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Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

The Baku Grand Prix went from a challenging Friday and Saturday to almost comical on Sunday. With seven cars out of the race, two safety car periods and flaring tempers, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo started 10th and turned a bad qualifying session into a race win by keeping cool, measured and on top of his game.

The bizarre nature of the Baku Grand Prix led to a slightly different podium and the fourth different winner in the first eight races of the season. Perhaps the sheer elation Williams F1 and Lance Stroll must be feeling for their podium finish was slightly tarnished as the young Canadian missed second place in the last few feet by a charging Valtteri Bottas who pipped Lance at the line. Regardless, a podium finish for the young Canadian due to a brilliant and measured drive.

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

Win

A very big win for Red Bull who hasn’t led a lap this season. Ricciardo managed to win the race and take advantage of the carnage and mishaps of the drivers ahead of him. Being there to win it is all part of the game and Ricciardo drove brilliantly to get himself in that position coming back from 17th.

A massive win for Williams F1 and rookie Lance Stroll who made it to the podium for the first time in his young career. The ebullient young man could barely contain his elation having never been in the cool-down room or the podium in F1 and even though he lost second place at the line to Valtteri Bottas, he has a lot to be proud of being the youngest podium winner ever in F1. Not too bad for a rich kid huh?

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

A win for Mercedes who managed to get Valtteri’s recovery drive in place early on and for Bottas to execute the strategy recovering from being a lap down and claim the second spot. Bottas drove his tail off getting back to second and it was a terrific recovery drive.

A big win for McLaren to finally get in the points and for Sauber who radioed Ericsson to move over for Wehrlein who secured 10th after having contact with his teammate.

A win for Kevin Magnussen who seems impervious to the team’s mystery brake issues and brought his car home in the points.

Fail

A fail for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who threw away a possible podium finish, If not a race win, by ramming Lewis Hamilton out of frustration when he felt the British champion purposefully brake-checked him prior to a re-start behind the safety car. Seb’s point was that the brake-check was the wrong thing to do and he felt that Lewis should have had a penalty for deliberately backing the field up too much and being to slow behind the Safety Car. Banging Lewis’s wheel was a way of letting him know he wasn’t happy about it and in F1, you can’t do that sort of thing.

A fail for Force India who missed out on a possible 1, 2 victory and due to the coming together, both cars were off the podium with Perez retiring. This teammate battle is heating up to a boil now.

A fail for Red Bull who delivered another DNF for Max Verstappen with a mechanical failure. The fourth such failure this season adding to rumors that Max is seriously looking for another ride…possibly Kimi Raikkonen’s seat for 2018.

It’s a tough situation at this track due to inability to have cranes trackside to remove cars quickly or debris and what we thought we’d see last year actually came to fruition this year. Safety Cars, debris and a red flag and it’s mostly down to the nature of the track and inability to clear it quickly.

A fail for Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who knows that going to quickly with a flat tire can actually cause it to windmill your rear wing off and damage the suspension…which is exactly what happened.

A fail for the Mercedes head support that came loose on Hamilton’s car prompting a pit stop to secure it and the win.

A fail for Renault for having more mechanical issues for Jolyon Palmer’s car and then for Nico Hulkenberg to throw away a great points drive by hitting the wall and ending his race.

A fail for Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean who got all snippy about the press and world feed focusing on his brake commentary over the radio and then spent he entire race complaining about his brakes and eventually trundled around to finish the race with bad brakes.

WTH

Mercedes warned Lewis that his re-start was very close to over the Safety Car line which would have incurred a penalty and Lewis said, “Trust me, it wasn’t”. Lewis was very vocal on the radio about the slow Safety Car and wanted a Virtual Safety Car instead. He was constantly backing up the field trying to get a clear re-start and he had a point for the debris calls in that the VSC may have been a better option.

Lewis was clearly troubled by the Safety Car in Baku and each time it was used. He nearly ran afoul of the re-start line and then backed the field up which prompted the accident and Vettel felt it was not a good move on Hamilton’s part. While not justifying Seb’s reaction to the rapid slowing in pace and ultimate collision, Lewis was a little awkward behind the Safety Car and did show some drastic slowing and gapping to the SC.

