2022 Mexico City Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Has Ferrari slipped to being the third best team on the grid with Mercedes surpassing them? Maybe the high altitude was an anomaly. We'll find out in the final two races.
EVENT: For an event corresponding with the celebration of the Day of the Dead, it's anything but a dead event. Kind of like a Grateful Dead concert.
TRACK: With the higher altitude, the new regulations really didn't play well on this hard to pass track. Tire strategy was the biggest passing factor.
QUALIFYING: Verstappen continues his domination, Mercedes is fast, as is Alpine, as well as Bottas again, Perez cannot turn the energy of his fans into front row speed, and Aston Martin doesn't carry any speed over from COTA.
RACE: It always seemed something was about to happen, but it never did.
START: Verstappen is beyond perfect, Hamilton aggressively goes for second, Perez thrills the crowd by also disposing Russell, Alonso gets a strong start as usual, the Aston Martin, especially Stroll, jump a slew of spots, and the order of the top six after lap one was identical to after lap 71.
VERSTAPPEN: Simply untouchable now.
PEREZ: Though Sergio was on the same Red Bull tire strategy, he couldn't catch Hamilton. Hmmm.
RED BULL: Once again, won the strategy game.
MERCEDES: They kept insisting to their drivers they were on the correct tire strategies while Verstappen kept increasing the lead. Too conservative? If nothing else, split your strategy like McLaren did so successfully.
HAMILTON: Nonetheless, Lewis gave it his all. If only he had soft tires at the end...
RUSSELL: Should have given George the strategy he wanted.
FERRARI: They were one minute behind the leaders. One minute!
RICCIARDO: Sure he was on the soft tires for the final stint. But, it was still great fun to see the Daniel of old weaving through the field.
MCLAREN: Good for them for taking the gamble no other top runner was willing to try. This is racing. It's all about risk taking. We need to see more of it.
TSUNODA: Yuki may not agree with Ricciardo being driver of the day.
GASLY: New betting game for next race -- which lap will Pierre get a five-second penalty?
LATIFI: The only finishing driver lapped twice.
ALONSO: Fernando was hopping mad.
FIA: The purpose of penalty points is to punish dangerous drivers. Then why do you hand out penalty points for non-dangerous infractions? This is why Gasly is within a whisker of a one-race ban all the way into May.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Hards.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 14 -- Sure there are more races now, but the recent records were set thanks to more races from the previous records. The bottom line is, winning 14 races ... and counting ... in one season is an impressive feat by Verstappen.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Some could argue win percentage is a better barometer to judge a dominating season instead of outright wins. But even that can be suspect. Number one is Alberto Ascari who won 75% of the races in 1952 in a Ferrari. But there were only eight races back then. Go on a hot streak, there isn't much time to be stopped. Plus, that included the Indy 500, so in reality he won six out of seven races, for 85.7%. The "modern day" record was set by Michael Schumacher with 72.2% in 2004 winning 13 out of 18 races, also in a Ferrari.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: The F1 Memes account is at it again. With the caption, "It's evolving, just backwards" is a poster of the two Ferrari cars with the copy reading:
Have you seen them?
Last seen in Austria
If found please call
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: The repeated mantra spoken by both Mercedes drivers throughout the hard tire stint, "I'm still not happy with these tires."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Fernando Alonso after his comments about previous world champions' worth received blowback said, "Tired of the continuous search for headlines." Which is rich considering Alonso is always in search of headlines ... about himself.
SCHEDULE: A short break before the final two events with the last sprint race next.
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