Three hours 25 minutes after the race


Wow! Where to start with this one? Lewis Hamilton once again did all that he could do to keep the World Championship alive, reducing Nico Rosberg’s lead for the third consecutive race. The pair will go to the finale in Abu Dhabi, separated by 12 points, but in Brazil it might have been a very different story as Max Verstappen drove an astonishing race to get ahead of Nico. The Red Bull team called Max in for Intermediates when it looked like it was the right thing to do, but the conditions changed and the Dutchman had to return to the pits 11 laps later to go back to wets, That dropped him to 14th with 17 laps to go and he nailed it, fighting back to finish third. It was terrific stuff.  There were great stories right through the field with Sergio Perez doing a great job but losing his podium place to Max with three laps to go. There were more disasters for Ferrari, but Sebastian Vettel manged to get back to  fifth, passing Carlos Sainz two laps from home. It was a wild day for Sauber and Manor as they battled to finish 10th in the Constructors’ Championship, a fight that is worth tens of millions. Felipe Nasr drove an astounding race and held on to finish ninth and give Sauber two points to jump to 10th in the title. But it was heartbreak for Manor after an astounding drive from Esteban Ocon, who was running as high as eighth. In the end he could not hold back  faster cars and  dropped to 12th in the last two laps.  And so we head to Abu Dhabi with the likelihood and a highly-charged showdown between the two Mercedes drivers

Also in GP+ this week…

– We talk to Jolyon Palmer about his season
– We look at what it takes to be an F1 team principal
– Charlie Whiting explains the rules of overtaking
– DT is saddened by what is happening at McLaren
– JS has darker thoughts about the state of the world
– The Hack ruminates on Alan Jones, now 70 years of age.
– Plus the usual fabulous photography from a rather soggy Peter Nygaard

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52 thoughts on “Three hours 25 minutes after the race

  1. I was totally miffed by the multiple safety cars and red flags. Ideal viewing time here in the U.S., but in conflict with many long delayed domestic chores.

    SO glad I watched it all, in hindsight all we needed to see were the last green flag racing laps.

    Max put on a clinic and once again exposed Vettel for the whining self important former WDC he has become. The only former WDC who whined more was J. Villeneuve. In fairness to Seb, JV moaned about EVERYTHING, Seb just can’t come to grips with a driver who is more talented and creative on track. Hint to Ferari: Shit can Seb and bring back Felipe!

    Magx’s late braking and outside passes were amazing to watch, demonstrating superior car control, sensitivity, and confidence. And all this AFTER the team blew his tire strategy. In retrospect it seems all the teams were hasty in going to intermediates. All but Mercedes it seemed.

    I’m glad Jos was on hand to witness Max’s work, as a former driver I’m sure he was more amazed then the fans.

    1. One of the benefits of recorded highlights on UK’s Ch4 this weekend being not having to suffer stops and starts (it started at 10pm). I’d take the radio comments with a pinch of salt – I get the impression certain drivers are now singled out by the race director based on past ‘whinging performance’ and their relative status in the F1 hierarchy…..

      1. Though it would have worked better if I’d read the listings mag properly instead of assuming the race was on at 8 pm like qualifying was. Then I wouldn’t have switched on the haunted fish tank at 7:55 to hear the wretched BBC announcing a Hamilton win before the thing had even woken up enough to put a picture on the screen..


  2. Of course hindsight is always VERY accurate, but it would seem that Red Bull got a bit greedy. With Max in 2nd, perhaps they would have been better off keying on whatever Mercedes was going to do. To me, strategies where you have to relinquish track position first are always risky because unforseen events may prevent you from moving forward to make the strategy good.

  3. After the race the pain felt by those at British SKY F1 because Rosberg managed another second place couldn’t be hidden.
    Verstappen fans are risking “Senna like” copyright Infringements, those rights belong jointly to British Sky F1/BBC F1 and their fan club/s followers.

