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Baku GP

Started by PDR, April 29, 2018, 16:58:42 pm

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PDR

Well that was a fun race, but I see there is already a much-voiced view that Hamilton "lucked into" a win which "clearly Bottas deserved". I wonder if I may break from my usual habit and for once express a contrary view on this?

Bottas was only leading because a safety car gave him a free pit stop. Until that point he had been in front on the track but only because he had yet to take is first (mandatory) stop. Until his mistake and pit stop Hamilton had been running second behind Vettel, and while he hadn't been able to close the gap he'd not allowed Vettel to extend it. Bottas had been unable to keep up with the lead pair and was quite a way behind. He had also been unable to match Hamilton in quali. So Bottas owed his leading position to a safety car and a lucky break, rather than it being a deserved position based on solidly better performance through the weekend.

Hamilton made a mistake, so he had to pit earlier. But he still maintained his place on the track (as Bottas was never quite a pit-stop ahead of him). Had the safety cars then not happened it's possible that Mercedes would have put him out on ultras rather than Hamilton's Softs, and that may have allowed him to retake and possibly even threaten Vettel. But that's a coulda-woulda-shoulda thing - it didn't happen.

So it could justifiably be said that Hamilton was fully "entitled" to second place behind Vettel during the final safety car, and Bottas' "natural" position would have been in 3rd place behind him. At least he was where he was entirely due to his own efforts, whereas Bottas was only there by luck. Vettel lost the lead entirely through his own efforts too - he risked a desperate manoeuvre on cold tyres and he paid the penalty when it didn't work. But without the luck from when the safety car happened it would have been Hamilton who was directly behind to take the lead rather than Bottas, Bottas only just made it into the pit lane before the safety car picked him up - otherwise he would have been on the track on old supers, still needing a mandatory change, with almost every other car on the track on ultras. If you look at how the cars bunched he'd have been luck to place above 12th. It's also worth noting that once he was in the lead on fresh ultras Hamilton pulled away like a lightning in full burner - the other cars couldn't keep up (even the undamaged ones).

So it's actually much more complex than a simple "Lewis didn't deserve it and Valtiri did". Second-guessing this sort of thing always requires assumptions and they can't ever be validated. So as far as I'm concerned you just take the order in which they crossed the line, and let the luck average out over the year. That's racing.

I'm less sanguine about Max. Daniel sold him a dummy on the outside, and Max blatantly moved back to the left when he realised he'd been suckered. Two moves to defend is illegal for very good safety reasons. Doing so under breaking when you know there is a car with overtaking pace a couple of car-lengths behind is seriously dangerous. Doing so when the other car is your team-mate in a manner that risks taking you both out is utterly stupid. Max has used this move a lot, and all the drivers think it's too dangerous, so it needs a stake in the ground from the FIA. I suspect the stewards may be lenient because both cars were from the same team so they've only hurt themselves. But let's be frank here - the offence is serious and should really attract a race ban (anything from 1-3 races) to make it very clear - weaving to block under braking will get you thrown off the track. No ifs, no buts.

€0.0007 supplied,

PDR
There are no shortcuts on the long, hard road to success. But if your dad's rich there could a limo service...

Brian Cooper

Thoroughly agree.    :af

B.C

JohnP

It was certainly an eventful race!  I do feel slightly sorry for Bottas - yes he was only in 2nd due to some good fortune,  but to have victory snatched away with the finishing line only a few laps away is cruel luck. 

Vettel can only blame himself for losing his lead in the championship.  It was entirely characteristic of him though to do what he did - to gamble everything on the race win rather than settle for 2nd with Hamilton behind him which would have extended his championship lead.

As for the self-destruction of the Red Bulls...  Ricciardo was clearly the faster driver on the day and Verstappen had used dubious driving to retain his position when Ricciardo had all-but passed him on at least two occasions already - banging wheels one time.  When the crash came I wasn't in the least surprised,  and it did look like a double-shuffle to me.  He (Max) can pull off some great overtakes sometimes,  but then he goes and does dumb things like this...

Let's see what Barcelona brings in a fortnight!
Quantum est in fenestra canini ?

PDR

The ironic part was that pretty well every radio conversation between the pit wall and vestappen throughout the whole race ended with the words "...Keep it clean.". So it seems they had concerns that this might happen. When Ted Kravitz tried to talk to Christian Horner after the incident I have never seen Horner so obviously angry - he was visibly shaking with the effort of not venting his rage!

PDR
There are no shortcuts on the long, hard road to success. But if your dad's rich there could a limo service...

Bad Raven

The "Thank You" was because it saved me a lot of writing........................................  :af :''
The user formerly know as Bravedan........... Well if Prince can do it....................

ATSA2

...but to be winning a race with 3 laps to go, and then getting a puncture, must be hard for anyone to deal with...
Lewis sounded pretty sick too, to take a win like this, especially from your luckless team mate..but a win is a win...
Herr Vettel needs to show some good racecraft, and quick, unless he wants to lose another WDC!

and young Max...what can you say? sometimes he shows some brilliant driving..but its consistency that wins World Championships, and street racing clearly isnt his forte!  "Must do better!"

I dont like Baku..its a typical mickey mouse race dreamed up by Bernie, and the sooner it gets dropped by the new owners of F1, the better...especially when its so cold and windy, that no one can get any heat into the tyres..

Viva Espana!!
"There's nothing cushy about the Women's Volunteer Balloon Corps!"

paulinfrance

Shame for Bottas, but that's racing, thanks to Red Bull I didn't fall asleep, less said the better, i thing that Lewis genuinely felt sorry for Bottas but, that's racing, for once better than the Moto GP,,,
Mode 2 THE only way to fly