As far as having lots of battles for the lead and lots of different winners, this year was sort of disappointing, but there were so many fierce battles up and down the field that it was still a fun season.
I don't think anyone liked the way 2021 went down, but no one is talking about it anymore because Max answered his critics with a smashmouth kind of performance all year long. There is absolutely no doubt who the rightful champion is. My problem with Max disappeared as soon as it became apparent, he was done using dirty tricks. He may have had the best car, but he won straight up, and you have to respect that.
And, like I may have mentioned before, the best Lewis Hamilton is the one with his back against the wall, and that's what we saw almost all year. He had a few miserable races in Imola and Baku, but for the most part he and George got everything they could out of the Mercedes sled.
I can't remember a year where so many good drivers have left the series or been forced out. Losing Vettel will be a gut punch, but it's probably better than seeing him spend another year in a no-hope ride. Ricciardo just needs to get out and do something else for a year, then maybe try to come back. Mick may be out of F1 for now, but made a slick move on Mags and made it stick, so he's not leaving without showing he still belongs.
Overall, the competition for wins was disappointing, but we have been through this so many times a lot of us have just learned to appreciate the greatness we are seeing. At least the midfield battles were cracking, and the cars looked amazing, so it was still a good year.
The thing with track limits has reduced race control to being mere referees who mark who is and isn't out of bounds. It was not all that long ago if you violated track limits you were either in the lobby of a hotel or the trees. I'm not saying we need a more dangerous sport but imagine the guys who would still be with us if they had raced with the cars and circuits we have today.
The tire game and DRS remain fake and phony, and both need to be rethought. I believe they have learned enough this year to make the next generation of cars disturb even less air to the car behind, and I believe they need to work on that. DRS is just fake and phony, but it may be a necessary evil.
The tire thing though, may be impossible to fix. The way it is now, the entire telecast is devoted to who stopped when and how many laps they can run without degging off the cliff. It's all tires, tires, tires all the time on every lap. It used to be race, race, race, but that was back when the tire companies were allowed to make the best tire they could and not worry about having them fall apart at an artificial predetermined rate.
What does Pirelli get out of it? They get two full hours of "the tires were finished after one lap," or "the tires would not switch on," or even "we could not get the tires to work in the right window." Man, after watching the petite Lemans and hearing every driver on the grid talk about how much grip they had for three stints on their Michelins, or how well the tire performed in the wet, I know what kind of tires I am putting on the wife's cars when she wears out her current Michelins. I mean, maybe I am looking at this the wrong way, but can you ever remember any driver on the F1 grid talking about how great the Pirellis were? Yeah, me neither.
So, now we have at least two months off, but at least the first race will be the Rolex and we will have 24 full hours to enjoy.