I was almost ready to believe that Lewis could still pull it off, there wasn't that many corners left.... Max finally overtakes with a kind of sloppy move really, more ragged edge than you'd expect for such a supposed tire advantage.. and then that's it, Max pulls ahead and stays ahead - the tire advantage now evident... Lewis put everything he had into that last lap and it was amazing to witness tbh.
    posted by some loser at 6:40 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


    I was pulling for Max, but that ending was a shame. Lewis was far superior all race. In hindsight, Masi should have red flagged it and with fresh tires, Lewis likely would have won. That would have been the most just outcome.

    Sport in general isn't always just, but as pointed out above, the inconsistency all season inevitably made the outcome controversial. The non-penalty on lap one (on either Max or Lewis depending on which precedence you pick), the creative interpretation of "any" (but not "all") lapped cars being able to pass the SC, the SC control being under the absolute descretion of the race director and superceding other written rules are all just par for the course. I'd really love to see a much clearer rulebook with concrete prescriptions. Speed limiters for VSC like WEC has, long lap penalties like MotoGP has, etc. So much grey area is built into the rules. Every interpretation (by a rotating set of stewards) is inevitably going to be second-guessed and half of the crowd is going to see as proof it's all fixed against them.

    At the end of the day, Mercedes gets another constructors title, Max didn't win the championship by crashing them both out, and Lewis was magnanimous and handled the situation better than anyone. Lewis had to drive a perfect race to win the driver's championship and it's a shame he didn't get it because he did his part, but at least he can hold his head high. The FIA, Masi, and Max/Red Bull? Not so much.
    posted by hankscorpio83 at 6:45 PM on December 12, 2021 [3 favorites]


    Max didn't do anything wrong today, though; he raced cleanly and fairly. Coming into the sport as a new fan, in the end I felt like they both deserved a championship. For most of the season I was in Max's corner mainly because I wanted to see someone finally beat Mercedes, but the last few races, Lewis's class and professionalism really shone through. I love F1, am so grateful I discovered it just in time to witness this amazing season, and I hope they make some changes that reduce some of the subjectivity and controversy, because what happened today sucks for both drivers. Lewis feels robbed of an 8th championship; Max will be bombarded for all time with questions about the legitimacy of his win. It's not fair to either of them.
    posted by something something at 6:51 PM on December 12, 2021 [6 favorites]


    One thing has been consistent - stewarding decisions on Derek Warwick's watch haven't been. Not that everyone else has been great, but whenever 6 there's a particularly WTF set of stewarding decisions, Warwick's name gets mentioned.

    I get that a red flag would, in a sense, have been the "fairest" outcome in the circumstances. I'd argue that it also wouldn't, because that would be making an exception to how this sort of situation is handled because of how it would affect the championship - it simply wasn't a red flag scale of incident. To do so would have been a decision to shield Merc from the consequences of a safety car. Forcing those consequences is no better, of course.
    posted by Dysk at 6:52 PM on December 12, 2021


    The FIA hand-delivering the championship to the committed company man over one of the only drivers on the grid to say anything at all about the organization’s insistence on racing in every repressive oil state they can find—who just so happens to be the only Black driver in the history of Formula 1–is the crowning disgrace that will put me off for good.
    posted by sinfony at 7:00 PM on December 12, 2021 [11 favorites]


    The FIA hand-delivering the championship to the committed company man over one of the only drivers on the grid to say anything at all about the organization’s insistence on racing in every repressive oil state they can find—who just so happens to be the only Black driver in the history of Formula 1–is the crowning disgrace that will put me off for good.

    The fuck? Was Bernie Ecclestone sitting behind Toto with a loaded pistol telling him not to pit Lewis during the VSC or something?
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:06 PM on December 12, 2021 [2 favorites]


    Masi threw out half the rule book to engineer a can’t lose finale for Verstappen, which you surely already know. Thanks for threads(h)itting.
    posted by sinfony at 7:09 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


    the crowning disgrace that will put me off for good.

    it's a disgrace, I agree. And I wouldn't argue that there isn't something to sticking it to

    one of the only drivers on the grid to say anything at all about the organization’s insistence on racing in every repressive oil state they can find—who just so happens to be the only Black driver in the history of Formula

    but in the end, it's F1. It ain't pretty, it ain't correct (hell they're glorifying the fucking automobile, fossil fuel, pavement, you name it), but it is beautiful. I've loved it since I was nine years old. I suppose I'll just shrug this off as one of those inglorious things that happen in high end sport and be back again next year.

