2017 Mexico Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: The great battle of Hamilton vs. Vettel and Mercedes vs. Ferrari may have petered out down the stretch, but the addition of Red Bull fighting for wins saved some of the excitement.
TRACK: One section is worth keeping. The rest ... ditch.
EVENT: The atmosphere and enthusiasm can rival that of even the tifosi.
QUALIFYING: The most exciting of the year. Vettel defends his youngest on the pole record, Verstappen can't get it done when it counts, Hamilton is scratching his head, and Ricciardo was never in the picture.
START: Verstappen gets aggressive because he can, Hamilton gets aggressive when he can't, and Vettel plays bumper cars just because.
RACE: After the first lap, all eyes were on the back of the pack as the championship results overshadowed the race results.
HAMILTON: Lewis takes the championship in the most inauspicious way. But, a championship is a season long accumulation of feats, and for that, he is king.
VETTEL: Clipped Verstappen damaging his own front wing. Clipped Hamilton flattening his competitor's tire. This coming from a championship caliber driver? There's the reason Sebastian wasn't this year.
VERSTAPPEN: Note to FIA -- don't get Max mad. The rest of the field doesn't appreciate it.
RICCIARDO: Going from 16th to 7th in four laps notwithstanding and a DNF notwithstanding, Daniel was simply outclassed by his teammate.
BOTTAS: On the one hand, he matched and sometimes exceeded Hamilton's pace in practice and qualifying. On the other hand, he was completely outmatched by a Red Bull.
RAIKKONEN: The podium notwithstanding, Kimi should have been beaten by a Force India and both Red Bulls.
OCON: Virtual safety car cost Esteban his first podium.
PEREZ: On the one hand, totally outdone by his teammate. On the other hand, got a strong seventh place to delight his home fans.
FORCE INDIA: The little team that could does it again, clinching fourth place in the constructors' standings for the second year in a row.
MAGNUSSEN: Salvaged some points for Haas avoiding a missed opportunity with Renault parked by the wayside.
GROSJEAN: Once again, lost (even worse this time) throughout the weekend.
ALONSO: Was his thrilling battle with Hamilton a foreshadowing of things to come in 2019? We sure hope so!
STROLL: Back to a fabulous race for Lance.
MASSA: Completely outdone by his teammate as he seems to be just running out the laps.
ERICSSON: Marcus was actually running strong. A shame his car let him down.
HULKENBERG: Once again within range of a podium. Once again, it is snatched away from Nico.
RENAULT: Pop, pop, pop, pop went their engines in the ultra high altitude.
TORO ROSSO: Maybe they were preparing for next year when they have a Honda engine...
KVYAT: When Daniil got dropped from Red Bull to Toro Rosso, Verstappen won. When Daniil got dropped by Toro Rosso to try out Gasly, Verstappen won. When Daniil got dropped entirely from Toro Rosso, Verstappen won.
WILLIAMS: Is Kvyat now in the mix? Verstappen probably hopes so and that Daniil doesn't last long. Just saying...
HARTLEY: Looks like Brendon has got the Toro Rosso seat for 2018.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Inevitable.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 4 -- for 44.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Of the five drivers who won four or more championships, the two most recent ones are the only ones to do so with the same engine. Lewis Hamilton may have won with two different teams (McLaren and Mercedes), but always with a Mercedes engine. Sebastian Vettel is the only driver to win it for the same team (Red Bull) and engine (Renault). Michael Schumacher won his with three different engines -- Ford, Renault, and Ferrari. As did Alain Prost -- TAG, Honda, and Renault. Juan Manuel Fangio did it with the most different engines, four -- Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Mercedes, and Ferrari. In fact, his 1954 title started with the Maserati team and ended with the Mercedes squad. But he also won titles with full years with those respective teams.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Toto Wolff to Lewis Hamilton after the checkered flag, "Not the race you want, but who cares."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Max Verstappen after a great start saw him pulling steadily away from the rest of the field, "Simply lovely."
SCHEDULE: Massa already had his emotional goodbye in front of his home fans, so we can't do that again. With the championship decided, the drivers can go for broke for victory. That can be a lot of fun.
Copyright © 2017 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.