2021 Holland Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: The next two tracks should favor Mercedes. Then, the majority of tracks appear to favor Red Bull. On paper, the odds still lean towards Max Verstappen. But as we've seen this year, nothing is certain.
EVENT: Move over Tifosi, the Orange Brigade now lays claim as the greatest fans in F1.
TRACK: Epic redesign. Sure, after a few years we may tire of the lack of passing, but watching F1 cars negotiate the old school with new banking track sure was fun.
QUALIFYING: Max gave the fans what they came for despite a mistake and an unknown DRS problem, Giovinazzi is the surprise Q3 star of the weekend, Russell pushes too hard, Norris lost his speed, and Perez shockingly fails in Q1.
RACE: A tense nail biting -- especially for the home fans -- strategic affair which left everyone guessing until there were 10 laps left.
START: Verstappen can't be anymore perfect as he gets out of DRS range in just one lap, controlled chaos behind with locking tires and nudges everywhere, Alonso does his outside magic, Giovinazzi drops, and Russell stays put.
VERSTAPPEN: The pressure on Max was never as high as it was this past weekend. And he handled it with complete aplomb, coolly delivered what a whole nation virtually demanded.
PEREZ: Ever since he signed an extension for 2022, he has not done what Red Bull signed him to do -- run interference for Verstappen.
HAMILTON: He pushed. And pushed. But he conceded the other car was just too fast.
BOTTAS: Wasn't fast enough to throw off Red Bull with a single stop strategy. Didn't hold up Verstappen long enough. Then, temporarily "stole" the fastest lap point from his teammate. The perils of knowing you are going to get dropped.
MERCEDES: They have to think about the future. And Russell is their future.
GASLY: Under the radar the whole weekend while having a splendid weekend.
MCLAREN: The pace just wasn't there.
FERRARI: While it was for the Prancing Horse, who overtook McLaren for third.
ALONSO: Strong the whole weekend.
VETTEL: Miserable the whole weekend.
GIOVINAZZI: A puncture spoiled a solid points result.
KUBICA: (Temporarily) welcome back, Robert. Again.
HAAS: So, the two drivers are getting into a pissing match over the right for 19th and 20th? Seriously? Dudes, your team sucks. Worry about that first.
TSUNODA: Yuki really needs to keep it on the track for three days. Really needs to do that.
RAIKKONEN: Kimi came into F1 very young (21) with very little experience (23 car races in total). He will leave F1 double that age and as the most experienced F1 driver in history. Though, that count is temporarily halted due to his Covid-19 positive test.
F3: Points leader Dennis Hauger again had a poor Saturday, but so did his closest competitors. The Norwegian made up for it with a pole and a runaway victory in the full points feature race to extend his lead to 43 points with just one weekend left. And that weekend has been moved from COTA to Sochi.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Bonkers.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 36 -- The number of years since the last Dutch GP.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The last time the Dutch GP was run was also the last time Niki Lauda won an F1 race -- 1985. He started 10th, moved up to dice with his teammate, Alain Prost, over the final 12 laps. Niki won by 0.232 seconds in a McLaren-TAG. Ayrton Senna took third in a Lotus-Renault. Polesitter Nelson Piquet in a Brabham-BMW, the first pole for Pirelli, stalled at the start, losing a lap. It was the last F1 race for Stefan Bellof who was killed a week later in the 1000 KM of Spa World Sportscar race.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: From the F1 official Twitter account: The party has started in The Netherlands 🟠 🕺 💃
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Christain Horner putting the crowd's amazing support of his driver in simple terms, "I've never seen a reaction like this throughout my career."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Lewis Hamilton stating what a lot of drivers felt of the "new" Zandvoort, "This is now one of my favorite tracks."
SCHEDULE: Okay Tifosi. Are you ready to take on the "hold my beer" challenge?
Copyright © 2021 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.