2021 Emilia Romagna Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Two for two. We keep hoping this lasts as long as possible. For it could be a humdinger of a season.
EVENT: The official name is Formula 1 Pirelli Gran Premio Del Made In Italy E Dell'emilia Romagna. Ummm, we'll just call it Imola...
TRACK: A lot more interesting in the wet.
QUALIFYING: Hamilton gets Mercedes back on pole, while Bottas completely messes it up, Max makes a mistake, allowing Perez to get Red Bull on the front row, Norris' day in the sun is ever so fleeting, Russell is spectacular, and Tsunoda learns F1 is hard after all.
RACE: On the one hand, it would have been very interesting to see how the race would have played out in the dry with the Red Bulls on two different tire strategies and Bottas unable to help Hamilton. On the other hand, we still got an exciting, thrilling race, so we should stop complaining.
START: Verstappen has perfect grip with a rare second gear start, Hamilton doesn't back off and goes bouncing, Perez gets lost in the spray, Ricciardo makes a jump, and Latifi goes off, comes back on, squeezes a Haas, and ends up in the wall.
VERSTAPPEN: Except for a little (near catastrophic) moment just before the last restart, Max drove a dominating, mistake free race in ever changing, difficult conditions.
PEREZ: While Sergio made mistake after mistake, including the utterly boneheaded move of passing under the yellow thinking it was a formation lap, after losing two spots sliding off course.
RED BULL: Why didn't the team tell Perez to give back those spots immediately instead of suffering the penalty? They had to have known. Oh, that's right, it's all about Verstappen...
HAMILTON: A costly mistake made not so costly thanks to the timely red flag caused by his heir apparent.
BOTTAS: The crash overshadowed the fact Valtteri was having a horrible race. He never should have been fighting with a Williams to begin with. Not the type of performance to keep a ride.
MERCEDES: Made great strides since Bahrain. However, they still need to burn the midnight oil.
NORRIS: Once again, Lando's stock rose immensely.
RICCIARDO: For his second race at McLaren, Daniel was once again completely outshone by his teammate.
MCLAREN: They must really be thinking they hit the jackpot -- a Mercedes engine, just the right chassis changes, Norris is outstanding, and Ricciardo will eventually get into his form.
LECLERC: Another driver whose stock continues to rise.
SAINZ: Got a bit lucky to finish behind his teammate considering how many mistakes Carlos made in the first half of the race.
FERRARI: We are still not willing to say they are back. But, we are still willing to say they have gotten better.
GASLY: Wrong choice of wets over intermediates to start the race doomed Pierre's chances.
TSUNODA: Yuki made great progress up the field until a mistake and his stubborn unwillingness to obey track limits did him in.
ALPINE: Not the speed Alonso expected.
ALFA ROMEO: All set to have two cars in the points, then all of a sudden had zero cars in the points.
ASTON MARTIN: Whatever brake ducts they are using this year, they are not cooling the brakes.
RUSSELL: It was ruled a racing incident. But ultimately, it is the responsibility of the passing driver to make a safe pass.
VETTEL: Talk about one problem after another. But hey, this time not a single one was Sebastian's fault.
FIA: We've said this before, but we'll say it again. The red flag rules in F1 are dumb. Allowing work to be done during a red flag is absurd. Allowing drivers to get a lap back is silly. That kind of luck prevented Hamilton from finishing lower than second because he would not have made up all that time without getting his lap back. If this season goes down to the wire, remember this potential swing of points. They may end up being the difference.
MIAMI GP: We'll believe it when the lights actually go out. (And if they actually run this in June, do they not realize how freaking hot it is in Miami in June?!)
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Feud.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 700 -- The number of podium finishes in F1 history by British drivers, thanks to a double podium finish with Hamilton in second and Norris in third.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The first podium by a British driver was in the very first F1 race -- the 1950 British GP. In an Alfa Romeo sweep, Reg Parnell finished third behind two Italians, winner Giuseppe Farina and Luigi Fagioli. It took until the 1956 Monaco GP before we saw a British double podium finish. Stirling Moss won in a Maserati. Peter Collins shared second in a Ferrari, as he only started the race, handing the car over to Juan Manual Fangio while in third on the 54th lap out of 100.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: A Haas tweet describing the travails of Mick Schumacher during the first full course yellow, "Schumacher can't pit... because the pit lane is currently closed, due to the debris at the exit, which of course is the German's own front wing. Talk about adding insult to injury here."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Daniel Ricciardo summarized the situation the entire grid found on the warm up laps to the grid, where a lot of drivers went off, "One of the two biggest challenges of this race were the laps to the grid."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Max Verstappen on his offs during qualifying, "I know that Honda makes good lawnmowers, but I don’t think this is suited for that."
SCHEDULE: A week off, then off to the Iberian Peninsula for a back-to-back in Portugal and then Spain.
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