  4. Morning Joe

    Do you think there will be a change to the approach to rain delays now Liberty is in charge? Or do you think that the 2017 wet tires will improve wet weather performance and the confidence of race directors?

    The sport should either race in rain or not. During yesterday’s race, the race directors appeared to flip flop between over caution and throwing caution to the wind. The last half hour of the race was fantastic, what I pay my entrance money for. The conditions during that last half hour were arguably no better than they had been earlier on in the race (when the cars were bottled up behind the safety car or red flag).

    There will always be a high risk of a crash in the rain, there is a pretty high risk in the dry (we’ve seen higher attrition rates in dry races before, especially when Maldonardo was driving). If the sport can’t risk a crash, then we should stop motor racing.

    Yesterday was very frustrating as a fan, I don’t want to see anybody hurt, but I also want to see the worlds greatest drivers tested. I wanted to see Nico earn his championship under pressure from the Red Bulls, I wanted to see the two rain masters, Lewis and Max going at it. I feel that the many delays made the window for this a lot smaller that it should have been.


  5. Good of Mad Max to admit to C4’s pundits that his staying out of the wall owed a good deal to luck. But did I really hear Alonso complaining that der Fingerflingenkind had pushed him off the track? At least Vettel’s own wheels were still on the right side of the line when he made the pass, Fernando…

  6. Hat tip to Max Verstappen. The guy is a genius. The way he behaved behind the safety car finding various spots of grip was really intelligent. His overtakes were spectacular. This was the performance which has well and truly announced his arrival.

    1. Spot on with how he was behind the Safety Car! At the time he was doing it I thought he was being a bit reckless but as the race panned out it became clear how clever he had been. I’m also a little disappointed that Danny Ric wasn’t paying more attention to the way Max got passed everyone late in the race as Max was in front of Dan and basically showed him how and where to pass everyone….

  7. In spite of coming home 12th, it was great to see Force India confirmed on their choice for Ocon. I think he did a great job in a car that wasn’t really functioning in the wet. And Ocon was one of the toughest passes for Max this race.
    I’m very much looking forward to more Ocon-Verstappen battles in the future!

    1. Yes i thought the very same about Ocon when Max first went to pass. He made him think bit harder about passing than most of them did.

      I see the same old best ever drive examples are being mentioned after Max’s performance.
      Senna ’84 Monaco? (Again forgetting all about Bellof)
      Senna ’93 is a given but Estoril ’85 must surely count as both Ayrton’s and the overall greatest wet drive ever?

      Otherwise we should also add in no particular order (wet or dry):
      Fangio at Nurby ’57,
      Villeneuve Jarama ’81
      Herbert Rio ’89
      Mansell Hungary ’89
      Schumacher Catalunya ’94
      Alonso Hungary ’03
      Raikkonen Suzuka ’05

      1. Great List James k,
        In rain
        Lewis at Brazil (2016)
        Lewis at Silverstone (at Mclaren and with Mercedes)
        Lewis at Japan (Mercedes overtake around Rosberg in the wet first turn).

  8. Now THAT was a fun race to watch! Is the Brazilian GP ever boring?

    Onward and downwards to a finale in Abu Dhabi where we can expect an exciting track with swooping elevation changes, and perhaps some rain to let the best drivers shine. Or just some pretty lights.

  9. It was finally nice to see commentators and drivers call out Pirelli on their poor wet weather tyre. As Kimi said rain tyres were better 10 years ago, even Damon and Martin commented rain tyres from 20+ years ago allowed them to race in wetter conditions than today. Its been obvious to the average viewer this is the reason why we don’t have wet standing starts.

    Its seem like there was an some sort of block on driver/press saying this, but yesterday was to much and they just called it as they saw it.

    1. I have now heard this mentioned several times over this year that the Pirelli extreme wet tyre has not been developed as well as their intermediate and their race tyres.

      I remember Silverstone 2016, a rolling start behind the pace car and then all the cars streaming in ASAP for intermediates…. That was not good for F1.