    At least Max won this championship by more than five points (the gain he made on Hamilton in that debacle in Belgium a few months back).

    If there was some grand conspiracy to punish Lewis for giving the middle finger to repressive oil sheiks I'm sure the first step is "1) Let him get away with murder on the first lap".

    to my eye, that was as much Max as Lewis. If Lewis hadn't angled off the track, there would have been contact. Did he gain an advantage? That's arguable. He was in the lead before Max made his lunge.

    Also Brazil
    posted by philip-random at 7:24 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


    Mod note: YCPR, it would help a lot if you could comment in a more measured way instead of acting like you want to insult and start a fight with everyone else in the thread.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:33 PM on December 12, 2021


    And I think there is a sort of consistency to incidents that occur on the first lap after standing starts: They only penalize the aggressor if they assign a penalty at all. I think the stewards figure that everything else like a short-term track improvement will tend to even out over the remaining 60+ laps of the grand prix if the better car ends up behind a lesser car, but allowing overly aggressive maneuvers during the tightest, bunched-up-ness part of the race will only eventually end up with someone getting injured in a crash. And honestly I think the FIA publically has two overriding goals - safety and entertainment. Everything else is secondary.

    So I'm not sure that pointing to the incident at turn 6 is necessarily the sure-fire indicator of rottenness that people seem to think it is. This happens in nearly every single race, and it mostly seems to come down as either a non-incident or they penalize the aggressor. I mean, we saw exactly what happens when drivers get overly aggressive on restart just last week. And yes, yes, I know there are exceptions - it's a bitch that there are, and that the officiating is haphazard at best, suspicious at worst, but it is what it is.
    posted by Kyol at 8:01 PM on December 12, 2021


    I have yet to see a televised sport that has anything but haphazard officiation.
    posted by wierdo at 8:18 PM on December 12, 2021


    Year in and year out the media does its best to convince us that the constructor's championship has (as much or more)meaning to the teams as the drivers'. It's clear we can now put that to rest.
    An orchestra of tiny violins are playing for Mercedes, who somehow, as they wrap up their 8th consecutive championship, feel hard done buy the day's events.
    Lewis is pure class, but Toto's as whiney as they come, and his suggestion to the stewards, midrace, that they shouldn't disadvantage his car by taking safety into account, makes it hard to feel anything but cynicism in his belief in fair competition.
    History won't penalize Max any more than it has Schumi, for his shenanigans, or Senna for his aggressiveness, and Lewis will deservingly be considered among the very best to every drive a racecar.
    Lets hope for more seasons with this much drama to the end, a little less radio input from the team principals, better consistency from the stewards, and good , clean racing.
    posted by OHenryPacey at 8:52 PM on December 12, 2021 [3 favorites]


    A lot of things came together to cause the last lap to play out the way it did. Avoiding a championship being decided behind the safety car is one of them. The general idea that lapped cars have to drive all the way around the track instead of just shuffling into the agreed upon order while behind the safety car makes yellow flagged laps, especially near the end of the race, last far too long. The fact that F1 cars aren't allowed to refuel and saying "let's do one more lap" would lead to multiple cars potentially running out of gas so they had to finish on lap 58. Checo holding up Hamilton just enough that he didn't have a window to pit in front of Max for softs during the yellow flags also came into play.

    Some people above mentioned red flag restart as a solution, and I think that would be the most fare compromise - adding a rule that says any race that has a yellow flag that could potentially go to the end of the race be red flagged instead. But that also goes hand in hand with taking away the ability to do body work and change tires during a red flag - too many free pit stops given away that way.

