November 05, 2018

F1 Update: Mexico 2018, The Eight Days After Edition

I think doing an actual writeup for the 2018 Grand Prix of Mexico would be somewhat pointless now, so instead let's take a look at the fallout from it, shall we?

*DISPARITY:  For whatever reason, the Mexico track this time around just highlighted the gulf that exists between the Haves and the Have Nots.  Only four cars were on the lead lap at the end: Verstappen, Vettel, Raikkonen and Hamilton, aka Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.  Fifth place was Bottas in the other Mercedes, a lap down.  Then came pretty much everybody else two laps down.  It's been a long time since we've seen that sort of split.  Because it's been such a long time, I'm inclined to not worry too much... things happen like that sometimes.  If it happens again though...

*(THROWS ENERGY DRINK AGAINST WALL):  You'll note that the only driver of the Big Three missing was Smiley Ricciardo.  That's because he DNF'd... again, his eighth of the season, and fourth in the last seven races.  When a clutch problem that began on Lap 5 finally became terminal with 10 laps to go, the Aussie was in second place and under no threat at all from Seb Vettel.  Amusingly, as he walked away from the car, he flipped it off.  It then burst into flames.  Suprisingly, team principal Christian Horner did not burst into flames when Ricciardo later said in an interview that he doesn't "see the point of coming any more, of doing the last two races.  Let Ghastly drive it, I'm done with it."  Of course, he is leaving for Renault next year, and Pierre Ghastly is moving in.  I feel for him, I really do... and also suggest that if Red Bull can get the young Frenchman out of Toro Rosso in time for the next race, they should.  It just seems wrong to have someone that doesn't want to drive in the cockpit... particularly as it won't make any difference: Red Bull is locked into third in the constructor's championship, they cannot gain or lose places.  Neither of their drivers are in any sort of driver's championship points battle, so you may as well put the new kid in the car, get him some practice with the big team.  We love Smiley Ric, but it'd be for the best.

*VERGOIN':  With his win, DH Verstappen became the driver with the most race victories in F1 history never to have gotten a pole position.  He now has five, including Mexico back-to-back years.  I find him to be a sulky brat with a tendency towards self-destruction on the track occasionally, but he's also a talented driver.  And it's not like F1 hasn't seen drivers behaving like children before.  Of course, DH still IS a child, so...

*FIVE: Of course, some guy named Hamilton won his fifth world title with his fourth place finish, joining some fairly exclusive company... St Fangio the Quick and Slappy.  If you're curious, here's the song used in that video.  I don't really have that much to say about Hamilton's championship; he's pretty clearly the best driver in F1 today, he's almost certainly got the best team behind him, and while the car may not be the best on the track anymore, it's not very far behind.  Anybody believe that he couldn't end up with eight Driver's Championships if he feels motivated enough?  It'd be hard to bet against him right now.

*NEXT!:  So what do we have to look forward to in the next two races?  A lot of battles lower down the championship tables, mostly.  Haas shot their chances at being fourth in the constructor's championship in the foot with dual DNFs in Mexico.  They're 30 points behind Renault, while McLaren is 22 points behind them in sixth.  Even if they've only got a third as many points as third place, finishing fourth in the constructor's race in their third year of existence would be quite the thing.  The American team has finished eighth the previous two years.

Brazil is the next race, coming up this weekend... and we all know how much I dearly love Interlagos.  See you soon!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:17 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 If Ricciardo really is a pyrokinetic, you'd think everyone would want him on their team. Of course, it would be pretty obvious...and dangerous.

Posted by: Ben at November 06, 2018 08:31 AM (osxtX)

2 Daniel posted a video on social media (I forget which one) saying he WOULD be finishing the season with Red Bull. 

Max has shown a lot more maturity since his own goal in Monaco (crashed in FP3 and did not get to qualify). I saw a stat earlier today - in the last seven races, he's scored 111 of a possible 175 points. If Seb were driving like that, Hamilton would probably still win, but he wouldn't have done it yet. 

First place in constructors is still undecided. I think Ferrari has to get both drivers on the podium at a minimum to win. *doing some math* Ferrari has to get a 1-2 in both races and Ham and Bot have to combine for less than 31 points across two races, which means at least one of those races has to have no podium for Merc. Seems unlikely for Hamilton to not at least finish third in both races. Oh well, it was a nice idea. 

Posted by: Mrs. Will (Kathryn) at November 06, 2018 12:44 PM (FM610)

3 Has Red Bull always made their drivers do all these silly social media things, like the cowboy dress-up in Austin and so on?  I'm having a hard time picturing Seb Vettel and Mark Webber doing one of those videos.  I guess I could see them (or any two drivers, really) doing the caravan smashing one from last year, but the cowboy dress-up thing...Daniel was having fun with it, but Max looked mortified.  (Which made it funnier, but still.)

Posted by: Kathryn at November 08, 2018 08:04 PM (IBh2K)

4 Red Bull does have a habit of doing wacky stuff, yeah.  Like last year there was the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration that saw the drivers wearing facepaint.  Or the lederhosen photoshoot from Austria.  Or David Coulthard's Chin doing the first lap at Austin... when it was still just dirt. Or... get the picture. I'm pretty sure I never saw Vettel do one, come to think of it....

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 08, 2018 11:58 PM (9gv+L)

5 I'm having a hard time picturing Vettel doing the sillier ones. I guess maybe a younger Vettel would be more amenable (I saw an old picture of him from his Red Bull days the other day, and he looked very, very young. Young enough that I instinctively wanted to pat his head, read him a story, and tuck him into bed with his stuffed animals), but Max is very young and still looks embarrassed a lot of the time. (Which, again, just makes it funnier. I would feel bad for him, but he's being paid a hell of a lot of money to be embarrassed.)

Also - I did not realize Gasly is actually older than Max. Not by much - apparently less than a year - but still. 

Posted by: Mrs. Will (Kathryn) at November 09, 2018 12:32 PM (FM610)

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