History made today: Covid Lewis wins his 7th World Championship!

tried&true

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Pickle you, kumquat
Two points for Russell is worse than crumbs. I feel badly for both Bottas and Russell - normally, it's just Bottas that gets shafted, but they really made Russell feel right at home...

Good for the podium folks, though! That is quite nice to see.
 

Hank Reardon

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Two points for Russell is worse than crumbs. I feel badly for both Bottas and Russell - normally, it's just Bottas that gets shafted, but they really made Russell feel right at home...

Good for the podium folks, though! That is quite nice to see.
Three points actually, as he also had the fastest lap. But he's also potentially facing a penalty because of the tire incident so he may not be keeping the points. We'll see.
 

tried&true

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Pickle you, kumquat
Three points actually, as he also had the fastest lap. But he's also potentially facing a penalty because of the tire incident so he may not be keeping the points. We'll see.
Ah, I blinked when he got that third point. But I hope that he got in early enough to change the tires and fix the mistake - it sounded like that might be possible from the perspective of the announcers, but I'm sure the stewards will sort it soon.
 

Hank Reardon

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Ah, I blinked when he got that third point. But I hope that he got in early enough to change the tires and fix the mistake - it sounded like that might be possible from the perspective of the announcers, but I'm sure the stewards will sort it soon.
If he was using one of Bottas' tires I think that's a DSQ, but maybe I'm wrong.

EDIT: Looks like Merc will get a fine. George keeps his points.
 
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sglowrider

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I didn't watch the race live -- just the time difference was bad which is unusual for a Middle East race.

Impressions:

1) Either Russell is one of those cursed 'unlucky' race drivers or this race will help his long term future by building up his determination --- but also give him the confidence that he can race with the best given the right circumstances. The next couple of years back at Williams will be a long training programme to becoming a world champ. George may have a Rosberg moment (as for Lewis) -- and learning not to take things for granted.
Such a polite young man towards his team. Mature enough not to blame folks.... unlike Bottas!

Not sure what to say about Bottas -- a bit like Vettel who crumbles under pressure within the stable but without the four world titles. If reports are true, and that Bottas is on a rolling contract then I suspect Russell will be in Merc F1 sooner than we think.

Have George in the same stable as Lewis for I suspect two years left -- learn from him and when Lewis retires, you have a ready-made potential, trained world champ at around 24.

But overall it has a lot to do with the driver and not only having the best car.

I think years after Lewis retires, we will only appreciate what he has achieved -- that is, a very highly technically skilled, intelligent driver who was willing to self-reflect, learn and change to ensure that he wins again and again.

Finally, it really would be criminal if Perez doesn't get a ride next season. I suspect RB are making quick discussions with their lawyers to draft out a salary package for Sergio.
 
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Hank Reardon

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Latest published rumors are that Lewis has tested negative and is still in Bahrain but will arrive in Abu Dhabi on Friday. He'll spend 24 hours in isolation, get tested, and be in the Mercedes on Saturday.

Russell will likely practice in the Merc on Friday and move to the Williams on Saturday. Poor George.
 

sglowrider

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Latest published rumors are that Lewis has tested negative and is still in Bahrain but will arrive in Abu Dhabi on Friday. He'll spend 24 hours in isolation, get tested, and be in the Mercedes on Saturday.

Russell will likely practice in the Merc on Friday and move to the Williams on Saturday. Poor George.
Why put the body through the 2-8 G force stresses for two hours right after recovering from a disease like COVID? Nuts! I guess you just can't get that boyracer out of Lewis.
And there were rumours that Lewis wanted to retire after this season to pursue his other interests!
 

Hank Reardon

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Why put the body through the 2-8 G force stresses for two hours right after recovering from a disease like COVID? Nuts! I guess you just can't get that boyracer out of Lewis.
And there were rumours that Lewis wanted to retire after this season to pursue his other interests!
I found it interesting that there were no words of encouragement or anything from Lewis towards Russell last week. One gets the feeling he's not that enthusiastic about Boy George running up front in his car.

