F1: 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Kiante

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Turn 8 in the castle section has been altered a bit, no more bumps on the left hand side. Now drivers can carry more speed:
 

Reck

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Is Mercedes testing new parts? Their practice speeds were dog poo. Seconds off the pace.
 

Reck

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Tire temps.

The fronts especially.

Tire temps still doesn't explain why they're so far back though. They're literally last. I have a feeling they're crying wolf again.

It's one thing to not be quicker than Red Bull or let's say even Ferrari but not 4th..5th quickest?
 

Hotrod

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Awesome Q3. This will be a fun start for the race.
You would figure Tsunoda would be happy with his
first Q3 - nope - he still went for a pole and overcooked
a corner and walled it. I likey .
Hamilton was all smiles with his P2. LeClerc on pole.
 

FLRacingFan

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It’s wild how difficult this track has proven to be. Five different drivers crash in qualifying, jeez.

Four different teams compose the front two rows. And I’d say very few people would’ve predicted consecutive Ferrari poles at any point in 2021.
 

Reck

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Awesome Q3. This will be a fun start for the race.
You would figure Tsunoda would be happy with his
first Q3 - nope - he still went for a pole and overcooked
a corner and walled it. I likey .
Hamilton was all smiles with his P2. LeClerc on pole.

Hamilton and Mercedes almost played themselves with their little games no one paid attention too. They were fast all along, they just hid it.
 

Reck

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A little observation from watching FP3 and quals...

Verstappen is showing questionable fortitude and the pressure of actually leading and being the hunted is getting to him. He was a blubbering mess in post qualifying with gross language and seeing pouting after his crash in FP3.

You keep that up and Hamilton is going to turn you into a pretzel, young Max.
 

Hotrod

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Just......wow!

Interesting call to red flag with 2 laps left.
 

Hotrod

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A standing start 2 lap F1 race!

Place that on my "First Time" list.
 

Reck

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Oh and by the way, Albon hated today probably. He'll never get a ride with the main team again. Checo eclipsed all Red Bull second drivers in basically 1 race and definitely solidified himself as the second best at RB, period.
 

Reck

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They're not not gonna keep Bottas through the end of the season. This could be Russell's ride in a month or two.

The team itself has taken a massive step backwards. I think this is a good time to go fish somewhere else. I get the feeling Mercedes is about to be irrelevant for a few years. If I'm Hamilton I'm not even sure I want to be there next year.

Next year's tire compounds are huge so imagine if they can barely get heat on these, they will definitely struggle with the 2022 package even more so.
 

Doc Austin

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There are so many cut up highlight videos on Utube that I'm always going to look for the official F1 channel's version.

Race Highlights | 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix - YouTube

Great result for Checo, but I think most of us knew he would end up being good in this car.

I'm continually amazed Pirelli stays in F1. Every weekend it's all about the teams that can't get the tires to work, or worse, blow them up and crash out like today. The drivers use the tires as their excuse almost every weekend. The tires wouldn't switch on or I could not get them in the operating window, or something, anything to shift the blame off them, and it's almost always the tires that get the blame.

I don't think it's Pirelli's fault. They built the tire the FIA wanted, right down to when the tire peters out and the performance falls straight off the cliff. That's the tire the FIA wanted. They wanted the performance to drop off to "spice up the show," but any time you try to spice up the racing, all you do is screw it up .... you know, kind of like today.

Honestly, I don't remember having this much tire trouble even when we have had tire wars between multiple manufacturers.

A tire manufacturer's responsibility is first, foremost and always, to provide a safe tire that won't explode and put you in the wall at 200 mph. Pirelli was probably so preoccupied with performance and performance drop off that they didn't get the important part right, but again, I don't believe it's their fault. If you left them alone to build whatever tire they wanted, you can bet the tires would not suddenly stop working like todays cheesy donuts.

But, you get what you pay for, and Pirelli's reward this weekend was Max kicking the crap out of the tire before he walks away from the smoldering hunk. Yeah. I'm gonna run right out and buy four of those exploding Pirelli cheesy donuts so I can wreck my car too. Can wait to send my family down the road on those things.