    This was a weird season. There's always been rules-lawyering and gamesmanship but this season felt different.
    posted by thecjm at 8:53 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


    And one other thing - if Toto Wolff wasn't a tall, square jawed German, would he be thought of in the same way as Flavio Briatore? He runs one team, had a financial stake in another (Williams), and is the manager for another driver (Ocon). Can you image the scandal if the GM for the Dodgers had a stake in the Orioles and was the agent for Robby Ray at the same time? But in F1 it's all good I guess
    posted by thecjm at 8:58 PM on December 12, 2021


    F1 is a sport where enforcing the out of bounds (supposedly the white lines along the track's edge) is done on a case by case basis. It varies from turn to turn and even day to day. They have a rule book that is constantly bent and broken. Today's decision wasn't an outlier.
    posted by thecjm at 9:01 PM on December 12, 2021


    Officiating at any motorsport event that occurs under the hateful eyes of millions of armchair experts is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Even in this case, where it wasn't a matter of having mere seconds to make critical decisions, as is often the case in motorsport.

    By my reading of the rules, the decision to let some cars pass but not others just squeaks in as being within the letter of the rule, if not the intent, but it's a very close thing indeed. Article 48.12 is written in terms of what must happen when certain messages are sent out to cars more so than when messages must be sent and, in any case, don't prevent a 'lapped cars may now overtake' message being followed in quick order (say, the time it takes for five cars to overtake) by a 'overtaking will not be permitted' message. I don't know what messages were sent when and can't find any reporting of that, but that's effectively what happened.

    I also think it was the right thing to do from a sporting perspective, acknowledging that some further down the field may have been disadvantaged relative to Verstappen. The race was to decide the championship and there is only one champion so, at that instant, the only race that mattered was between Hamilton and Verstappen.
    posted by dg at 9:03 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


    Oh, Verstappen pretty clearly overlapped Hamilton under the safety car (the subject of the other protest), but I don't think he actually overtook. If so, he's in the clear on that count also.
    posted by dg at 9:19 PM on December 12, 2021


    Kudos to Lewis and his dad on a gracious post race. Very disappointing end to the season and not because of the drivers.
    posted by Red Desk at 9:20 PM on December 12, 2021 [1 favorite]


    One thing has been consistent - stewarding decisions on Derek Warwick's watch haven't been. Not that everyone else has been great, but whenever 6 there's a particularly WTF set of stewarding decisions, Warwick's name gets mentioned.
    Derek Warwick's "Great White Hope" wins.
    posted by fullerine at 10:34 PM on December 12, 2021


    Not on team Max at all, but many people failing to acknowledge that Lewis was in front and had strategy priority; Max on the other hand could only do whatever Lewis didn't: both strategies were decided by Mercedes. Max did pass on track; not in the stewards room, not in the court of arbitration. Mercedes complain of "if this and this and that wouldn't have happened, we would be WDC" is rearview mirror politics. They could've chosen to pit and max would be out in front. They didn't because risk aversion is the correct policy for the frontrunner, but minimizing risk is not the same as avoiding risk.
    posted by valdesm at 11:41 PM on December 12, 2021 [2 favorites]


    One thing has been consistent - stewarding decisions on Derek Warwick's watch haven't been. Not that everyone else has been great, but whenever 6 there's a particularly WTF set of stewarding decisions, Warwick's name gets mentioned.

    Derek Warwick's "Great White Hope" wins.


    The decision to run the end of the race the way they did was nothing to do with Derek Warwick, he was involved in the other controversial decision (which went Hamilton's way) but not the end-of-race one. The race ending was managed by Michael Masi, the race director.

    (Yes, the fact that F1 has two parallel sets of officials with partially overlapping responsibilities is mad, but that's a separate issue)
    posted by Urtylug at 12:00 AM on December 13, 2021 [2 favorites]


    There were plenty of weird calls through the season that went both ways - it is easy to pick and choose some that went Lewis’ way that could have already clinched it for Max weeks ago had they been officiated differently. Pretty exciting last race though, can’t argue with that
    posted by thedaniel at 1:57 AM on December 13, 2021 [1 favorite]


    My major thought from this season is that if not for the protective cockpit halo Max Verstappen would have killed Lewis Hamilton. I think Verstappen is an incredibly reckless driver who will someday kill another driver. He is also an extremely unlikable personality.
    posted by srboisvert at 4:01 AM on December 13, 2021 [4 favorites]


    I like Max's personality just fine.

