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2021 Abu Dhabi Thoughts

THE BIG PICTURE: No matter who ultimately won the title, it would have been well deserved. Both Hamilton and Verstappen drove brilliantly (and sometimes not so...) all season, head and shoulders above all their competitors. They both pushed each other to areas they both didn't know existed within themselves. Yet, when it was all over, we have this feeling we just saw a World Cup final decided on penalty kicks in favor of a team which did not control play most of the final game.

EVENT: The Dutch fans even travel all the way to Abu Dhabi. Well, at least they had some wild celebrations.

TRACK: The changes definitely improved the track. Perhaps not as much for passing (though, to be fair, the changes were made with the 2022 rules in mind), but still better. The flow and fun factor definitely were better.

QUALIFYING: Verstappen throws down the first gauntlet of this epic weekend, Hamilton can't find his practice speed, Norris shocks the number two drivers of the top teams, Perez does his supporting role exceptionally well, while Bottas does not.

RACE: So much for Saudi Arabia GP being one of the most talked about races in F1 history. That's already been forgotten after Abu Dhabi unheard of chaos.

START: Hamilton gets the perfect start to grab the lead, then Verstappen gives it all in a massive lunge, only for Hamilton to keep the lead thanks to the Stewards. Meanwhile, Perez does his job, Bottas does not, and Norris inadvertently stays way out of the way.

VERSTAPPEN: We knew it was only a matter of time. We just wondered whether Max's driving style would never allow him to get over the hump.

HAMILTON: Great champions like Lewis are never satisfied no matter how many times they win. He was as sporting as he could be, but skipping all the mandatory press conferences really tells you how he feels. After all his achievements, he still hates losing.

RED BULL: We have nothing against Red Bull ... okay, maybe we do, a lot ... but some of their comments are so hypocritical. Please, just enjoy your victory, defend your position to the Stewards, and move on. You don't need to make side comments.

HONDA: Well, at least this time, they won a championship before bailing on F1.

DENNIS: So Ron, do you wish you handled McLaren's relationship with Honda better? Just saying...

MERCEDES: We think Toto Wolff's head actually exploded. We're serious. Head. Exploded.

LATIFI: Nicholas, welcome to the Timo Glock and Jean-Louis Schlesser club. No matter what you achieve on the track in your racing career, you will forever be immortalized by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

CONSTRUCTORS: It's interesting the top two teams didn't seem to care about the constructors' title, when this is what pays the prize money. They even were willing to sacrifice the "money" title to win the drivers' title, which doesn't pay anything. Which just goes to show, when push comes to shove, everyone cares more about which driver takes the championship, not which manufacturer.

PEREZ: Sergio's exceptional driving to hold up Hamilton may have made the difference in that the lost time was crucial in Hamilton not being able to pit during the virtual safety car without worrying about losing track position.

BOTTAS: Never a factor down the stretch to help out Hamilton. The promise of Valtteri at Williams never really panned out when he got to a top team. He now returns to a back marker where he can impress ... kind of, sort of.

RUSSELL: 'Valtteri, thanks for keeping my seat warm.'

SAINZ: Whoa, where did that podium come from? And it propelled Carlos to fifth place in the final standings.

LECLERC: While Charles dropped to seventh thanks to a 10th place finish.

TSUNODA: A great season opening race. A great season ending race. But in between was highly questionable.

GIOVINAZZI: Despite an impressive debut for Sauber filling in for an injured Pascal Wehrlein in 2017, Antonio never lived up to the esteem Ferrari held him in. So, off to Formula E he goes.

RAIKKONEN: Kimi is a conundrum. His attitude coming from anyone else would have most likely made that person very unlikable. But somehow, Kimi was always able to pull it off to make him the most likable anti-hero in F1.

FIA: What a mess. The real issue here is consistency. And the FIA from the top to the bottom, has lacked it this whole year.

F2: As expected, Australian Oscar Piastri clinched the title in the first sprint race, and then for good measure, won the feature race on Sunday. He became the third driver to win F3 and F2 back-to-back in rookie years (he also won Formula Renault the year before). The other two? Charles Leclerc and George Russell.

WORD OF THE WEEKEND: [speechless]

STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 1 -- After 1,297 laps in the 2021 season, the whole championship came down to the very last lap.

HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Of course, the events immediately brought up memories of the 2008 Brazilian GP when Timo Glock, still on slicks on a wet track, was unable to hold off Lewis Hamilton in the final turns, allowing Hamilton to gain just enough points to pip Felipe Massa of the championship, when the Ferrari garage was already celebrating. Well, we guess Hamilton now knows the horrid feeling Felipe Massa felt with the sudden emotional swings of winning then losing a championship in one lap.

TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: In the billions (we're not exaggerating...) of tweets sent out over the finish of this race, the one sent out by Danica Patrick -- yes, of all people, Danica -- encapsulated what many of us felt: "Def didn’t seem fair but exciting to watch!"

QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: To Michael Masi for immediately shutting down Toto Wolff, "Toto, it's called a motor race. We went car racing."

QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Lewis Hamilton never said anything on the radio during the last lap and the aftermath. Except for one sentence which showed his anger when he knew he would not be able to repass Verstappen, "This has been manipulated, man."