UPDATE:

Lewis is in Abu Dhabi and has passed his tests. He is cleared to race.

 
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sglowrider

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I found it interesting that there were no words of encouragement or anything from Lewis towards Russell last week. One gets the feeling he's not that enthusiastic about Boy George running up front in his car.

UPDATE:

Lewis is in Abu Dhabi and has passed his tests. He is cleared to race.

Haha... and to think in the autumn of his career he has lost his competitive edge!!

Maybe having Russell race once will put pressure of Lewis to sign his new contract faster!

I cant see Russell coming in before 2022 though.

Bottas' contract runs till then and having to buy off Bottas' and Russell's Williams contract early may not be worth it --- considering that Bottas does the wingman constructor's points well for the Merc.

So next season will be the make or break for Bottas -- and also Merc management will gauge how much Lewis will have left in the tank before thinking of bringing in a Russell and potentially upsetting the stable's dynamics.

But at any rate, the season after next will be quite interesting. The young guns will have another few years under their belts. The new rule changes like budget caps -- though its a shame that the best F1 car ever built, this year's Merc/W11 will never be fully appreciated and be beaten or improved upon.

But if Merc is to still dominate -- Ze Chermans and their engineering excellence, then I can see Verstapphan jump ship to Merc.

A Verstapphan/Russell pairing?

What hope is there for the rest?
 

ce36ei

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When the news of Lewis coning back broke, it really bummed me out. Don’t get me wrong, Lewis is a legend...but he sucks the fun out of most GP’s. Last weeks was an absolute joy to follow.
 

ce36ei

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Good to see Max on pole. Lewis admitted he’s not 100%. My guess be just couldn’t stand to see George in his car?
 

Hank Reardon

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Good to see Max on pole. Lewis admitted he’s not 100%. My guess be just couldn’t stand to see George in his car?
Probably, but these guys are competitors. They want to be in the car. I'm sure Hamilton would have still driven this week even if Russell had struggled last week. But...I do think seeing how "easy" it seemed to be for Russell to step in and run up front in his car likely sealed it in Lewis' head that he was driving this week no matter what. No sense letting the kid get too much limelight at his expense.

I figure that Hamilton will either (a) get by Bottas at the start, or (b) Bottas' race pace will be less than Hamilton's and Merc will get Lewis past him ("Valtteri, it's James") before Max gets too far away. Whether they can get Lewis past the Red Bull remains to be seen.

Toto at the end here is thinking, why didn't we keep George?

 

sglowrider

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Probably, but these guys are competitors. They want to be in the car. I'm sure Hamilton would have still driven this week even if Russell had struggled last week. But...I do think seeing how "easy" it seemed to be for Russell to step in and run up front in his car likely sealed it in Lewis' head that he was driving this week no matter what. No sense letting the kid get too much limelight at his expense.

I figure that Hamilton will either (a) get by Bottas at the start, or (b) Bottas' race pace will be less than Hamilton's and Merc will get Lewis past him ("Valtteri, it's James") before Max gets too far away. Whether they can get Lewis past the Red Bull remains to be seen.

Toto at the end here is thinking, why didn't we keep George?

You have to be uber competitive to be a 7 time champ. And within any big time champion are their insecurities that drive them to go in and on, seeking affirmation constantly.
And on the other side of the equation, I think Lewis feels he is in the best moment of his career -- the combination of gained experience and knowledge with that adolescent drive/determination that still remains. So why waste any remaining opportunities he has left in his career.
Personally if I was Toto I would have told him to sit it out. You just don't know the long term damage of Covid on his body esp coming back so soon and having to take the punishment of a F1 driver. Could cause long term damage on his lungs.
 
