2023 United States Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: The skid plate rule is one used by many racing series (the Porsche Penske team lost a win in IMSA's Six Hours of the Glen to this exact same infraction) as a key component to ensuring legality. Sure, most of the time when the rule is broken, it's unintentional and probably not a factor, but you have to place a marker somewhere. And then enforce it completely.
EVENT: And Europeans think F1 will never catch on in America...
TRACK: It's starting to get bumpy again because of the marshland and thus more of a challenge. Too much for Hamilton and Leclerc's car...
QUALIFYING: A surprising mistake by Verstappen drops him to sixth as Leclerc takes advantage for the pole, McLaren is right there with Norris, Mercedes is right there with Hamilton, Alpine is strong, Aston Martin is massively disappointed, and Haas and Williams don't show the speed they did in FP1.
SPRINT SHOOTOUT: This time Verstappen doesn't open the door but Ferrari and Mercedes are still close, Perez is useless, this time Albon does show speed while Sargeant is the complete opposite, and Aston Martin continues to struggle.
SPRINT: The dullest Sprint of the season.
SPRINT START: Verstappen is very aggressive defending which probably caused Leclerc to lose second to Hamilton who used more than the track as everybody else snaked through the esses.
RACE: From the start till the end, the result always seemed inevitable. But, we didn't quite know the nature of Verstappen's brake issues, providing us some hope.
START: Norris gets a spectacular start jumping into the lead before the first turn, Leclerc has to defend from the rest of the field, Sainz tucks in behind him, and Ocon and Piastri bang into each other causing their eventual retirements.
VERSTAPPEN: We learned not to talk to Max in a braking zone.
RED BULL: The first time mechanical liability almost ... almost ... let them down.
HAMILTON: Just one, maybe two, more laps, and it would have been a world of fun. Which of course would have been completely ruined after scrutineering...
RUSSELL: Granted, he was on a different strategy, but now that Hamilton has gotten the bit between his teeth, George is being left behind.
MERCEDES: Getting closer. Looking forward to next year's car.
NORRIS: Took control back within his team. And for a moment there, Lando sure looked dominant in the lead.
PIASTRI: Bad form on Saturday, then a big hole in his sidepod on Sunday.
OCON: A complementary hole in his sidepod.
MCLAREN: Another team we can't wait to see next year's car.
LECLERC: That one stop strategy was a complete and utter mistake. And compound that with the fact Charles started from pole. All wrapped up with a DQ.
SAINZ: Which mean Carlos was there to inherit a podium spot. The third time he has done so because someone ahead of him was penalized.
STROLL: Swapping upgrades around, had to start from pit lane, and still got into the points (even before the DQs). This was a race Lance needed badly.
TSUNODA: You don't expect someone on AlphaTauri to be called in on the last lap to swap to softs and go for the fastest lap point. But Yuki came through and got it. Kudos to him.
SARGEANT: Who cares how you get your first F1 points? Let Logan enjoy it.
RICCIARDO: Another one-stopper which failed miserably.
F1 TV: For the love of God, stop showing crowd shots. Just. Stop.
FI ACADEMY: The all women series, which replaced the W Series, inaugural season had their finale with an F1 weekend for the first time (next year, all their races will be on F1 weekends). Spaniard Marta Garcia clinched the championship in the first race with a win from pole. The reverse grid second race was taken by Hamda Al Qubaisi from the UAE. And Brit Jessica Edgar took the third race.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Brakes.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 100 -- The number of starts both George Russell and Lando Norris now have. And they are still considered the future of F1.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Max Verstappen now has 50 wins. One behind Alain Prost whose 51 victories was the F1 standard bearer for 14 years after he passed Jackie Stewart's 27 wins in 1987 and then was passed by Michael Schumacher in 2001. His 51st win came in the 1993 German GP at Hockenheim driving a Williams Renault from pole position. He went on to win the title that year and then retired.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: The @ChrystalHorner account which "discovered" the secret behind Ferrari's strategy names: Plan D = Plan Disaster.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Max Vertappen on his request to his engineer, "I politely asked not to be spoken to. You're laughing there, but I said 'please' when I asked!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: After the FIA raised the ceiling for potential fines to one million euros, Kevin Magnussen said, "I don't know what offense it is to be a million, but that sounds ridiculous. Charles (Leclerc) can give his watch! I would disappear, never to be found again."
SCHEDULE: For the sake of a whole country, Sergio Perez cannot afford to be a headcase next week.
Copyright © 2023 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.