Was it simply me or did anybody else discover the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix post-race celebrations considerably muted?
Sure, the firework show was superior, the confetti cannons boomed, and there have been even donuts on the principle straight however nonetheless, all of it appeared a bit subdued; particularly between the highest three drivers, virtually like there was an elephant within the room…
Saying goodbye to Sebastian Vettel was a contributing issue, though in System 1, leaving is a relative time period. We all know he’ll be again, most likely within the Aston Martin storage working along with Fernando Alonso.
Between the 2 of them, they need to be capable of make some inroads in elevating the Crew’s efficiency, a better job than making an attempt to avoid wasting the dad or mum marque, I feel.
Failing that, “Uncle Seb” ought to begin managing drivers. I have no idea what his business negotiating abilities of him are like however as a mentor to Stroll the youthful, he is managed to make a rayon purse out of what was a sows’ ass earlier within the season.
A brand new Olympic sport?
The four-time World Champion wasn’t the one departing driver from the grid after all. Mick Schumacher and Nicolas Latifi have been each on their relative F1 hen songs.
To have fun his success, “not so fast” additionally joined within the donut present finale. Sadly, the show paled compared to his de él and Latifi’s earlier demonstration of synchronized spinning earlier within the race.
Attempting to dive down the within of the Williams driver on the second apex of Flip 9, Mick Jr. made contact with the Canadian’s inside rear, instantly turning him round. In a reflex “oh shit” second, the younger German then touched his personal brakes and there they have been, rotating in good concord, swapping ends in unison.
I swear the tears streaming down my face weren’t from laughter however from the ensuing emotion of witnessing a factor of magnificence. Nothing else I promise.
Again to my roots…
One other driver closing the door from the skin was Daniel Ricciardo. I knew he was in for a torrid time this 12 months however did not count on him to be ousted by a boy who’s barely off method milk.
Nevertheless, it appears that evidently there are a number of non-racing F1 lifelines there for the “Honey Badger”. A take a look at driver position at Mercedes had been mooted, however his most possible route will probably be to Purple Bull [confirmed as these words were written].
Initially it was envisaged he can be doing a “DC” (David Coulthard) for the Crew, appearing as a PR/Ambassador and many others. Nevertheless, that will all change. Particularly after the contretemps that adopted Brazil between the relative camps of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
It appears Helmut Marko wants a spare as a result of, regardless of the phrases of peace spoken in Abu Dhabi, the actions spoke louder. “The Good Physician” instructed the hatchet had been buried between the 2 drivers, which was true.
What he forgot to say although is that it was in Perez’s head!
Hell, hath no fury like Verstappen scorned…
It began in qualifying with Max giving the Mexican a tow down the again straight, serving to him to set a time that put him on pole. Having completed that, “The Klompmeister” promptly went out and sans tow, blew that point away. Increase, in your face Czech.
Then, in his interview on the finish of the race Verstappen made it clear that holding up Charles Leclerc was by no means on the desk, saying: “After all, you’ll be able to presumably block, however is that truthful racing? i believe [it’s] not the nicest approach, going out of the season like that.”
He then appropriately identified that Checo screwed up by failing to cross backmarkers Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon in a well timed method. THUMPH, knee to the plumes!
Finally, the two-time World Champion made it very clear to the Crew – I am the principle course and dessert, Sergio is simply soup, oh and third within the 2023 F1 Drivers Championship! LOSER!
Possibly that is an acceptable reminder for Checo concerning the laborious details of being a race driver. He cannot count on Max to do his Grand Prix’s for him.
Chaz places on his racing boots
In the meantime, Ferrari received to pat themselves on the again after delivering their first cock-up free race technique and pit field efficiency since… I am unable to keep in mind.
Both approach, nicely completed all at Maranello. Fortunately, this coincided with Charles Leclerc deciding to return out of the Transporter and attend a race for a change. Internet end result second place in each Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championship.
For me, this was his greatest drive of the season. He held on in there churning out the lap instances whereas preserving his tires on music. Not a simple ask in a automobile that has been notably unkind within the rubber division this 12 months.
It was good to see him end on a excessive notice and as soon as once more appear to be a driver that might tackle Verstappen in 2023 if he has a half-decent automobile, or group, or each.
After the heady highs of Brazil, it was again all the way down to earth with a bump for Mercedes at Yas Marina. Nevertheless, this time it was Lewis Hamilton’s flip to fly the flag for the Crew.
Qualifying fifth was nearly as good because it was going to get, and an initially promising begin noticed him in fourth heading to Flip 6. That’s till Carlos Sainz despatched it down the within below braking, easing Hamilton into the “sausage” and launching him into the air.
With no actual suspension within the automobile, the injury was a sure as soon as it landed again on terra firma. Hamilton, nevertheless, knew the way to deal with this one and set off throughout the infield, foot full in, to return out forward of the offending driver à la 2021.
The Stewards appeared set to award “Mr. Vamos” a five-second penalty however then determined there was no case to reply aside from Hamilton having handy again the place after he “shortcutted” the circuit. Truthful two.
It had labored final 12 months however in honesty, Sainz had completed sufficient to assert the nook. The hand-back although was a bit impolite, letting Carlos by on the assist pits straight then instantly catching DRS and passing him once more at Flip 9 however hey, them’s the foundations.
When life offers you lemons, show them
Ultimately, Lewis’s gearbox gave up and he trundled again to the pits caught in seventh, mockingly just one quantity larger than his closing ending place on this 12 months’s Drivers’ Championship.
In response to Toto Wolff, the W13 will probably be mounted on the wall again at headquarters as a reminder, though a reminder of what he did not say. I am pondering Hubris perhaps?