SCHEDULE: There was supposed to be 23 races this year, not 22. There's some food for thought... Next year, we will (hopefully) get 23 races. How can we possibly top this year? Well, all new car specs should give us a completely different type of excitement, especially if an unexpected team nails the design.

Copyright © 2021 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.



RACE RESULTS
  Driver Laps
1. Verstappen 58
2. Hamilton 58
3. Sainz 58
4. Tsunoda(R) 58
5. Gasly 58
6. Bottas 58
7. Norris 58
8. Alonso 58
9. Ocon 58
10. Leclerc 58
11. Vettel 58
12. Ricciardo 57
13. Stroll 57
14. Schumacher(R) 57
15. Perez 55
NC Latifi 50
NC Giovinazzi 33
NC Russell 26
NC Raikkonen 25
  Mazepin(R) DNS

Time of Race
1:30:17.345

Margin of Victory
2.256 secs.

Safety Car
1 for 4 laps

Virtual Safety Car
1 for 3 laps

Lead Changes
4 among 3 drivers

Lap Leaders
Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen

Fastest Race Lap
Max Verstappen

Pole Position
Max Verstappen

FINAL STANDINGS
  Driver Pts.
1. Verstappen 395.5
2. Hamilton 387.5
3. Bottas 226
4. Perez 190
5. Sainz 164.5
6. Norris 160
7. Leclerc 159
8. Ricciardo 115
9. Gasly 110
10. Alonso 81
11. Ocon 74
12. Vettel 43
13. Stroll 34
14. Tsunoda(R) 32
15. Russell 16
16. Raikkonen 10
17. Latifi 7
18. Giovinazzi 3
19. Schumacher(R) 0
20. Kubica 0
21. Mazepin(R) 0

  Team Pts.
1. Mercedes 613.5
2. Red Bull 585.5
3. Ferrari 323.5
4. McLaren 275
5. Alpine 155
6. AlphaTauri 142
7. Aston Martin 77
8. Williams 23
9. Alfa Romeo 13
10. Haas 0
 
 

2022 Thoughts
Bahrain Saudi Arabia Australia Emilia Romagna
Miami Spain Monaco Azerbaijan
Canada Great Britain Austria France
Hungary Belgium Holland Italy
Singapore Japan United States
Mexico City Sao Paulo Abu Dhabi

2021 Thoughts
Bahrain Emilia Romagna Portugal Spain Monaco
Azerbaijan France Steiermark Austria Great Britain
Hungary Belgium Holland Italy
Russia Turkey United States Mexico City
Sao Paulo Qatar Saudi Arabia Abu Dhabi

2020 Thoughts
Austria Steiermark Hungary Great Britain Anniversary
Spain Belgium Italy Tuscany
Russia Eifel Portugal Emilia Romagna
Turkey Bahrain Sakhir Abu Dhabi

2019 Thoughts
Australia Bahrain China Azerbaijan Spain
Monaco Canada France Austria
Great Britain Germany Hungary Belgium
Italy Singapore Russia Japan
Mexico United States Brazil Abu Dhabi

2018 Thoughts
Australia Bahrain China Azerbaijan Spain
Monaco Canada France Austria
Great Britain Germany Hungary Belgium
Italy Singapore Russia Japan
United States Mexico Brazil Abu Dhabi

2017 Thoughts
Australia China Bahrain Russia
Spain Monaco Canada Azerbaijan
Austria Great Britain Hungary Belgium
Italy Singapore Malaysia Japan
United States Mexico Brazil Abu Dhabi

2016 Thoughts
Australia Bahrain China Russia Spain
Monaco Canada Europe Austria
Great Britain Hungary Germany Belgium
Italy Singapore Malaysia Japan
United States Mexico Brazil Abu Dhabi

2015 Thoughts
Australia Malaysia China Bahrain
Spain Monaco Canada Austria
Great Britain Hungary Belgium Italy
Singapore Japan Russia United States
Mexico Brazil Abu Dhabi

2014 Thoughts
Australia Malaysia Bahrain China
Spain Monaco Canada Austria
Great Britain Germany Hungary Belgium
Italy Singapore Japan Russia
United States Brazil Abu Dhabi

2013 Thoughts
Australia Malaysia China Bahrain
Spain Monaco Canada Great Britain
Germany Hungary Belgium Italy
Singapore South Korea Japan India
Abu Dhabi United States Brazil

2012 Thoughts
Australia Malaysia China Bahrain
Spain Monaco Canada Europe
Great Britain Germany Hungary Belgium
Italy Singapore Japan South Korea
India Abu Dhabi United States Brazil

2011 Thoughts
Australia Malaysia China Turkey
Spain Monaco Canada Europe
Great Britain Germany Hungary Belgium
Italy Singapore Japan South Korea
India Abu Dhabi Brazil

2010 Thoughts
Bahrain Australia Malaysia China
Spain Monaco Turkey Canada
Europe Great Britain Germany Hungary
Belgium Italy Singapore Japan
South Korea Brazil Abu Dhabi

2009 Thoughts
Australia Malaysia China Bahrain
Spain Monaco Turkey Great Britain
Germany Hungary Europe
Belgium Italy Singapore
Japan Brazil Abu Dhabi


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