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

 

A WTH for Force India’s driver seat which broke ending Sergio Perez’s race or perhaps that was the clout from Ocon that broke his seat which adds to the gravity of keeping these two drivers apart from each other although I would say that Ocon just sent a message that he’s not playing happy helper to Perez any longer.

The Baku Grand Prix is a newer race and perhaps you could forgive the marshals from not being quite the cream of the crop yet but banging stricken cars against the walls and prompting long Safety Car periods didn’t help matters.

I did enjoy the new Charlie Whiting commentary from Lewis Hamilton who has realized that his team radio can double as a real-time Charlie Whiting communication device replete with praise and or criticism of the race director during the race.

I also feel for the race stewards who had to call this race…what a fiasco this would have been to manage.

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

 

Baku GP Results:

POS DRIVER CAR GAP
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 2h03m55.573s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 3.904s
3 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 4.009s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 5.976s
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 6.188s
6 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 30.298s
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 41.753s
8 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 49.400s
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 59.551s
10 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1m29.093s
11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m31.794s
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m32.160s
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
14 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Not running
Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes Retirement
Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes Retirement
Nico Hulkenberg Renault Accident
Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault Retirement
Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault Retirement
Jolyon Palmer Renault Retirement

Drivers’ Championship:

POS DRIVER POINTS
1 Sebastian Vettel 153
2 Lewis Hamilton 139
3 Valtteri Bottas 111
4 Daniel Ricciardo 92
5 Kimi Raikkonen 73
6 Max Verstappen 45
7 Sergio Perez 44
8 Esteban Ocon 35
9 Carlos Sainz 29
10 Felipe Massa 20
11 Nico Hulkenberg 18
12 Lance Stroll 17
13 Kevin Magnussen 11
14 Romain Grosjean 10
15 Pascal Wehrlein 5
16 Daniil Kvyat 4
17 Fernando Alonso 2
18 Jolyon Palmer 0
19 Marcus Ericsson 0
20 Stoffel Vandoorne 0
21 Antonio Giovinazzi 0

Constructors’ Championship:

POS CONSTRUCTOR POINTS
1 Mercedes 250
2 Ferrari 226
3 Red Bull/Renault 137
4 Force India/Mercedes 79
5 Williams/Mercedes 37
6 Toro Rosso/Renault 33
7 Haas/Ferrari 21
8 Renault 18
9 Sauber/Ferrari 5
10 McLaren/Honda 2
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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Achim

    As inexcusable as Vettels reaction was, it would be interesting to know if the stewards will also look into Hamiltons telemetry. Just by the onboard replays it could very well be that he just did not accelerate out of the corner, which simply caught Vettel of guard. But telemetry would clearly show, if we really did hit the brakes or not.

    • Achim

      ok, reply to self: just read that FIA states, Hamilton did not hit the brakes. So Vettel was just caught of guard there.

      So Vettel made an inappropriate move and got a penalty that put him way back and out of contention for podium (only finished fourth because others screwed up even worse). Moving on.

  • Jim Brackeen

    Once again The Ham gets away with it. He’s like a slippery politician that the press looks the other way for. Vettel penalty was deserved for being angry, but I believe both should have been penalized. In these cars a downshift is just as effective as a brake check. We all saw The Ham slow coming out of the corner which deserved a penalty. I guess the head pad was just karma.

    • MIE

      The in car replay with the graphic of the engine revs showed that Hamilton didn’t slow, he simply didn’t accelerate as expected.

      Whilst I agree with his comments about Vettel’s actions sending the wrong message to younger drivers in junior series, I do think it was a bit much given some of his own actions in recent years driving Rosberg off the road.

      • jcn115

        MIE, if I’m not mistaken during the Sky broadcast they showed the telemetry of Lewis and he did applied the brakes.

        What about Lewis asking the team to tell Bottas to slow down in order to help him, what happen he can’t pass Vettel by himself ?

        • Ian Robinson

          I think the team handled that very well. Lewis, Bottas is chasing 2nd!

        • Salvu Borg

          If he could have passed I am onehundred percent sure he would have passed.

