2017 Brazil Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Unless there are retirements, this race proved that no matter what happens, the top three teams will occupy the top six spots. Nobody else has a chance. That's what Liberty is trying to fix. Not to make everything equal. Just give everyone a fighting chance every now and then. And we're okay with that.
TRACK: Short. Old fashioned. Fun to drive.
EVENT: It's time to call out Brazil. No matter how much they love and support F1, they do not deserve a Grand Prix until they get their security act together. Seemingly nonstop gunpoint robberies every year has got to stop. If not, no Grand Prix. It's as simple as that.
QUALIFYING: Hamilton surprises everyone ... by crashing out on the first lap and Bottas surprises everyone ... by grabbing pole on the last lap.
START: Vettel takes advantage of starting from the inside, Ricciardo pays for his grid penalties, Magnussen is the cause of it, and Grosjean ruins Ocon's perfect record.
RACE: Many of the drivers seemed to have fun, but outside of a few battles not so much for the fans.
VETTEL: No pressure. Easy win. Hmm....
RAIKKONEN: No pressure. No pushing. Once Hamilton pressured, miraculously, Kimi upped his game to where it should have been all race.
FERRARI: Hey Sergio Marchionne, you want to quit F1? Go ahead. Sure Formula 1 would miss you and suffer a bit, but Ferrari would pay a much larger price.
BOTTAS: This race did not bode well for Valtteri's reputation. But it did enhance Nico Rosberg's reputation...
HAMILTON: The Safety Car helped. Nonetheless, it was a dominating drive for a driver who didn't win.
MERCEDES: The chassis doesn't seem to like being in dirty air more so than other chassis. That won't bode well if next year is even more competitive.
VERSTAPPEN: A bland race after all that excitement the last two events.
RICCIARDO: Another back of the grid to the front march. But more worrying is being outqualified by Max once again.
RED BULL: Is there any wonder why manufacturers don't like working with Red Bull? Their treatment of the engine makers is atrocious.
TORO ROSSO: As their junior team's totally out of line public accusations of Renault demonstrates so well.
RENAULT: Making their public dressing down of Dr Helmut Marko all the more understandable.
HONDA: Good luck working with those clowns at Toro Rosso. If you thought McLaren was difficult to work with when things weren't going well, just imagine how Toro Rosso is going to behave.
MASSA: A remarkable run in his (no really, this time it really is his) last Brazilian GP. A much better way of going out than the his last, last Brazilian GP.
STROLL: Lost all weekend.
WILLIAMS: Apparently Wehrlein is out of consideration. We really don't know how serious of a candidate Kubica is. Di Resta by default? Or maybe they just bring back Massa again...
ALONSO: Another great drive. Just counting down the days he can jettison that Honda lump in the back of his car.
PEREZ: Got the better of his teammate in qualifying and then didn't have to worry about him in the race.
HULKENBERG: First true head-to-head, and Nico topped Carlos.
SAINZ: But Carlos will still be a much better barometer for Nico than Jolyon Palmer ever was.
GROSJEAN: What's wrong with Romain lately? Just drive the f------ car!
HAAS: Continues to throw away opportunities and points. And they may end up in eighth place because of that.
GASLY: Not wowing anybody, but holding steady.
HARTLEY: Not guaranteed yet for 2018. Brendon may need to have a strong effort at the finale to secure the ride.
WEHRLEIN: May be left without a seat when the music stops.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Massa.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 27 -- The number of consecutive finishes for Estaban Ocon, which was his entire F1 career, snapped. In fact, Ocon hasn't not finished an open wheel race since back in his F3 days in 2014.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Five Brazilians won their home grand prix, with four of them winning two each, as local drivers took the first three incarnations of the race. Emerson Fittipaldi won in 1973 and 1974 followed by Carlos Pace, whom the Interlagos circuit is now named after, in 1975. The others were Nelson Piquet (1983, 1986), Ayrton Senna (1991, 1993), and Felipe Massa (2006, 2008). Next year, there will most likely not be any Brazilians in the race.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Fernando Alonso with one (almost) final dig at Honda as McLaren "passes" the torch to Toro Rosso, "The lack of power today was amazing. The lack of power is quite worrying for Toro Rosso next year."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Sao Paulo mayor Joao Doria has the gall to play down the violence exiting the circuit, "I've seen worse cases at other race tracks. It was the first time we had a case of such seriousness." Hey mayor, wake up and smell the gunpowder. Name one track where armed robbers point guns at F1 and team personnel's heads? Just one! And it happens every single year. These aren't pick pocketers. Bahrain during the height of their political unrest was safer than your crime ridden city.
SCHEDULE: The political wrangling may take center stage in the season's final race.
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