2022 Netherlands Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: The CRB ruling was supposed to answer a lot of questions. Instead, it sent silly season into an even wilder loop.
EVENT: This year full capacity and (mostly) without the orange smoke flares. Still a bonkers atmosphere.
TRACK: This time, the new regulations did not have a massive effect, but still better than last year with the passing.
QUALIFYING: Once again, when it matters most, Verstappen and Red Bull find the speed to pull it out. Perez helps matters by spinning on the last lap causing Hamilton to abort his fast lap. Ferrari still shines. Schumacher makes it to Q3 purely on merit. Ricciardo sinks to another depth. Bottas begins a new, albeit ignominious, streak, failing to get out of Q1 for the second consecutive time.
RACE: It was shaping up to be one heck of a contrast of strategies with the possible upset, but the climax was spoiled by the safety car.
START: Verstappen uses the energy from the crowd, rocketing away, Hamilton nearly puts himself out again, Norris jumps Russell who's on mediums, and Ocon gets a super start.
VERSTAPPEN: Calm, cool, and collective.
PEREZ: Not in the picture.
RED BULL: Maybe they resigned Sergio a bit too early...
RUSSELL: Surprised Mercedes let George pull a fast one on Hamilton.
HAMILTON: He would not have won anyway, but he was right to question the decisions by his team, even if he went about it a bit rudely.
MERCEDES: Great strategy before the safety car. Not so great strategy after the safety car. They should have had a 2-3 at worst.
FERRARI: Fun F1 game to play -- guess the lap and reason Ferrari will screw up. This week's winner: 14 and not ready for a pit stop.
LECLERC: His car's speed just isn't there.
SAINZ: When it rains, it pours.
ALONSO: So, you really want to leave Alpine for Aston Martin? Really?!
NORRIS: This time, McLaren is good.
RICCIARDO: Except for Daniel, as this is getting really embarrassing.
MAGNUSSEN: Quite frankly, lately Kevin has not lived up to why Haas brought him back. In fact, it's been Schumacher who has been the calmer, and sometimes the faster, driver.
TSUNODA: That sure was a weird set of events for his DNF. But, we don't think anything nefarious was going on.
MCLAREN: They got their driver for 2023. Now, we'll see if it was all worth it.
PIASTRI: Oscar is sure going to have a lot of eyes on him next year.
ALPINE: They played hardball with Alonso thinking he had no choice. And lost him. They played hardball with Piastri thinking he had no choice. And lost him. Brilliant negotiating strategy there...
HERTA: All of a sudden, Colton is a serious choice for an F1 seat. All he needs is for the FIA to give him a Super License waiver. Which granted is a tall order.
GASLY: And if so, Pierre goes to Alpine to team with someone he hates.
PORSCHE: Trouble in the F1 entry paradise.
F2: Felipe Drugovich is now dominating F2, taking his fourth feature race win and leading the championship by 69 points with two weekends left (Monza and Yas Marina). And he's Brazilian. Yet, he is barely on anyone's lips for an F1 seat.
F3: With one weekend left, Victor Martins has ever so slightly opened a five point lead over Isack Hadjar who leads Roman Stanek by 12 who leads Oliver Bearman by three.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: CRB.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 2 -- Max Verstappen joins Emerson Fittipaldi (1973-74) as the only two drivers to win their first two home races.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Zandvoort opened in 1948 and for the first two years held the Zandvoort Grand Prix before being renamed the Dutch GP. However, it wasn't till 1952 when it was part of the points scoring F1 calendar. It was won from pole by Alberto Ascari, who already clinched the drivers' championship, in a Ferrari. The Italian team swept the podium, as he was followed by Nino Farina and Vuigi Villoresi, the only other drivers on the lead lap. It was Ascari's fifth consecutive win.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: The tweet that stated, "An iconic 3 tyre pit stop from Ferrari pit crew goes into the history books."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Carlos Sainz, while sitting in his car waiting for his crew to remember he needs four wheels, says not with any anger, but in a slow, methodical, resignation manner, as if he's been here before, "Oh. My. God."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Christian Horner amazed how his driver, Max Verstappen, is able to handle the huge expectations of his home crowd, "Despite all the distraction, the expectation -- I've never seen anything like this before -- he's managed to keep his head down. I think the most peaceful time for him is in the car."
SCHEDULE: Monza should be like Spa. So, expect Red Bull to win easily with nobody able to keep up with them.
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