      • Salvu Borg

        “engine revs showed number 44 didn’t slow” OK, he also didn’t brake. he simply dropped from 89km/h to 40km’h (by one half the speed) in a acceleration zone. it was deemed OK by the supposedly professional! stewards as he did the same thing on all restarts.
        And dear MIE, re number 44 driving Rosberg off the road, that was OK as it was done by number 44.

        • MIE

          Once the safety car lights go out, the lead car can drop more than ten car lengths behind. This will need to be done to prevent catching the safety car before the line. Now it may come as a surprise to some (Vettel?) but that means either braking or not accelerating in order to create sufficient gap.

          And Salvu, poor driving is poor driving no matter who does it.

          • Salvu Borg

            Yes as is/are bad driving intentions.

      • jakobusvdl

        I’m glad you brought that up Dave, Hamilton has a fair bit of experience of gaining advantage through some wheel to wheel contact, mostly at much higher speeds.
        I think they both lose ‘sportsmanship’ points for this petty and petulant behaviour.

  • MIE

    Stroll isn’t the youngest driver to stand on the podium, that record belongs to Max Verstappen who stood on the top step in Spain when he was eleven days younger than Stroll is now.

    Stroll is the youngest driver to stand on the podium in his debut year (something Verstappen never did).

    • Ian Robinson

      I spotted that also, even when DC introduced them on the podium.

  • Max Johnson

    Ocon costed his team and Perez their first win.

    • pmr

      Indeed, and a probable 1-2 at that

  • Tom Firth

    Who where the two rich kids whining at one another today? They deserve one another. We got a winner who actually appreciates the position he’s in and is a great ambassador for the sport. I’m happy about that.

    • Wayne Rentoul

      …and he’s an Aussie!
      (And he made Stroll drink out of his shoe!!)

  • the Late Idi Armin

    Chase ” Charlie, its chase you know that headrest thing lewis is having a problem with? how about we drag him in to fix that while Seb gets a penalty.”

  • the Late Idi Armin

    a whole herd of Donkeys today….but y’all know who isn’t a donkey…..two whole championship points for Mclaren and Honda.

  • Anthony

    …running someone out of track is one thing, what Sainz did last race is another. But… What Vettel just did is possibly one of the worst displays I’ve seen in a long time, but championship wise, he gets away with it – shame.

    • Ian Robinson

      Your’e right, hadnt thought about the fact he gets to extend his lead even after almost taking them both out of the race.

  • The Captain

    “Not too bad for a rich kid huh?”

    Well the plebes that still believe in meritocracy know there was a poor kid out there that could have probably held on to second so….

  • Junipero Mariano

    Disappointed in Vettel’s behavior today. Obviously he was infuriated and made a drastic response. But afterwards, during the TV interview he didn’t own up to his emotions and bad behavior. I also agree with Lewis that the 10 second stop and go was probably not enough, but I think a disqualification would’ve been extreme, and I don’t know if there are any other intermediate penalties that could’ve been applied for that race. Maybe grid penalties are in order for Austria.

    Maybe it’s time for a faster safety car, such as a DTM, GT3 or GTE racecar. It’d still serve the branding needs as most people wouldn’t notice the difference. Wouldn’t it be much faster overall, too?

    • Wayne Rentoul

      I think the VSC helps the lead driver as it doesn’t back up the field. Hence why Lewis was pushing for it!

  • Wayne Rentoul

    I don’t condon what either Lewis or Seb did in the race. I think Lewis was simply showing what he is prepared to do to win the championship.
    Seb was surprised by this, and possibly made a mistake. (He needs to listen to the Paul Gerard podcast). By reacting how he did, Seb played straight into Lewis’ hands, as he (Lewis) will be dog whistling about this until Austria. Seb needs to play it smarter…
    Lewis’ constant whining about the safety car was probably more about being backed up into Vettel every couple of laps…
    …and his team radio request for Bottas to back Vettel into him was gold!
    I am a Ferrari fan, but respect Lewis as a driver. However, when Lewis does stuff like this it just grates on me. I can’t imagine Senna getting on the radio and asking for his team mate to “back up” the guy in front for me…
    Still a little surprised that Bottas on Kimi was a “racing incident”. “You want miracles, I give you the FIA…”

  • Zachary Noepe

    A fail for Williams. I mean it gets tempting in a race like this to keep saying ‘this guy wouldve won if not’ , and they wouldnt have all won, but Massa was in third right before ham and vet had to vacate the positions in front of him, and couldnt capitalize because his mechanics sat there staring at his car like mannequins for 20 minutes while it sat in front of them with a broken shock, meanwhile Force Ind and Ferrari were reconstructing whole cars. Can you imagine what that win would have meant to him?