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ce36ei

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I also wondered about him being a vegan. He acted like he got very sick and was bedridden. Almost all athletes in peak shape haven’t gotten very sick at all. At least they haven’t publicly admitted it.
 

ce36ei

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Alonso ran a faster time than Ocon and Ricciardo qualified for during testing today. I’m quite excited to see what the old man can do. He seems extremely motivated.
 

sglowrider

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Alonso ran a faster time than Ocon and Ricciardo qualified for during testing today. I’m quite excited to see what the old man can do. He seems extremely motivated.
Makes for an interesting upcoming season. The Renault car is improving with Alonso on-board will squeeze out as much as one can with the next car.

McClaren's improving with a good driver line-up.

Red Bull if they sign up Perez will have a fantastic 1-2 punch.

The weak link's now Bottas.
 

Hank Reardon

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Makes for an interesting upcoming season. The Renault car is improving with Alonso on-board will squeeze out as much as one can with the next car.

McClaren's improving with a good driver line-up.

Red Bull if they sign up Perez will have a fantastic 1-2 punch.

The weak link's now Bottas.
And we have the ultimate Good Buy / Bad Guy scenario at Haas with Schumacher and Mazepin, just to keep some interest on the race at the back of the grid.
 
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sglowrider

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And we have the ultimate Good Buy / Bad Guy scenario at Haas with Schumacher and Mazepin, just to keep some interest on the race at the back of the grid.
Then the following season, 2022 with the big rules changes. There might be some shakeup coming though a well run team like Mercedes I imagine they will roll with the punches better than most.
 
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larsIU

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Then the following season, 2022 with the big rules changes. There might be some shakeup coming though a well run team like Mercedes I imagine they will roll with the punches better than most.
Gotta figure Ferrari has (mostly) given up on 2021 and is focusing on the new regs for 2022. Mercedes is Mercedes. Will Red Bull figure it out and be a force from day one 2022? The most interesting one for me (for 2022) is McLaren. They've made tremendous strides and will have a really solid driver line up with Norris and Ricciardo.
 

sglowrider

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Gotta figure Ferrari has (mostly) given up on 2021 and is focusing on the new regs for 2022. Mercedes is Mercedes. Will Red Bull figure it out and be a force from day one 2022? The most interesting one for me (for 2022) is McLaren. They've made tremendous strides and will have a really solid driver line up with Norris and Ricciardo.
Zak brown deserves a lot of credit. The turnaround in such s short space of time... Ferrari ought to hire him away.

Not sure if you heard but McLaren just got a huge capital injection the other day:

MSP Sports Capital will invest £185m into McLaren Racing (F1 and IndyCar), acquiring an initial 15% stake that will increase to 33% by the end of 2022, in a deal that values the team at £560m.

Interesting times ahead.
 

larsIU

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Zak brown deserves a lot of credit. The turnaround in such s short space of time... Ferrari ought to hire him away.

Not sure if you heard but McLaren just got a huge capital injection the other day:

MSP Sports Capital will invest £185m into McLaren Racing (F1 and IndyCar), acquiring an initial 15% stake that will increase to 33% by the end of 2022, in a deal that values the team at £560m.

Interesting times ahead.
Looking at it, it's really amazing Williams lasted as long as they did. Times change for sure. I'm still not 100% certain Mercedes sticks around for the long haul. They aren't F1 lifers like McLaren, Ferrari, etc. If that happens and Hamilton still wants to race.....could he return to McLaren. THE PRODIGAL SON RETURNS
 
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Hank Reardon

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Looking at it, it's really amazing Williams lasted as long as they did. Times change for sure. I'm still not 100% certain Mercedes sticks around for the long haul. They aren't F1 lifers like McLaren, Ferrari, etc. If that happens and Hamilton still wants to race.....could he return to McLaren. THE PRODIGAL SON RETURNS
Hamilton is 35. I think he'll wrap it up at Mercedes. I could even see it being as soon as the end of next season depending on what Toto does. He'll have his 8th title, his 100th+ GP win, and with the unknown changes for 2020+ he might see it as a good time to walk away.