      Lets hope the 2017 extreme wet tyre is better and we get back to standing starts in the wet. Something that always a spectacle to see, even for those not into F1.

      I do hope that the lack of wet standing starts is nothing down to health and safety/court cases/risk assessment and is just the tyres!

      Any thoughts on this Joe?

    2. “it was finally nice to see commentators and drivers call out Pirelli on their poor wet weather tyre” load of BS and misleading of their followers.
      a wet weather tyre is as good as its water dispersing capabilities (capacities). present day F1 wet weather Pirelli tyres (full wet) are designed to disperse as much water if not more then the tyres of the past (65 liters of water per second at full speed). wet weather tyres can disperse water only from under their footprint and not from under the car, todays wet weather car problems are dawn to the car ride height (bottoming) and not with the tyre water dispersal capabilities.

      1. Putting low ride heights, the plank on the cars and cars bottoming out to one side as these issues have been around for years.

        What I now see is the sudden need for wet race rolling starts behind the pace car and subsequent mass diving into the pits to fit intermediate tyres even when there is still a very wet track.

        I would like to understand why this is now happening when in the past it did not.

      2. I’m sure I’ve read somewhere the old Bridgestone’s dispersed about 90 litres of water, and had a far wider operating temperature too. Someone might be able to verify this, cause I’ve tried googling and come up blank..

    3. “It was finally nice to see commentators and drivers call out Pirelli on their poor wet weather tyre.”

      Why are you blaming Pirelli for this? They have built a product based on the specifications that were asked of them. They were asked to produce tyres that would mix up pitting strategy i.e. wear out. It was the same a few years back when we had the incredible disintegrating tyres. Pirelli got it in the neck. But again, they built a product that was precisely what they were asked to produce, so why blame them? Why not blame the people that asked for the thing to be built in this way in the first place?

  10. Not sure you can blame pireli for the tryes, they are only producing what has been asked for. I heard Martin Brundall saying these tyres expell 61 lts of water a second, they do need to be turning to do that though, not sat in the pit lane.

    1. Owh yes he was. I’m 100% certain. Just watch the rave again. He comes back 16th after the pitstop back to full wets.

  11. Is the pirelli full wet that bad or is it a combination or running a dry set up with full wets. I’m under the impression that teams run cars in a dry set up and aren’t allowed to make any changes under current rules so ride heights stay low etc. So wet tyres mat well have been better 10 years ago but the car was set up to take full advantage..

  12. Great read as usual – except: why the asterisks in the quote from Button? A quote should be just that and printed warts and all, or not at all.

    As for the safety car starts, it should only be used as a rolling start procedure to prevent an unnecessary pile up at the first corner, 2 laps should do it and let them go. If it is deemed too dangerous, then don’t let them race in the rain.

  13. History Is Bunk:
    So is/are “the media”. That which the media see and what I (and others) see don’t match up. I suspect it’s much like the differences between the Murdock papers and The Guardian. Hillary called Trump supporters “Deplorables”, which you can understand is likely to be considered offensive. Or a badge of honor, or both. There are many things not to like about her, too.
    Trump is “a man with views that can only be described as overtly racist,
    xenophobic and misogynistic”? By some, yes. By others, no, because they have a much wider view of the man. And, yes, with the campaign over, the riots protesting the outcome have begun.

  14. However frustrating those first bits and bobs were… What we got in the end was worth sitting through it. Some brilliant racing we’ve seen.

    Those mini corrections that would have a disastrous outcome when the car felt like snapping out. Really a treat to watch those racers deal with it.

    And ‘Dat boi!’ Max. Wow, was I scared in his place. He didn’t seem to be the way he drove. One of those drives that will stay with you.

  15. Yes, Max drove a masterful race for someone so young. He is a serious talent. And, I’m so impressed with Jos. He guided Max’s development very well, and then stepped away at seemingly the perfect time. Good job, Jos.

