2022 Saudi Arabia Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Two races down and still a positive vibe on the new technical regulations. Keep it up. Keep it up. We want this to be the greatest year ever.
EVENT: Missiles fired near the track. An oil storage facility goes up in a massive explosion, flames, and black smoke. Host country threatens to not allow competitors to leave the country if they don't race. And people wonder why some consider F1 the most morally unethical sport in the world.
TRACK: Minor changes were made to address some of the safety issues. But this is still a fast, blind, dangerous street circuit. Just ask Mick Schumacher.
QUALIFYING: Which is more shocking: Perez's pole or Hamilton failing to get to Q2; Schumacher's crash or Ocon's fifth; McLaren's speed or Tsunoda's no time?
RACE: An absolutely riveting game of high speed chess between Verstappen and Leclerc.
START: Perfect Perez, Leclerc hangs on, Verstappen gets by Sainz, Gasly nearly gets into Magnussen, Zhou's car let's him down.
VERSTAPPEN: This time, he tried not get outsmarted by Leclerc. Can't wait for the next move.
LECLERC: Will have to come up with a new way to out think Verstappen.
SAINZ: Still lagging behind his teammate.
PEREZ: Totally boned by the safety car, brought out once again by our "favorite" safety car whisperer.
RED BULL: Fixed the reliability issue. Now have some catching up to do.
FERRARI: Their powerful engine allowed them to setup the car for downforce.
RUSSELL: Was able to get the Mercedes to work better than Hamilton. But, still a long ways to go.
HAMILTON: Just missed the time to pit which cost him a better position.
MERCEDES: But the Silver Arrows is still way off the pace.
ALPINE: Amazing they allowed their drivers to fight it out so intensely. But it was clean. And it was great for us fans.
OCON: A combination of speed, handling, and other's troubles gave Esteban a great fifth place finish.
MCLAREN: This track worked for them.
NORRIS: Which gave Lando a points finish, but he is not confident about other tracks.
MAGNUSSEN: Also screwed by the safety car. His strategy was partially recoverable by good timing during the VSC, but still deserved a better finish.
ZHOU: The car kicked into anti-stall off the start, five-second penalty for leaving the track, faulty jack on his pit stop, mistakenly served the penalty during a safety car period, so also got a drive-through penalty. And he still finished just one position out of the points.
ALBON: A desperate move there.
ALONSO: A great race. And then kaput on lap 36.
BOTTAS: A great race. And then kaput on lap 36.
RICCIARDO: A decent race. And then kaput on lap 36.
TSUNODA: No time in qualifying. No laps in the race. Sometimes, the car is your worst enemy.
SCHUMACHER: Ouch! Glad Mick is okay.
FIA: We are just speechless at the behavior of the FIA.
F2: Kiwi Liam Lawson won the sprint race with hardly any green flag laps while Dennis Hauger got screwed by the officials. Brazilian Felipe Drugovich took the feature win while Lawson's pit crew fails to put a wheel on properly.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Missiles.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 11 -- The driver with this number won his first pole on the 11th anniversary of his F1 debut in 2011. Oh, and this race started in Mexico at 11:00.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: This weekend marked the 28th anniversary of Max's father's F1 debut. Jos Verstappen subbed in for an injured JJ Lehto in a Benetton-Ford for the March 27, 1994 Brazilian GP with Michael Schumacher as teammate, qualifying ninth. He was involved in a multicar crash which resulted in an Eddie Irvine three-race suspension, causing Jos to somersault. He was not hurt.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: From Red Bull: "Phew, that was fun!" It sure was.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Charles Leclerc said what we are all thinking, "Oh my God, I really enjoyed that race! It was hard racing but fair. Every race should be like this."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Esteban Ocon: "You can follow so much better through high speed corners in these cars."
SCHEDULE: The Australians are chomping at the bit to finally see F1 in person again. And this year, they are in for an amazing treat.
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