    This winter I'm planning to watch old races (and maybe even entire past seasons) - do the longtime fans here have any specific recommendations? All season I kept hearing that this was "the best season since 2012" so I'm assuming 2012 would be a good place to start?
    posted by something something at 5:52 AM on December 13, 2021 [1 favorite]


    This is the first F1 season have paid attention to in at least 25 years. It seemed like a good choice, though it was a fluke on the back of a decent deal to get EPL footie. It has been an exciting set of races.

    I want the sport I watch to be exciting, however it turns out what I also want in a sport is legitimacy as to who triumphs. I understand that it might not always be the team or person I wanted to win, and that results can go against the run of play. But making up the rules on the fly, creating drama for its own sake is not sport, it's sports entertainment. If I wanted that I would get a WWE subscription.

    I don't care about the personality of either driver.
    posted by biffa at 6:32 AM on December 13, 2021 [1 favorite]


    This winter I'm planning to watch old races (and maybe even entire past seasons) - do the longtime fans here have any specific recommendations? All season I kept hearing that this was "the best season since 2012" so I'm assuming 2012 would be a good place to start?

    If you start with 2012, you may not find the rest quite as exciting. :)

    If you prefer more recent seasons, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2016 go down to the wire, while 2009 was really interesting from a technical perspective. If you want to go back further, 1976, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1994 (a brutal season though), 1999 are all good, and the cars in the early 2000s are just incredible.

    F1TV has a lot of archive races if you want to watch the entire seasons, but they've also added a few ~45 min season summaries for 1999, 2007, and 2012. And last time I checked, these official season reviews were still up.
    posted by hankscorpio83 at 7:00 AM on December 13, 2021 [4 favorites]


    This winter I'm planning to watch old races (and maybe even entire past seasons) - do the longtime fans here have any specific recommendations? All season I kept hearing that this was "the best season since 2012" so I'm assuming 2012 would be a good place to start?

    Thinking through the history...

    Brazil 2008 was a magnificent title decider, just as close as this year except without the shenanigans. The rest of the season was mostly only OK (it was pre-DRS and passing was much harder than it is now), and that was another year with some really messy officiating.

    Mad wet-weather races in which pretty much everything happened: Belgium 1998, Canada 2011, Brazil 2003, Hungary 2014, Germany 2018 and Germany 2019.

    Other classics: China 2011, Canada 2014, USA 2015, Sahkir 2020, Bahrain 2014.

    As a long-time fan, my favourite race of recent times was Turkey 2020. It's not action-packed, exactly, but the conditions were very strange, everything worked a bit differently and everyone had to adapt on the fly to completely unfamilar conditions. It was like exploring a whole new version of the sport.

    If I were to watch a whole recent season, 2012 is a great choice, and I'd also recommend 2019. 2010 was an exciting title battle made up of dull races, while 2011 was the opposite. Going further back, 1982 and 1986 were excellent. I would avoid 1994, it was exciting in its way, but it was also an ugly political mess marred by tragedy.
    posted by Urtylug at 7:10 AM on December 13, 2021 [5 favorites]


    To be clear, if you watch the 1994 season you're going to watch Ayrton Senna get killed in a horrific crash where pieces of the suspension speared through his helmet.

    It's a very ugly thing to see, and it will stick with you.
    posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:48 AM on December 13, 2021


    I like Max's personality just fine.

    he seems likeable enough here, hanging with his then teammate Daniel Ricciardo at the top of the best damned corner in motor racing.

    The view from the top!

    posted by philip-random at 8:19 AM on December 13, 2021 [1 favorite]


    said a man from Amsterdam.
    posted by philip-random at 10:59 AM on December 13, 2021 [1 favorite]


    I do liken it to any sport event that gets resolved by a dubious call from an official. It happens. It can't really be undone. Max Verstappen is a worthy champion, and it's certainly not anything he did wrong that fumbled things.