Just for reference, check how Michelin is doing in sportscars where the drivers talk about how they can easily triple stint the tires. The drivers never complain the tires are "finished" after a few laps, and there is never any "Bono, my tires are gone." Michelin just wins and wins and wins with no drama, no fake spicing up the show, and most importantly, no blowing cheese all over the place and tearing down guardrails.

Maybe it's time for F1 to stop telling Pirelli how to build their tires. It's bad enough that is all the broadcasters can talk about every second of the race. Now tires are popping tires and crashing people.
 

FLRacingFan

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Awesome podium aside, pretty stupid and embarrassing day for the sport. You can’t have tires failing without warning down 200+ MPH concrete canyons, and why are you waiting so damn long to deploy a safety car?
 

FLRacingFan

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Oh and by the way, Albon hated today probably. He'll never get a ride with the main team again. Checo eclipsed all Red Bull second drivers in basically 1 race and definitely solidified himself as the second best at RB, period.
Yep, zero chance Albon holds off Hamilton and even gaps him later on after the first stop. Red Bull finally got their guy. Having an excellent #2 is huge for both championships. It seems like whenever Bottas is stuck in traffic he has zero overtaking ability while Hamilton can almost always mount some sort of charge.
 

Doc Austin

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Next year's tire compounds are huge so imagine if they can barely get heat on these, they will definitely struggle with the 2022 package even more so.
Here's a question for F1: If the tires are so hard you can't get heat into them, why are they popping?

Maybe F1 just needs to let Pirelli build the tire they want to build. I'm sure they could easily make a tire that heats up correctly and runs 2/3 distance. Remember, in 1987 Al Unser senior ran, and won the Indianapolis 500 on one set of tires, so it's not like this has never been done before.

Remember that they used to run entire Grands Prix start to finish without stopping. I just don't get the obsession that pit stops are exciting.
 

Reck

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Here's a question for F1: If the tires are so hard you can't get heat into them, why are they popping?

Maybe F1 just needs to let Pirelli build the tire they want to build. I'm sure they could easily make a tire that heats up correctly and runs 2/3 distance. Remember, in 1987 Al Unser senior ran, and won the Indianapolis 500 on one set of tires, so it's not like this has never been done before.

Remember that they used to run entire Grands Prix start to finish without stopping. I just don't get the obsession that pit stops are exciting.

Problem easily solved by making it so you have to stop at least 2 times. It solves many problems at once. Ensures safety regarding possible tire malfunction and provides for good racing throughout with the variable strategies.
 

gnomesayin

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If these results were produced by the new F1 video game, people would (rightly) complain about the lack of realism. Crazy. I couldn't watch this morning but look forward to reviewing the madness later.
 

Doc Austin

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It seems like whenever Bottas is stuck in traffic he has zero overtaking ability while Hamilton can almost always mount some sort of charge.
I believe when you have a guy in Russel (who has already smoked Botas off at Sakir) waiting in line, performances like we saw today from the second Mercedes are unacceptable. Sure, I'de feel bad for Botas if he got booted, but he is wasting that car.

At least it's simple for Mercedes. They just trade Botas back to Williams and throw a few engines at them.

Hamilton did something today we haven't seen in .... well, since I can't remember. He completely screwed himself and the the race away, all 25 points worth of it. He went from maximum points haul to nowhere in one swift lock up. Like, when was the last time he did something like that? This is why he's got seven championships because he never screws up. What happened today?

Of course, the other way to look at it is the Mercedes is so unbeatable so there's no reason to make a mistake. Now though, Hamilton is in a fight, a real fight like he's never faced before from outside is own team. You expect Lewis to get better when the heat is turned up, but today he went the other way. Probably just an isolated crack in the armor that we won't see again.
 

Reck

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He completely screwed himself and the the race away, all 25 points worth of it. He went from maximum points haul to nowhere in one swift lock up.

Way I understood it from post race radio between Hamilton and the team they overcooked the tires with their "magic" button. Someone forgot to remind Lewis to turn the mechanism off while on the grid.

Fact is, they didn't need to get cute. Just get the car in the top 10 and that was that. Things go wrong when you try to do too much with a car that wasn't fast enough. Max was out at that point so what is Hamilton doing risking points when he's already in a hole?
 
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