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Firefly

Formula 1 is BACK!

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Not much to say except that I'm VERY excited for this weekend. Can't wait to see how the boys in orange do in the race, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Carlos. I also wonder if the pink Mercedes is going to live up to the hype. Ze Germans picked up right where they left off in 2019, dominating free practice. I was hoping the Red Bulls would be nipping at their heels, but the RB16 appears skittish and tricky to drive. The Italian teams are nowhere - looks like the pandemic affected them worst. Renault's pace seems promising, but I'm not holding my breath - their response to Danny Ric's departure to McLaren for 2021 has been anything but professional. Looking forward to FP3 and quali tomorrow. 

 

 

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Bottas giving Hamilton some pressure.  Hamilton made a mistake pushing out into Albon but at least he looks better than Vettel.  I don't think Vettel is going to be staying in F1.  His prospects are looking a bit grim with his performance over the last 2 or three years. 

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Agreed, Bottas kept a cool head under enormous pressure. Hamilton's penalty was IMHO justified, but whether Albon was bit optimistic when he went for an outside pass is another matter. Vettel looks like he doesn't give a flying crap about what's going on, he's there to collect his pay and bugger off at the end of the season. Carlos drove a fine, measured race and demonstrated why Ferrari picked him over a 4-time world champion. Leclerc is showing incredible maturity and drove so well he must've made The Professor (Alain Prost) proud, and that's with a car that's now firmly in the midfield in terms of raw pace. Norris has incredible one-lap speed (he gained half a second on Hamilton on the last lap! On fresh rubber, I know, but still) but needs to get used to running at the front of the field - maturity will come with experience. It's great to see McLaren second in the constructors' standings, but I don't think that will last (IMHO their best-case scenario is third, which would've been unthinkable two years ago). Red Bull has had a catastrophic start of the season. Worse still, that was on their home turf. The Pink Panthers screwed up by not calling in Perez during the first Safety Car. Checo is renowned as a master of tyre management, but in these conditions and after so many laps on mediums he had few options left. The Mercs looked imperious, but I wonder if they can keep those reliability woes in check - that gearbox issue looked very serious. 

If the rest of this year's races are going to be half as eventful as this one then we're gonna have a very exciting season. Can't wait for next week! 

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I'm glad to see McLaren back in the fight again!  Was very cool to see them pick up their first podium in a long time. 
I think Hamilton's penalty was definitely justified although maybe Albon could have given him a little more room but I haven't scrutinized that completely.  And it's easy to armchair general all of that when you're not in the middle of it.  Still, Hamilton I think was a bit early getting on the throttle and couldn't quite hold as far inside as he should have.  At any rate, Bottas has a nice lead to begin with.  If he can keep this performance up over the entire season (unlike 2019, which he also started very strong) he could be the first person not Hamilton to win the championship since Rosberg.  Who knows though, if Mercedes ends up with reliability issues it could be anybody's year.  I'm definitely interested in how well Ferrari does next year with Leclerc and Sainz.
 

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True, Albon was 2/3rds of a car length ahead of Hamilton. @Barton - McLaren didn't take that long to get on the podium, remember Hamilton's penalty and Sainz's belated podium in Brazil last year? There's a popular theory circulating the interwebs - if Hamilton hits Albon a McLaren ends up on the podium. 😂

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Just found out that Lando shortened Lewis' lead on the last lap not by half a second, but by 1.5 seconds... I realise Hamilton was being held up, but WOW, what a stunning performance from Norris! Btw, apparently McLarens recorded the fastest times in every sector. There's some serious pace from the MCL35. I'm really glad that Zak Brown's hard work is paying off now. They couldn't have timed that performance better, as the team looked like it was going to get into serious financial trouble. Now they'll have an easier time finding a long-term investor. 

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It was certainly an interesting race. 

It appears as if many teams are feeling the sting of limited season length and labor-hours in their factories due to COVID Shutdowns; Italy got hit particularly hard hence why Ferrari is struggling particularly bad. (After reading this I see Firefly mentioned this in the OP of the thread! Glad I'm not just crazy!)

Lots of Hydraulic/Gearbox control related issues for Merc and Williams, which doesn't bode super well. Extremely high retirement rate due to Mechanical DNF in general today, which could really shake things up as the season goes on, considering how short it is.

Happy for the pace of the new McLaren. Interested to see how the rest of the season pans out. My best bet is that we'll start to see the usual HAM-BOT-VER podium pattern once we get to the 2nd or 3rd circuit on the calendar and the teams are spooled up and operating at full tilt again. I hope to God I'm wrong, though. Love this sport, but have grown sick of watching it from 14-19' after being spoiled with 2009-2013 growing up. 



My gut feeling about the Albon/Hamilton incident is that according to F1 rules, more of the blame is on Albon; but as a driver I can pretty much tell HAM committed to the corner, then couldn't correct or back out and just got tangled in Albons wheel tracks and understeered into him - ALB was also trying to square the exit off (cut in at a steep, flat angle for traction) since he was on the Outside so they were naturally always going to hit each-other there. Sucks to see. Gutted for Albon. I feel like ruling it a racing incident w/ no penalty or the eventual actual outcome of a 5-second timed were pretty spot on by the stewards. It doesn't give Albon his race back but since it wasn't a particularly large mistake it doesn't warrant a 10 second timed or Drive-through. 


Watching the Ferrari onboards I feel like they're having problems with the Rear Roll-centre of the suspension and/or engine back-torque of the car. Both cars seemed to over-rotate when coasting on transition between braking and turn-in point. Vettel seemed to be having a much harder time of it than Leclerc did, and frankly the high casualty rate and pure luck managed to net a Ferrari Podium in this race. They'll probably be 5th-8th the rest of the season depending on how the McLaren gets developed and if Sport Pesa Racing Point can figure out how to update their reverse-engineered car. I'd watch for them to drop off it they haven't managed to understand the fundamental design concept by Hungary/Great Britain as everybody's gone through their first large ration of updates. 

Edited by TedOnMeds
Adding additional thoughts to the conversation.

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I was excited to see McLaren on the podium and yes I saw the celebration last year in Brazil!.

Unfortunately, this will be the only race I watch this year as they have fallen into my boycott group, for personal reasons. 😢 😢

Edit: I don’t watch sports that don’t remain apolitical. 

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S! All,

Had a great time watching this first F1 race of the Year...
Like you, I was happy to see many of the underdog of last year near or on the podium!
Having a second race next week (in Austria) will make it even better to see if it was luck or if the same pilots will get the same position at the end! ;) 

I also saw the F2 series (Saturday Race) and it was a blast seeing the (3) three cars in front changing position until the last lap.

Happy to see F1 back, even for a short season... I love racing!

Cheers'
GenMarkof

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Ted said:  "Love this sport, but have grown sick of watching it from 14-19' after being spoiled with 2009-2013 growing up. "
 

Love this sport but have lost interest in it since around 2000 after growing up watching it 1966 on.....

 

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