    Next year is already more interesting because of this result.
    posted by philip-random at 11:05 AM on December 13, 2021


    I do find it odd that there is so much more vitriol, so many stronger reactions to this, than there is to e.g. a world cup knockout game being decided by a dodgy penalty. Don't tend to see too many people swearing off football for that, but it's just as bullshit IMO.
    posted by Dysk at 11:17 AM on December 13, 2021


    As essential as the Safety Car is, I can't help feeling that it always ends up affecting the outcome a bit too much. A driver can slave away for most of the race to build up a lead, which then gets more or less nullified if the SC comes out. The VSC is not so bad as the cars mostly retain position. Why not keep note of the time differences when the SC is declared and apply them afterwards? Or, at the very least, disallow pitting under the safety car? I'm no expert but I feel there has to be a better way.
    posted by hrpomrx at 12:29 PM on December 13, 2021


    If you want to talk about meddling officials affecting this season unfortunately it starts well before the final race in both directions…
    posted by thedaniel at 12:30 PM on December 13, 2021 [2 favorites]


    Re the vitriol, I can’t help but wonder if it’s related to the view of many fans that F1 is corrupt / shady at the baseline, so every bad or weird call comes with even more suspicion of conspiracy than a single in the moment whistle in a football match
    posted by thedaniel at 12:34 PM on December 13, 2021 [1 favorite]


    Re the vitriol, I can’t help but wonder if it’s related to the view of many fans that F1 is corrupt / shady at the baseline,

    As opposed to, for example FIFA, a bastion of propriety.

    I'm not saying you're wrong, I suspect that is a major factor, it just still doesn't really make sense to me.


    As essential as the Safety Car is, I can't help feeling that it always ends up affecting the outcome a bit too much. A driver can slave away for most of the race to build up a lead, which then gets more or less nullified if the SC comes out.

    This is and always has been part of F1. You have to plan your strategy around the possibility of a safety car. It's the same for everyone, sometimes it falls for you, sometimes it gets called just as you're passing pit entry and it falls for your rivals behind. As a long term fan, I don't see the bunching under safety car, or the standing restart after a red flag period, as a bug, a problem to be fixed. I'd be sad to see them go.
    posted by Dysk at 1:54 PM on December 13, 2021 [2 favorites]


    Or, at the very least, disallow pitting under the safety car?

    Because disallowing the drivers from pitting is a safety concern and safety trumps everything else.
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:57 PM on December 13, 2021 [1 favorite]


    It is what it is. As the race director said to Toto Wolff -- "It's a motor race". Wacky stuff happens, especially when there are crashes.

    That said, it seems clear the ending was engineered to create a dramatic final moment. Strict adherence to the rules would have meant yet another title for Hamilton and a boring 5 lap procession to the title. Someone made the decision to let them race, and since Hamilton didn't pit (it would have potentially been catastrophic to pit at his position at the time), he lost. It's a motor race.
    posted by chaz at 2:07 PM on December 13, 2021




    Oh yeah, one more race recommendation. Watch Singapore 2008 without Googling anything about it, and then look it up online to find out what was really going on.
    posted by Urtylug at 3:42 PM on December 13, 2021


    Re the vitriol, I can’t help but wonder if it’s related to the view of many fans that F1 is corrupt / shady at the baseline,

    Best not look at how F1 distributes cash prizes then because Ferrari gets $50 million automatically for simply being Ferrari.
    posted by srboisvert at 4:46 PM on December 13, 2021 [1 favorite]


    if you're looking for a single greatest race, the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix has to be considered. I won't link to anything because it will probably give away the result. But if you can find the entire race, enjoy.
    posted by philip-random at 4:49 PM on December 13, 2021




    Man, that article is full of revisionist history, both regarding this season and ones past. Yes, Verstappen and Red Bull are willing to bend rules to win - but so are Hamilton and Mercedes. We haven't all forgotten Hamilton's very aggressive driving in his Mclaren days, and when he was competing with Rosberg at Mercedes, have we? Or Mercedes's and Lewis's shenanigans under safety car and at the formation for the restart in Saudi last week?His behaviour out of the car at Mclaren wasn't exactly exemplary either, what with the tweeting confidential telemetry data as a result of feeling hard done by.

    Not that Lewis is unique in this regard - he isn't, at all. His behaviour when he was a young hotshot is similar to all the young hotshots - Verstappen and Leclerc have certainly had their strops too. His and his team's rule bending in pursuit of a close championship is par for the course for anyone in that situation.

