2022 Italy Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Flashback (nightmares?) of Abu Dhabi, 2021. If the FIA really wants to change the safety car procedure, we're okay with that. But, be very, very careful of unintended consequences.
EVENT: It's Monza with the tifosi. There's no need to explain how the event went.
TRACK: Sure the track has changed a lot in a hundred years. But in some ways over that time, it hasn't really changed.
QUALIFYING: Leclerc grabs pole the old fashioned way -- without penalties -- much to the delight of the locals, everyone else has no clue where they are starting, and Vettel's farewell tour is turning into the phoning it in tour.
RACE: The controversial safety car ending helped overshadow what was frankly a boring race.
START: The crowd roars so you know who got a great start, Russell also gets a great jump but has to settle for second, Norris goes nowhere, Hamilton's march gets off to a slow start, and there's a little bit of bumping in the back.
VERSTAPPEN: Is he a robot?
PEREZ: Fiery brakes left him off the podium.
RED BULL: They just keep getting faster.
LECLERC: Even if they gave the field a one or two lap final dash, Charles and Verstappen had the same tire situation by then, and Leclerc's car just did not have the speed in that scenario.
SAINZ: Nice comeback drive, and possibly could have grabbed a podium if not for the late safety car.
FERRARI: They knew they could not beat Red Bull mano-a-mano. They had to try an alternate strategy -- and hope for some luck which they nearly got -- to try to win. We have no problem with that.
RUSSELL: Podiums are becoming so expected, George's performance is almost being overlooked.
HAMILTON: Much calmer than last week.
NORRIS: Lando had the car so show off.
RICCIARDO: Was finally running well, and then his engine fails.
GASLY: Getting a little bit of his groove back.
DE VRIES: Now that's how you make your F1 debut! Nothing else needs to be said.
LATIFI: It's now very obvious Nicholas will be traded for Nyck.
ALPINE: Unless Alpine swoops in.
HULKENBERG: Nico to Haas? That's an interesting rumor...
HERTA: No surprise the super license most likely won't be granted. But, it's not dead, yet...
ZHOU: Finally back in the points.
ASTON MARTIN: Just wretched.
ALBON: That is scary. Get well soon, Alex!
F2: Brazilian Felipe Drugovich won the F2 championship standing in his pit stand during the sprint race (because he crashed out after the first lap) watching the other contenders not get enough points to topple him despite Abu Dhabi still to run.
F3: It was even crazier seeing the F3 championship decided. After the feature race was red flagged and was not going to resume, various penalties were handed down. Everyone waited to see what the race results would end up being. When the dust settled, Frenchman Victor Martins hung on for the title. Meanwhile, Barbadian Zane Maloney won his third consecutive feature race.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Safety Car.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Pick a number. 150 years for Pirelli. 100 years for Autodromo Nazionale Monza. 75 years for Ferrari. Or 50 years since Emerson Fittipaldi clinched his title.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The Monza Circuit was built 100 years ago and hosted the second Italian Grand Prix on September 10, 1922 as its debut event. Thirty-one cars entered. Only 11 showed up. Just eight of those started (one, Gregor Kuhn, was killed in practice; another, Alfred Neubauer, the future famed team manager for Mercedes-Benz, withdrew). And a mere three finished. The race was 80 laps on the 6.21-mile layout for a total of 496.8 miles. Fiat 804's took 1-2 with both cars completing all the laps, led by Pietro Bordino followed by Felice Nazzaro, over eight minutes back. Four laps down was Pierre de Vizcaya in a Bugatti Type 29.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: The account V F1 tweeted: Hamilton on Sky about finishing in the Safety Car "These are the rules .. Only once has it been changed.."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: When Charles Leclerc was told to change his shifting habits due to a possible engine issue, he responded like any driver does to his engineers, "Make sure the engine is right."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Nyck De Vries after his first Formula 1 race, "My shoulders are dead. Dead."
SCHEDULE: Glad to have you back Singapore after a two-year forced hiatus. Where amazingly, Verstappen can clinch the championship.
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