Discover more from F1Fanfiction’s Newsletter
FIA continue their 100% record at stirring up controversy when Max Verstappen wins the WDC!
And as we know, it was not a matter of whether he will but a matter of when Max Verstappen becomes a 3-time F1 World Champion!
And Max became the Champion of the world in one of the most confusing and anti-climactic ends to a championship that started off as a very promising one but fizzled out with Ferrari’s incompetency.
(To be honest I am still a bit unsure if Max is the champion 😅)
The Tractor Saga
Well let’s investigate what happened at Suzuka International Circuit and how FIA strived hard to maintain their flawless record of creating controversy when Max wins the championship.
It was a rainy day at Suzuka with everyone on intermediates ready on the grid to start the race after 2 years at this amazing track. Of course, disaster strikes for Ferrari and Sainz spins and crashes into the barriers thus ending his race early and bringing out the Safety car. The rain is unyielding, and the track drenched with rivers flowing across it and visibility was a yoke you see. A few more people take the scenic route around the track and perform some perfect pirouettes. Gasly was the lucky one to receive the gift of Rolex banner that Sainz deposited on the track thus he had to pit to get the banner out of his Front wing and change his tires and front wing too.
The Safety Car is called out on the track and starts bunching up everyone. Since Gasly pitted he was separated from the rest of the pack. Now he had to put some heat into these cold new tires as well as catch up with the pack behind the safety car, so he was trying to push a little. Out of nowhere there is a tractor/recovery vehicle out on the track that nearly misses Gasly.
The entire F1 community has grieved the tragic loss of the late Jules Bianchi who lost his life due to a horrible accident in 2014 where he lost control of his car and collided into the back of a tractor retrieving another vehicle. Yesterday was a big reminder that things can go wrong in a short period of time with the speeds that are involved. Gasly was later seen in the pit lane absolutely fuming and rightly so.
This was an absolute farce! Fans raise the question about why was the tractor on the track before the red flags were deployed? Either the FIA failed to follow their own regulation and allowed the tractor to join the track, or they simply did not have control over which vehicles are out on the track. I don’t know which of these is worse honestly.
So, you think that’s the end of it? Hell no!
Is max the World Champion?
Let’s now look into why everyone was, I mean literally everyone from the drivers, constructors, commentators, pundits and fans confused about whether max has actually won the championship. FIA has specific regulations about what happens when the race has to stop, and it cannot be resumed any more.
But these only apply for the times when the race was never able to complete. Whereas at Suzuka the race finished under a checkered flag by completing 52% (28 laps) of the race distance due to hitting the 3 hours limit imposed on the length of the race event. So, by this logic full points will be awarded even when the race starts only 5 mins before hitting the 3 hours’ time limit.
There was no clear communication from FIA to the media or teams about which regulations would apply for this case and there was utter confusion at the end. The last lap penalty that Charles received put him into P3 position and thus effectively made Max the World Champion. But thanks to this we received one of the most awkward and cringy cool down rooms where Max too was confused whether he really is the World Champion.
From the outright dangerous situation with the tractor and absolute shit show of a WDC ceremony, for a multibillion $ organization FIA are sure to show that money does not buy competency. FIA had hours while the race was suspended to clarify what are the different scenarios which would occur, but they keep continuing to double down into making obscure, arbitrary decisions, which are starting to feel are solely based on the amount of drama it can create.
The 45 min Sprint
Well, if we ignored all the kerfuffle that FIA created, we had an amazing wet sprint race which I am sure all F1 fans savored to the very end. For the first time in the season, we saw the Wet weather tires were out but soon to be replaced by Intermediates as soon as the track dried up a little. There were battles everywhere from the drag race to the finish between Vettel and Alonso. To the absolute lion of a defense that Ocon put up against Hamilton. And who can forget the tremendous effort from Checo who put up a challenge to Leclerc that forced him into a mistake and earning a 5 second penalty that gave Red Bull the dream result, 1-2 with the WDC win!
This race was an event to remember with all the intense battles, heroic drives in the rain and all the competitors giving it their best to put up a show for the 155k fans who had sat through the cold heavy rain for the past 2 hours.
And one of the biggest events of yesterday’s race was Lord Goatifi gaining his maiden points of his career and gaining a whole 2 points thus redeeming himself. All hail the GOAT!
Vettel was having an emotional day at Suzuka with the absolute monster effort putting him in P9 position in qualifications. And after some drama in Lap 1, still ending up P6 by being the first person to pit to inters and gaining massively against his competitors.
Alonso was yet again furious at his team for pitting him towards the end and thus losing the P6 position to Vettel. The fight he had with Vettel to the finish line was something that fans will remember.
Haas again came up with an absolute shit show of a strategy and left Mick hanging on full wets trying to hold on to a very rare lead of the race. However, since all others being on fresh inters on a drying track it looked like everyone was out bullying him as he fell through the ranks like a lead brick in water.
We leave Japan with a very confusing end to the Championship, but the season is far from over, the fight between Leclerc and Perez will continue for P2 and the fight for the WCC still continues but again we all know what it’s going to be. But well, we meet again at Austin at the Circuit of the Americas for the 2022 US GP.
Watch out for the full Podcast Episode which will drop soon.