    But he also isn't uniquely angelic. His work beyond F1 is amazing, and he is a fantastic ambassador for the sport. He's probably the best driver in the history of F1. What he has achieved and how he has carried himself in so doing (in later years in particular) is a record to be proud of and stand by, imperfectly human as it is, without needing to sweep a lot of that history under the carpet.
    posted by Dysk at 5:42 PM on December 13, 2021 [4 favorites]


    if you're looking for a single greatest race, the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix has to be considered. I won't link to anything because it will probably give away the result. But if you can find the entire race, enjoy.

    Thanks for the recommendation, this was great!
    archive.org video of the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix
    posted by ethand at 7:08 PM on December 13, 2021 [1 favorite]


    2011 Canada gets my vote for best grand prix of recent times, but there was a lot of dead air - it's the race that led to the 2 hour time limit, with there being a several hour long red flag period for excessive rain halfway through. If you skip through that, the grand prix itself was amazing.
    posted by Dysk at 8:02 PM on December 13, 2021 [1 favorite]


    So I finally downloaded the F1 race and watched it on the plane yesterday. It was a spectacular race. Some thoughts:

    Re: Radio negotiation
    This is not new, just the visibility of it is. In days of old, the sporting director of each team would be running back and forth to the race control tower (later on with a cellphone in hand) until radios made direct comms so easy. Masi 'negotiating' with Horner at the previous race was a bit of stage management I am not happy with, because he was basically saying "this is the smart move because you are 'deciding' to give the place back on a MASSIVE hint" as the hammer of "if this is reviewed it won't go well for you" was dangled. But..... this happens on a smaller scale in the racing I am in. I can see Masi trying to say "come on, now. The most likely outcome is this, which would be a penalty from the stewards and you would whine about it. You MUST know how an appeal would go". So. Yeah, fair enough I guess.

    The decision to let SOME of the cars past in Abu Dhabi decided the race in Verstappen's favour. End of. No further interpretation. The rules say either none or all of the lapped cars go past. If Masi wanted to get the race to the end then he needed to decide to let all the cars through, or none. Those are the two options allowed in the rules, and making an extraordinary decision like this gave the race to Verstappen. It is only 'a motor race' if everyone is playing by the same rules. Mercedes didn't pit under the safety car PRECISELY because track position could have been lost and there was a high probability if the rules are being followed that the race would finish under yellow if the time was taken to reset the field. It was a smart decision and the sensible option as the current leader with so few laps to go. If it went green relatively quickly (with a short safety car period and no resetting the field) then track position and 5 cars of traffic was the best place to be with a limited (2 or 3 lap) restart.

    But to decide to not follow the rules and changing your mind so publicly and in a rush like that so that the race wouldn't finish under yellow and decide the championship is bullshit. The rules are clear - Hamilton should have won and they would have finished behind the safety car after the decision not to unlap cars was initially taken. The change of mind suggests pressure from somewhere else but the race director and safety concerns. They wanted the optics of the race finishing at full speed and bent the rules to make it happen. Which is bullshit.

    Verstappen is a worthy champion. No doubt. It was inevitable he would become champion at some point. I did kind of want Lewis to win because he deserves the legendary status and record, and also I think that it may well have been his last chance. He will not dominate Russell the way he has Bottas and even if Russell doesn't challenge enough for the title immediately he will take enough points off Hamilton that Verstappen (in a more, or earlier decided, team orders environment) will have a better shot. Which.... that's racing and good for Verstappen.

    The lap 1 turn 7 issue this weekend is a result of the bizarre decision at Brazil and Lewis was smart and canny about it. THIS is why he is the greatest driver of this era by far. It was clear from his radio communication and Bono's response (his race engineer) that they had discussed the Brazil incident (when forcing another car off track now apparently permits you to retain your place by driving off track) and how to use this new precedent. Hamilton saw the wild lunge from Verstappen and only tried to turn into the corner to pantomime he was going to turn in, so he could bail over the paint and floor it to retain the position. Notice Saudi Arabia where Verstappen tried the same thing and Hamilton bailed outwards to let Verstappen overshoot the corner (the pass that Verstappen had to give the place back during the red flag). In Abu Dhabi if there had been a gravel trap outside T6 he would have kept wide and tried to over/under Verstappen onto the next straight, but after the rule change he knew he had to just make the case he was forced outside the track lumits. This ability to adapt to the rules with such clinical ability under pressure is impressive. The radio message was hilarious - Lewis completely calmy and with a little acted sadness "Yeah, he forced me off track" and Bono's essential 'Yes, that's what we saw and you have given back any advantage you took from being forced wide' response was fantastic.