    And, I would also like to acknowledge the wonderful driver and delightful individual that is Felipe Massa. The special paint on his Williams. Draping the Brazilian flag over his shoulders as he walked back after his shunt. Emotionally hugging his wife and son. Being congratulated and consoled by the other teams’ pit crews as he walked back. Just a very classy guy, and I will miss him next year.

  16. well, maybe i’m in gravel with this one, but Max’ show in Brasil was Something one can compare only with things like inventing computer, internet, LED, Ricciardo in 2014 or Painkiller of Judas Priest 1990! That was Something!!

  17. If Donald Trump’s views are racist, xenophobic and misogynistic, then why is it that his opponents, organized by George Soros, are the ones rioting in the street, attacking people, destroying properties, flooding twitter with calls for his murder and to rape his Slovenian wife? None of this happened when Obama was elected. Deafening is the silence of the people who due massive wiretapping and surveillance on ordinary citizens: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

    If you rely on rags like “New Yorker” you ended up as ignorant as an F1 fan who only follows Bernie’s tame journalist. I expect better of you.

    1. TP, you cannot imagine how much your comment perfectly illustrates the point that JS made in his article.

      Personally I think that this year in F1 belongs very well to this monkey year 2016. Can’t wait for 2017 and its changes. This race was a bit useless, to be frank, MV’s drive was fantastic, but it also looked like he was surrounded by clones of Luca Badoer. He drove where others took no risk to drive. Even if he did that only for sheer visibility, I think he represents what a true racer should do: take risks. Still, I believe a useless race it was.
      On the McLaren story, I’m surprised it’s making me feel sympathetic to RD’s situation. Without knowing the details, I always had the impression he was running his company like the Death Star, so many thanks to Monsieur Joe Saouàrde et son équipe, for bringing some true speak to the sanitised and polished environment that F1 media has become.
      This report makes 90% of all other articles on F1 completely redundant. And I’d have no problem waiting 2 more hours if that keeps Monsieur Joe alive longer later on.

    2. Perhaps you should tune your tinfoil headgear into the reality station then report back. It appears you read Breitbart, the work of trump appointee Steve Bannon, a man celebrated by the white nationalist movement, to serve as his chief strategist and senior adviser. He is the epitome of all things you describe and it is all there for the world to read.

    3. Titus, Mr. Trump is a Republican… the party that was formed to ABOLISH slavery (Abe Lincoln), call it racism; Democrats wanted to increase it.

      He won (the college) because he is NOT a Politician or lawyer… and voters are sick to death of both!

      Go figure.

    4. “If Donald Trump’s views are racist, xenophobic and misogynistic, then why is it that his opponents, organized by George Soros, are the ones rioting in the street”

      Titus I think this is a sort of ‘non sequitur’ on your behalf. It’s perfectly possible for Tronald Dump to be racist, xenophobic and misogynistic (as many would say he has consistently demonstrated himself to be) yet for his opponents to riot, whether ‘funded by Soros’ or not, without contradiction.

      The latter does not disprove the former.

      Inelegant as some of the reaction has been, much of it is sincere anger and revulsion at a man so totally devoid of grace, intellect, good character and calm judgement replacing a man who seemed almost to epitomise the best of those qualities – in a job that so requires them.

      His appointment of nasty white-supremacist Bannon as a senior aid and apparent patronage of that absolute arse Farage don’t do a lot to quell fears of an impending Idiocracy.

      Sorry, back to F1. Great GP+ Joe and kudos for getting it out despite the time constraints. As others have said there’s a theory that the race was red flagged again in the hope of finishing it under racing conditions due to the four hour rule. Anyway let’s hope Abu Dhabi defies history and is a cracker…

  18. Thanks for the lecture on quotes, Ted, but actually I’ll decide how they’re done in GP+. I am almost certainly the first one to use such language myself, but if kids happen to read it I don’t want them encountering blunt profanity.

  19. It’s a huge shame to see how Ron Dennis has been treat by some.

    Who think what the position of McLaren is so great that this kind of things could help ?

    Who is the winner, tonight ?

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