Brazil GP: Winners and Losers

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Winners

  • Lewis Hamilton pulled the same trick as Vettel did with a come-from-behind drive to finish just shy of the podium. He might have been in hot water over his comments regarding security around the track and questionable tax practices, but with the championship in his pocket he was able to provide some action clawing back through the field. As he starts to tick off more and more achievements he would have loved to leave Brazil with a win (or at least a podium).
  • Felipe Massa put in a fitting performance in his final home grand prix, taking a few places at the start and fighting to get ahead of former teammate Fernando Alonso. As he looks forward to a well-earned rest and some delicious Brazilian barbecue before a probable Formula E career next season, Massa gave his adoring fans the result his talent deserved.
  • Sebastian Vettel sealed the victory with his first-corner lunge up the inside of Valtteri Bottas. Although he couldn't pull out a clear gap, the race was his to control as he all but claims 2nd in the championship. 

Losers

  • Lance Stroll returns to the losers list, finishing last and two-laps down on the leaders and in stark contrast to the heroics of his teammate. As the driver being retained by Williams next season, it's clear he still has some consistency issues to sort out. 
  • Renault and Toro Rosso flung mud at one another. Rumors that Renault might refuse to give engines to Toro Rosso for the final race were the apex of the tensions between the two parties, the ultimate expression of tensions between the two as business partners and rival constructors.
  • Brazil security simply didn't do their job with multiple reports of armed robberies through the weekend (including after they announced stronger security). Need to do much, much better.

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Get ready for a white-knuckle ride with Season 2 of Race/Off

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Two mates, one tin of no-name brand Pringles, five of the world's toughest race-tracks, and more than a few cheeky beers. What could go wrong?

Like podcasting, everyone thinks racing games are easy. But our performances in Race/Off proves that topping the time-sheets in an F1 game is 60% perspiration, 50% inspiration, and the rest? Well that's just luck.

 So, without further para-phrasing classic Australian comedies we present: Race/Off Season 2. 

 

Click play to watch the full season from start to finish 👇

 

We want to say a massive thanks to the members of the Superlicense Club for their on-going support. They keep the podcast, website and video series like this going.

As well as getting first-look access to episodes of Race/Off throughout the year, they enjoy sporadic episodes of Drift, our members only exclusive podcast.

Louder engines among changes for 2021 power-units

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The sound of F1 could be set for an upgrade with higher rev limits among the proposed changes to the power-unit specifications for 2021 as revealed today.

Following a meeting in Paris between FOM, the FIA and all current and potential engine suppliers, the current 1.6-litre V6 Hybrids will remain with a few improvements. 

Keith Collantine for F1 Fanatic:

The sport will retain the basic configuration of the 1.6-litre V6 hybrid turbo power units which were introduced in 2014. However the recovery of power from waste heat via an MGU-H will be dropped in favour of more powerful kinetic energy generators (MGU-Ks).

Drivers will be given greater control over when they choose to use the energy harvested by the power units.

From 2021 the rev limit will be raised by 3,000rpm to 18,000rpm. This is intended to improve the sound generated by the engines.

Sounds good. 

Mexico GP: Winners and Losers

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Winners:

  • Max Verstappen claims his third career victory, all three coming the week after Kvyat was demoted. If nothing else he deserves the title of Driver of the Day for keeping the streak going, problem is if Kvyat doesn't return he won't again be demoted and he'll need a new source of inspiration.
  • Esteban Ocon was had another stunning race, again beating his teammate (in front of his home crowd) and proving that he's a force to be reckoned with. It was pointed out by the team's twitter feed that either Force India driver have scored enough points to finish fourth in the constructors' championship in their own right -- an amazing accomplishment for a guy like Ocon who is still so green and online getting better.
  • Lewis Hamilton will remember Mexico with great fondness. Apart from his first lap incident, finishing a lap down on the leaders and an opening stint where he couldn't seem to approach any cars to save his life, he hung on to recover a couple of points but more importantly seal his fourth drivers' title and become the most successful British driver in F1's history.

Losers:

  • Kimi Raikkonen just couldn't get into the groove. In a car that was fast enough for pole, to finish less just over 15 seconds ahead of Vettel who had an extra pitstop and came from last to P4, he's certainly done the least to deserve his podium here.
  • Renault had a worrying time in Mexico. Although the altitude makes things like getting air into the car more difficult, Verstappen said he was worried for his own reliability after watching Ricciardo, Sainz and Hartley all drop out. Add to that an electronics fault for Hulkenberg and powering the Red Bull to victory must still leaving them with mixed feelings at best.
  • DJ awks-podium shocked and confused more than he delighted. However you felt about the boxing-style pump up introductions from Austin, surely we can all agree that these huge virtual lips and marshal stacks spewing dub-step are for the after-party, not the podium. I'm all for freshening things up, but this was the second air-ball in as many races for me.

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United States GP: Winners and Losers

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Winners

  • Max Verstappen, penalty aside, coming back from P16 to P3 (yeah, yeah, I know, I know) is remarkable and shows his composure and control beyond just wild, something-from-nothing overtakes. It's races like these that prove he's all growns up (if only his dad would demonstrate his maturity). 
  • Brendon Hartley did New Zealand proud on debut. Don't listen to Ted Kravitz; the race wasn't on during the middle of the night, nor was anyone on their way to work (Monday was a public holiday in NZ). He might look like a cross between Grosjean and Ocon, but it seems like the kid can drive and despite leaving the Red Bull nest a little while ago but the connections remain tight. It could be Gasly, Hartley and perhaps even Sebastian Buemi rotating through Toro Rosso for the rest of the season and it'll be fascinating to see how they all go!
  • Carlos Sainz is a regular to the winners list, but man he shone like a diamond in a completely new car, in a new team and with the pressure of having his teammate drop out of the running. Best of all he proved to Renault that they'd made exactly the right decision, and if you still aren't convinced... do you think old mate Jolyon could have achieved P7?

Losers

  • Sergio Perez was at it again, despite Force India making it clear that there had better be a damned good reason to ask them to let him overtake Ocon. It's almost to the point that the team needs to tell him "unless you are ahead of him after the first lap, it ain't happening". It's a shame because he's better than that, and is a close second behind Grosjean for most vocal whinger.
  • Valtteri Bottas isn't pulling his weight at the moment, and although Mercedes have clinched the constructors' championship, it only underlines the fact that he once again failed to deliver. If Ricciardo had stayed in the race, Bottas would have finished behind both Ferraris, both Red Bulls, and a country mile behind his teammate. He'll have to do better in 2018. 
  • The stewards let themselves down once again, and instead of talking about a thrilling finish to the race we're explaining to uninformed co-workers and acquaintances on social media how the rules work. Whatever you think about the decision, certainly the complaint that there's no consistency holds up. There's just no reason whatsoever to tell the "best drivers in the world" that it's ok to leave the track during practice and even qualifying, only to throw the book at them during the race. 

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