I think Ferrari will be a tad stronger next season. Not strong enough to challenge Mercedes or Red Bull of course, but maybe enough to challenge for the 3/4 slot
 

larsIU

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Hamilton is 35. I think he'll wrap it up at Mercedes. I could even see it being as soon as the end of next season depending on what Toto does. He'll have his 8th title, his 100th+ GP win, and with the unknown changes for 2020+ he might see it as a good time to walk away.

I think Ferrari will be a tad stronger next season. Not strong enough to challenge Mercedes or Red Bull of course, but maybe enough to challenge for the 3/4 slot
Hamilton is an alien. What he did in Turkey should be illegal. Bottas should have retired after that race due to embarrassment. On that note, it's a mystery. Hamilton has no family and seems like he's far more focused than say Raikkonen (likely the greatest getaway driver of all time should you need to hire one) or even Schumacher when he was in the twilight of his career. I think Hamilton may want a challenge (Ferrari???) at some point to shut up the doubters who insist he only wins b/c Mercedes.
 

sglowrider

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Hamilton is an alien. What he did in Turkey should be illegal. Bottas should have retired after that race due to embarrassment. On that note, it's a mystery. Hamilton has no family and seems like he's far more focused than say Raikkonen (likely the greatest getaway driver of all time should you need to hire one) or even Schumacher when he was in the twilight of his career. I think Hamilton may want a challenge (Ferrari???) at some point to shut up the doubters who insist he only wins b/c Mercedes.
I think Lewis has a lot more interests or passion outside F1. He is has invested in a e-Dakar team. But I doubt his body can withstand one of those grueling races. But having said that carlos Sainz' dad post retirement from WRC I think did the Paris-Dakar race a few times.
 
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Hank Reardon

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Sergio got the Red Bull ride. Oh my. 2021 can’t come quick enough.
RBR hasn't announced it yet. Some Dutch and German news sources have been reporting it today. I expect Red Bull will officially announce it tomorrow. Of course, Perez is just keeping that seat warm for Tsunoda anyway. Two years max. Maybe only one depending on how he and Tsunoda perform in 2021.
 

larsIU

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I think Lewis has a lot more interests or passion outside F1. He is has invested in a e-Dakar team. But I doubt his body can withstand one of those grueling races. But having said that carlos Sainz' dad post retirement from WRC I think did the Paris-Dakar race a few times.
Yeah the era with Sainz’s dad was a different group though. I don’t see anyone (save Raikkonen) doing something like that. You’re right about Hamilton but I think there’s just something about him that’s going to push him to continue proving people wrong. With Mercedes’s dominance over the past 7 years I think there’s a part of him that grates at the argument that anyone can win championships in a Mercedes.
 

larsIU

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RBR hasn't announced it yet. Some Dutch and German news sources have been reporting it today. I expect Red Bull will officially announce it tomorrow. Of course, Perez is just keeping that seat warm for Tsunoda anyway. Two years max. Maybe only one depending on how he and Tsunoda perform in 2021.
I heard on the most recent Sky race broadcast that Perez has “options” for 2022. I have no idea what that means but he’s always been to bring money/sponsorships with him.
 

sglowrider

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Yeah the era with Sainz’s dad was a different group though. I don’t see anyone (save Raikkonen) doing something like that. You’re right about Hamilton but I think there’s just something about him that’s going to push him to continue proving people wrong. With Mercedes’s dominance over the past 7 years I think there’s a part of him that grates at the argument that anyone can win championships in a Mercedes.
I think he is probably physically in a better position to continue on well into his 40s than like a Kimi or a soon to be Alonso -- I don't think he was such a party animal like a Kimi was until a few years ago.

I think the issue is boredom with him especially as they are starting to expand the racing calendar with more races around the world now.

Maybe if he loses a close one and it will drive him further like what happened after Rosberg -- which made him a much better driver.
 
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