    • AT555

      Couldn’t agree more!! I was so mad when Massa’s car failed right after red flag re-start. And seems like in their happiness for Stroll loosing second position they are not giving enough gravity to this lost chance of winning a gran prix! This mentality is what keeps a team away from winning races and championships.

  • Hanwi

    The stewards say Hamilton didn’t brake check Vettel, they have the telemetry so I’ll take their word for it but it sure looked like he did. I understand why Vettel did what he did but it wasn’t right. Both of them are embarrassingly petty and immature.

    This was a big missed opportunity for Max, I wish he had a little more reliable kit and he would have made it interesting.

    I think Red Bull has the best driver line up hands down.

    • Max Johnson

      There is nothing Lewis gain from brake checking when he risk damaging his own car and lose a chance to win.

      • Hanwi

        I agree.

  • Samouri

    Andrew Benson Chief F1 writer for the BBC said, ” The Stewards examined data from his car, and found that he meaning (Lewis) maintained a more or less constant speed, and not lifted off the throttle or braked, and he behaved no differently at that re-start at that point on the track then at other re-starts.” This was the reason why Vettel was only penalized, and not Hamilton. FIA steward examined video evidence which showed car #5 drove alongside and steered into car #44, and deemed the maneuver dangerous. Proving the statement by Vettel that Hamilton deliberately brake tested him to be a complete lie.
    This was the first time that I have ever heard Lewis describe another driver as being a disgrace, disgusting driver, and not sportsman’s conduct.

    The red mist that Vettel obviously suffers from, closed in on him, and in that condition, caused him to turn in on Lewis, and deliberately hit him.

    • Salvu Borg

      “The stewards say number 44 “CORRECETLY” maintained a “CONSTANT” speed and “BEHAVED” in the same manner on the occasion as in “ALL” other restarts during the race”. Data shows that number 44 “did not brake” but the same data also shows that he dropped from 89km/h to 40km/h in a acceleration zone, and that is never a smart thing to do unless one is trying his best to cause problems/intends to cause problems to others. and not only that, but he did it at all restarts.
      Somebody told me “Time for full time no bull shit professional stewards”.
      Professional stewards my leg!, professional people going in to do a job/service does not except being dictated too/interfered with their decisions to manipulate the outcome.

      • MIE

        What is the source of those speeds?

        • I agree, what is your source for the data showing significant speed decrease in this incident? I would be curious to review that myself.

          • Salvu Borg

            My source data shows that number 44 dropped from 89 km/h down to 40km/h.
            The totonator:- “Our data (MERCEDES) shows number 44 went through the corner and with safety car 150 meters ahead (my source says 200 meters ahead) and “WENT OFF THE THROTTLE” and Vettel went into him”.
            The data the totonator is talking about here is the data supplied to the stewards and of which the stewards decision was based on.
            But the stewards added “number 44 correctly maintained a CONSTANT SPEED”.
            How can he have MAINTIANED A CONSTANT SPEED if data shows HE WENT OFF THROTTLE?.

          • MIE

            Salvu, what is your source, the minimum speed shown in the video above is 48km/h and that is after the collision. Your source, whatever it is, doesn’t agree with the publicly available evidence.

          • Salvu Borg

            Neither does it agree with what the stewards said “HE MAINIANED A CONSTANT SPEED” (CONSTANT REVES, BY SOME).
            Lets drop all this bull shit and stop this sort of melt-down, number 44 intentions were clear for everybody to see, causing problems to others.

          • Tom Firth

            I can not find a story which says he ‘maintained a constant pace’ as you repeatedly cite. I can find many stories citing an FIA statement which says;

            Stewards examined Hamilton’s car data in Vettel incident. Did not brake or lift off completely. Maintained more or less constant speed and behaved the same at that re-start at that point on the track as he did at the other two re-starts.

