2023 Singapore Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: We've been F1 fans long enough to know that sometimes a team simply dominates. We don't begrudge them. It is in some ways the essence of the sport. Having said that, this race showed how thrilling this season could have been if not for the Red Bull (re: Verstappen) domination, such is the close competition behind the leaders.
EVENT: The giant killer.
TRACK: Bet Felipe Massa wishes those four corners were eliminated a long time ago...
QUALIFYING: Arguably the most exciting qualifying session of the season. Lawson knocks out Verstappen in Q2. Two Haas in Q3 with no Red Bulls. Ferrari (Sainz again), Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes as no team dominates. Magnussen outqualifies Alonso. And Stroll destroys his car early.
RACE: It was like an old fashioned endurance race. Stroke it early for survival, then go balls out at the end. And boy, did they go balls out at the end.
START: Russell gets a terrible start allowing Ferrari to go 1-2, Hamilton passes two cars by cutting the corner, Magnussen drops, and once again the field is clean almost throughout as Tsunoda is forced to exit.
SAINZ: What an absolutely brilliant performance. Fast. Skillful. Intelligent. Strategic. Calm. Just brilliant.
LECLERC: Ever since the summer break, it's been Carlos who has acted like the number one driver, both on and off the track.
FERRARI: They can run a race without screwing up. And like 1988, they prevented a team from going undefeated.
NORRIS: It might have been self serving, but the help from his former teammate allowed Lando to hang onto second, keeping Mercedes at bay.
PIASTRI: Did not have the upgrades like Lando, but still drove it to seventh ... from 17th.
HAMILTON: Sure Lewis needed some help for that podium spot, but the key here is he was clearly faster and preserving his tires better than Russell at the end. Hamilton still has it and Mercedes was wise to keep him another two years.
RUSSELL: Eyes fixated on Norris who tapped the wall a split second earlier?
VERSTAPPEN: The streak ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.
RED BULL: They came out of the box struggling. Then, they went down the rabbit hole going the wrong direction. They are, indeed, fallible.
GASLY: Got the position Ocon should have had.
OCON: Lousy birthday present.
LAWSON: Daniel, who?
ALPHATAURI: Theirs and Red Bull's solution is quite simple. By all accounts Tsunoda is not ever going to be promoted to the parent team. So, what's keeping Yuki in that seat? Honda? That engine will soon be Ford. So, what's keeping Yuki in that seat? Put Lawson and Ricciardo on that team with a 2024 season long shootout for the Perez seat in 2025.
MAGNUSSEN: Kevin was solid all weekend, outperforming his teammate most of the time.
HAAS: The massive upgrades worked here. But will they in Suzuka?
ALBON: Should have had a surprising (for this track) points finish, until Perez got rude.
SARGEANT: Pro, he looked good. Con, he's got to stop making mistakes.
ALONSO: Rough race for his first non-points finish of the season.
ZHOU: On the one hand, he deserves another year. On the other hand, what's the real long term driver plan for Alfa Romeo --> Sauber --> Audi?
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Lizards.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 0 -- The current active winning streak for Red Bull.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: A few races ago, we debated whether the Indy 500 should be excluded and thus Alberto Ascari should be credited for nine consecutive wins. If that is the case, then should we also exclude the Indy 500 from the 1952 season, which would mean Ferrari was the only team to win every Formula 1 world championship race in a season, but not necessarily every world championship race? Piero Taruffi won the Swiss GP season opener. Then came Indy (Troy Ruttman). Followed by Ascari taking the rest of the six races, completing the Ferrari "sweep."
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: From the Formula 1 official Twitter account:
Knocks Max Verstappen out of qualifying on Saturday
Scores his first F1 points on Sunday
@LiamLawson30 had a weekend he will never forget in Singapore
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Carlos Sainz added to the, if not for one team mantra, "I think the racing this year would be incredible and it would be eight drivers fighting for wins, a bit like we saw today with four or five guys out there fighting for a win around a street track."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Lando Norris on describing Verstappen's issues, "I don't know what they struggled with this weekend but when I watched his onboard [video] yesterday, I kind of laughed because I've never seen a car that bad before."
SCHEDULE: Singapore was fun. But let's face it. Most likely Red Bull will immediately be back on top in Japan.
Copyright © 2023 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.