    Verstappen has always been too aggressive and has a habit of making moves that require the other person to bail out or they will crash. He drives like a bully. This is why I think Lewis decided not to back off at Silverstone earlier this year - Max needed to know his place and treat Lewis with respect. Lewis had backed out a few times this season before in the interests of the points finish and to keep letting that happen just means that Max thinks he always has the right of way. Lewis needed to draw a line in the sand. It worked for a while, but as things got tight at the end, Max is back to his old ways a bit, so Lewis was trying to work the rules to his favour.
    posted by Brockles at 6:21 AM on December 14, 2021 [16 favorites]


    thanks, Brockles.

    I do find that the older I get, the more I enjoy reading about F1. Almost more than watching it. I suppose it's a throwback to being a little kid in an era when you just didn't get much chance to see any racing.
    posted by philip-random at 9:53 AM on December 14, 2021


    Brockles your take on the lap 1 turn 7 incident is the most cogent I’ve seen. Thanks for the great commententary
    posted by creiszhanson at 1:47 PM on December 14, 2021




    that's Sir Lewis now.
    posted by philip-random at 9:12 AM on December 15, 2021 [1 favorite]


    I've been an F1 fan for a while now, and this season was really fantastic. I won't chime in with my thoughts around this last race, (so many of you have provided such keen insights), except to add that if I were Latifi, I imagine I'd find it hard not to tell Horner where to shove his offer to me of "A lifetime supply of Red Bull." I mean, I'd stifle it, but it would hurt. The crash was unfortunate (depending on who you talk to) but not meant to help Verstappen/Red Bull, and the suggestion otherwise, even tongue in cheek, would certainly give me an eye twitch.
    posted by but no cigar at 12:46 PM on December 15, 2021


    Yeah, Horner is an unvarnished dickhead, and that was very in character for him.
    posted by Dysk at 2:04 PM on December 15, 2021 [1 favorite]


    ("Unvarnished dickhead" is my new favorite insult. It's delightful to say and totally applies here.)
    posted by but no cigar at 5:16 PM on December 15, 2021


    Mercedes withdraws Abu Dhabi appeal

    “We left Abu Dhabi in disbelief of what we had just witnessed,” the statement read.

    [...]

    “Together with Lewis, we have deliberated carefully over how to respond to the events at the Formula 1 season finale. [...] In the race on Sunday many felt, us included, that the way things unfolded was not right.

    “The reason we protested the race result on Sunday was because the safety car regulations were applied in a new way that affected the race result, after Lewis had been in a commanding lead and on course to win the world championship.

    “We appealed in the interest of sporting fairness, and we have since been in a constructive dialogue with the FIA and Formula 1 to create clarity for the future, so that all competitors know the rules under which they are racing, and how they will be enforced. Thus, we welcome the decision by the FIA to install a commission to thoroughly analyze what happened in Abu Dhabi and to improve the robustness of rules, governance and decision making in Formula 1. We also welcome that they have invited the teams and drivers to take part.

    [...]

    The team was went on to congratulate Verstappen and Red Bull for their success, having been engaged in a thrilling battle that led to the two drivers entering the final round level on points.

    “To Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing: we would like to express our sincere respect for your achievements this season. You made this Formula 1 championship title fight truly epic. Max, we congratulate you and your entire team. We look forward to taking the fight to you on the track next season.”

    posted by philip-random at 9:42 AM on December 16, 2021


    Yeah, they had no way of protesting that which would either be ruled their way, or didn't cause them massive PR damage. No way to overturn the decision, but I am glad they used the fuss created by that decision to address the issues with officiating this year. Pressure on the FIA is necessary. The FIA very rarely admit (or even acknowledge) they were in the wrong, so this sounds like something will happen.
    posted by Brockles at 10:27 AM on December 16, 2021 [3 favorites]


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