2023 Sao Paulo Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: You know the season is winding down when the real crazy ass rumors are coming out in full force.
EVENT: Just think what the place would be like if they had an actual Brazilian driver to root for.
TRACK: It always amazes us how compact the track is and yet still better than just about any "modern" track out there.
QUALIFYING: The Biblical rains came giving the drivers only one lap in Q3, but that didn't matter to Verstappen who still got the pole, Aston Martin is back in the game, McLaren is hugely disappointed as they mistimed it all, and Ricciardo goes from Q3 last week to Q1 elimination this week.
SPRINT SHOOTOUT: A controversial crash between Alonso and Ocon dominates the conversation, Norris makes up for Friday's bad luck, but Verstappen is lurking.
SPRINT: Not as thrilling as last year's sprint, but still entertaining ... a lot more so than COTA.
SPRINT START: Norris gets a solid start, but Verstappen is brilliant and steals the lead by the first turn, Alonso goes way off, Piastri then goes way off, and Mercedes has a great first lap.
RACE: The epic last two-lap battle for third place between Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez will be talked about for a very long time.
START: The most asinine start of the year. Ferrari's incompetence reigns again as it fails on the formation lap pitching Leclerc into the wall. This allows Verstappen an easy uncontested getaway. Norris gets a great start, leaping into second. Meanwhile, Hulkenberg taps Albon pitching him into Magnussen, sending both into the wall, while Piastri gets caught up as well and Ricciardo is hit by debris.
RESTART: This time, there is a car in the second spot, but Verstappen still sails away. Hamilton challenges Norris unsuccessfully. Which leads to Alonso successfully challenging Hamilton.
VERSTAPPEN: Most mortals would be distracted and perhaps not as motivated by this time in the year after clinching the championship so long ago. Not Max. Nothing slows down his desire.
NORRIS: Lando knows his car is fast. Lando also knows his car is not quite as fast as Red Bull.
ALONSO: No doubt, Red Bull was a faster car. But, Fernando is Fernando. You're not going to beat him just because you have a faster car.
PEREZ: Sergio is good. But not Alonso good. And that battle proved it.
STROLL: Probably enjoying himself a lot more right now.
ASTON MARTIN: Just when we all were counting them out for the rest of the year, they pull a speed rabbit out of their hat.
FERRARI: How many front row starts is this team going to throw away because of terrible tire degradation, poor strategy, or untimely reliability issues?
GASLY: Passing Mercedes cars like they were Haas cars. Alpine making Mercedes look slow.
MERCEDES: Miserable weekend. They knew what was wrong ... after parc ferme. So, they were cooked at that point.
ALPHATAURI: We figured last week was a fluke. But, they were impressive again, with Tsunoda finishing the deal.
SARGEANT: One of two drivers to ditch the mediums at the red flag and go with softs the rest of the way. All things considered, it gave him a nice 11th place.
HULKENBERG: The other driver to use all softs. Again, all things considered, it gave him a nice 12th.
RICCIARDO/PIASTRI: Both caught out by a quirk of a rule, putting them a lap down before the restart, ruining their races.
ALFA ROMEO: And just like that, they fall behind AlphaTauri.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Hydraulics.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 0.053 -- The fraction of a second that Alonso beat Perez for third place.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The worst Max Verstappen could end up with is a 77.27% season win percentage, thus guaranteeing a better mark than the previous record holder, Alberto Ascari at 75% in 1952. Michael Schumacher is third best at 72.22% in 2004. But once again, what should we make of the Indy 500 that season? Ascari did enter it, but it meant it was impossible to run the Swiss GP. Therefore, he won six out of seven entered races for an 85.71 win percentage. The best Verstappen can do if he wins the next two is 79.17%.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: @ChrystalHorner did a mockup of The Onion showing a picture of Charles Leclerc with the headlines, "Man Who'd Thought He Lost All Hope Losses Last Additional Bit of Hope He Didn't Even Know He Still Had".
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Charles Leclerc after hitting the wall on the formation lap, "I hate the hydraulics. I hate the hydraulics. Why the fuck am I so unlucky?"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Fernando Alonso pulling into the pits after the massive storm strikes the track during Q3, "It's night."
SCHEDULE: The most hyped race of the year -- it's Las Vegas after all -- which means it can't possibly live up to it -- especially since it's a street race. And on top of that, virtually everyone in the home country is going to be asleep when it runs. Color us skeptical over the whole affair.
Copyright © 2023 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.