            Therefore the FIA is not stating that small fluctuations in HAM speed did not occur. What it did state is that at no point did HAM brake or lift off completely, and therefore Vettel’s assertion that he brake tested him is invalid in the view of the stewards, according to the media delegate’s quote.

          • Salvu Borg

            “Small fluctuations in number 44 speed!” according to his boss he went through the corner and went off throttle.
            Number 44 intentions were clear for everybody, causing problems to others.

          • AT555

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuUNTzVYVpk

            Please watch this as this is one of the very few videos that has telemetry display. Pls start from 2:10 onward. From what I see 44 first started to brake for the turn at 2:15 with speed going from 95 to 68. 44 lifted brakes at 2:16 and started to turn in. 44 braked again (crucially) at 2:17 while turning in with speed going from 65 to 55 and lifting brakes at 2:18 with no throttle. Again a very gentle brake for a split second at 2:19 bringing speed down to 48.

          • MIE

            The brake at 2:19 is after Vettel hit Hamilton, therefore it cannot have contributed to the impact. Yes, Hamilton did brake going into and around the corner, he just didn’t accelerate off the corner, but he didn’t brake either until hit by Vettel.

  • Sebring71

    There is a very fine overhead shot of Lewis and Seb coming through turn 15, and regardless of what Lewis did (FYI I’m not a Lewis fan, not even close), it is quite clear that Seb gooses it in anticipation……of what? There was still another turn and plenty of ground to cover before the safety car would pull in, and who amongst these guys has not backed a field up a couple of turns before a restart (think Seb at the 2013 USGP, where Lewis nearly ran into Webber when Seb pulled a massive slow down)? Front guy dictates, they all do it that way when leading, and that’s pretty much that. But poor Seb, once again, cannot control the petulant child that’s seemingly always just below the surface of champion veneer. He rattles his pram up next to Lewis and delivers one of the most pathetic things I’ve ever seen in 50 years of watching racing. It’s not quite NASCAR bad (like Kyle Busch Ron Hornaday bad). Don’t cue the banjos just yet. But really…… Tried so hard to give him a chance when he went to Ferrari, tried to forget Multi-21 and whatnot, but he just can’t seem to shake his extreme lack of civility and decorum. Seb says F1 is for adults, but he’s become F1’s elder manboy.

  • Ian Robinson

    I loved this race, it could of gone one of a million different ways.
    If Max’s car had stayed in one piece – won.
    If either of the Force india’s stayed in one piece – Won (1-2)
    Bottas didnt get damaged – Won
    Lewis’s headrest stayed in – Won
    Vettel didnt throw his toys out the pram – Won!
    Alonso the rest of the field dropped out – Won
    More of this please F1!

    • Max Johnson

      I thought I was watching a NASCAR race with all the safety car, maybe people like it but I hope it doesn’t happen too much.

    • AT555

      You missed what would have been the biggest story…if Massa’s suspension wasn’t broke – Won..Imagine Massa winning the race!!

      • Ian Robinson

        Ha ha yes! That would of been fantastic

  • Andreas

    Interesting race… you can see it in two ways. Either it was a fantastic race, with contact all over the place, unpredictability and a surprise podium. Or it was a crash-fest, marred by safety cars galore. And both could well be equally true :-)

    On the VET/HAM incident, Lewis clearly didn’t accelerate when Sebastian expected him to, and that was that. What followed has by some been seen as a deliberate action on Seb’s part, but I’m not so sure. He definitely drove up to the left side of Lewis, waved his left fist at him, and somehow at the same time turned the car to the right. That’s the sort of thing that could well happen by accident. And judging both by the radio traffic when the penalty was announced and early post-race interviews, Sebastian didn’t seem to know he’d side-swiped Hamilton. Either that, or he’s a really good actor :-) I’m not trying to exonerate him – I’m just not so sure what happened was a result of deliberate, calculated action.

    Well done to the three podium finishers! Especially Valtteri Bottas, who was plum last and a lap behind after lap 1 – to finish P2 from there was a superb drive! A P3 for Lance Stroll was unexpected, but good on him!

    Also, McLaren’s first points of the season. A cause for celebration as good as any.

    Pass of the race: Ricciardo after the first restart.
    Donkey: Force India. Both drivers out after intra-team contact, and the team initially says that it’s ok – we want them to race. A little later, they shift to “this can never happen again”. It’s the Canada story all over again (first team orders to let Ocon past, then they say they changed their mind, and after the race they say they should have done it).
    Drive of the race: Bottas. All three on the podium, actually – they made sure they were all there to benefit from the mayhem – but Bottas’ drive stands out to me.

    • AT555

      That is my initial assessment on the VET/HAM incident as well. After watching onboard from vettel’s car it is possible that when he raised his left hand to make gestures that his right hand on the steering accidentally swirled to right. Also on Lewis break-checking vettel, even though FIA says that there is no indication of break-check based on data but everytime I see onboard video I can see that lewis slowed down more than expected although being race leader he has full right to dictate the pace. I am sure more will unfold before next race

  • AT555

    One thing we know for sure is that Hamilton did not accelerate coming out of the turn. In F1 car not accelerating spl at slow speeds is like braking. One can brake test with engine brakes too.

    • Salvu Borg

      But that was done on all restarts by number 44 so that’s OK. and so says the stewards.

      • AT555

        I agree that as the race leader Lewis was in his rights to dictate race pace and Vettel should have been more alert but don’t say that I did not brake-test when you clearly did.

  • Tom Firth

    Were actually is the official stewards report which explains Hamilton’s role in the accident that everyone seems to be citing?

    It doesn’t appear to be published anywhere on the FIA website, just alluded to having come from a media delegate by various publications? I’ve no reason to not believe those publications but the transparency or lack of, by the FIA unless I’ve missed it, doesn’t help in these type circumstances to prove definitively what the FIA did and did not say.

    • MIE

      The published FIA stewards decision doc45 indicates that the incident they investigated was Vettel driving into the side of Hamilton, not Vettel driving into the back of Hamilton.

  • jakobusvdl

    Great work summarising the Baku GP Todd, there was so much incident that picking out the bits that matter is really hard.
    I thought that lots of people would light up on the Vettel vs Hamilton handbag slapping, I think there was nothing in it, just Hamilton trying to frustrate Vettel, and Vettel over reacting, but we’ve seen worse from both of them.
    There were lots more exciting incidents and events than that, such as Ocon’s collision with Perez – how much of that was fueled by Perez’s refusal to let Ocon through in Montreal? Some team orders would be better than the drivers taking each other out of contention. Without that F.I should have been chasing a podium finish in this race too.
    Your point about Raikonnen damaging the car by thrashing back to the pits with a flat rear tyre is so valid, he’s been around long enough to know what will happen. Without the red flag Ferrari would have had to retire him on the spot, another wasted opportunity to score points for his team.
    And how lucky was Bottas, first not to be penalised for his contact with Raikonnen on the first lap, then to be able to unlap himself behind the safety car. Without that he’d have been hard pressed to score points, let alone snatch 2nd.
    Fantastic work by Williams and Stroll. Has he done enough in 8 races to prove he deserves his place in an F1 car? He certainly drove an excellent weekend at Baku, SKY reckon he had the fewest ‘off’s’ of anyone this weekend, a very mature drive from an 18 year old. And the fact his dad is rich shouldn’t be a consideration, at this level of motor sport we’re basically seeing the children and proteges of the top 1%ers.
    Awful work with Williams and Massa, we seldom see or hear of F1 dampers failing, so or the rear damper on Massa’s car to fail when he could have got a great result is a real blow.
    The long safety car periods did mess up the race, even if they added to the spectacle.
    I can see it would have been easier for the drivers to keep tyres and brakes ‘in the zone’ if the were running to VSC times, but I think the organisers wanted the cars bunched so the marshals would have a clear track for longer periods to safely clear all the debris.
    And did you see Boulier interviewed after the race? You’d think he’d be delighted that both cars finished and Alonso scored points, but not a bit of it, he was furious that Alonso could only manage a 7th and Van Doorne couldn’t not pass two Saubers to get into the points. Imagine the discussions with Honda!!