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Alternative history thread: What the **** Sato?


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#1 Risil

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 21:10

The first clips of last night's Indycar finale are emerging on the tube, and I'm sort of bothered by what happened at the end of the race. Everyone knows that inevitably it was Takuma Sato who spun on the last lap, bringing out the caution and deciding the title, but he was side-by-freaking-side with RHR when he did it! WHY? Can you even imagine the shitstorm that would've happened if he'd taken out the Andretti car and handed Will Power the title?

I mean, if you had a lab and combined Nigel Mansell at Estoril in 1989 with a brainless sea creature who's merged his central nervous system with the controls of an Indycar, you've basically got Takuma Sato. Jesus Christ.

Edited by Risil, 16 September 2012 - 21:11.


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#2 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 21:19

He just looped it, it wasn't that bad. If you look they're about even side to side, and far enough apart that RHR clears Sato long before he gets anywhere near him. The Power spin was much closer.

And that's Sato. He's never going to learn but you have to plan for that. RHR was giving him as much space as he could without losing position to the guys behind him.

#3 greenman

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 21:20

For those who missed it:


#4 Andrew Hope

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 21:25

It did look kind of suspicious two cars spun and missed the title contender by a few feet, especially if either had hit Hunter-Reay it would've given Power the title. I think the main thing to take away from Fontana though is that even with the changes IndyCar made to their personnel they're clearly not above trying to screw with the results. There was no reason for a red flag at the end of the race, and like at Motegi when they delayed a full-course caution for two minutes so it didn't disadvantage the leader, IndyCar continue to **** around with races in this way. At least NASCAR is blatant with their invisibris cautions.

To be fair, I don't think it's just manipulative - I see IndyCar doing shit like this like an old cartoon where some fool is trying his best to help everyone make a big dinner, but keeps getting in everyone's way. However good his intentions were, by the end you realize it all would've been a better experience if he'd kept his hands off it, the same as if IndyCar would stop trying to selectively fix drivers' or teams' bad luck. Racing doesn't owe anyone anything, however hard you work. Something breaks a thousand feet from the line at the end of a 500-mile race? Tough. The red flag last night was completely unnecessary, and this is coming from someone who hates races finishing under caution and would love to see Green/White/Chequered in IndyCar.

I love Sato as well, that man is pure entertainment. If he ever wins a race in IndyCar I will be one happy race fan and no one can say he isn't coming closer and closer. Sooner or later I expect Takuma Sato to keep it together long enough to win an IndyCar race, because even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

#5 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 21:33

True story.

CART, Fontana, 2002.

2 laps to go, Franchitti blows an engine.

They red flag it.

Who was leading?

MICHAEL ANDRETTI

#6 greenman

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 21:35

The red flag last night was completely unnecessary, and this is coming from someone who hates races finishing under caution and would love to see Green/White/Chequered in IndyCar.

:o Come on dude, anything but the GWC. I don't think it is that wrong to put the red out in situations like this (though honestly they would probably be able to clear that car soon enough for race to end under green), but then they should probably all agree to that earlier. It's kinda similar to the "lapped cars move to the back on the final 20 laps restarts" rule, but in this case I'm not sure it was even discussed or agreed upon.

#7 PayasYouRace

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:29

I'd also rather they have a short red flag than having a green/white/chequer. The race distance is the race distance and rather see as much of that being raced as possible.

#8 Peat

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:57

Yep, GWC is not welcome by me. Fuel is so marginal at the best of time, imagine if you had 2 GWC's and half the front runners had to pit for fuel. That would suck.

Tbh, they should have just run it down under yellow, it's the fairest way. I do agree, Beaux's rule-on-the-fly approach seems to come across as a bit manipulative.

#9 Prost1997T

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:32

Seems Barfield can't win either way. People whined that cautions were gifting Hunter-Reay wins earlier in the season, so when he red flags this one instead they still whine but with the reverse complaint.

Edited by Prost1997T, 17 September 2012 - 10:32.


#10 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:35

I wouldn't mind the red flag if it was a standard thing for less than 10 laps to go or whatever and we knew ahead of time. It was the randomness of it that left me uneasy. If it was something that could happen and be known about it, it'd be good to communicate that to the audience.

#11 PayasYouRace

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:35

The red certainly played into Power's hands at Fontana. RHR was storming before the red came out, and looked to have a safe 3rd place. The red bunched up the field, RHR lost his focus and momentum and it gave Helio a chance to catch RHR.

If there was any manipulation going on I'd say it was just to keep the fight going as long as possible. I don't think it was to favour one driver over the other.

#12 Prost1997T

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:39

I wouldn't mind the red flag if it was a standard thing for less than 10 laps to go or whatever and we knew ahead of time. It was the randomness of it that left me uneasy. If it was something that could happen and be known about it, it'd be good to communicate that to the audience.


I'm in favour of a more concrete rulebook and communication of those rules.

Edit: Andretti should count themselves fortunate that they weren't disqualified for having Marco jump the restart and block people for RHR. I'm sure there's an argument to be made that it was unsportsmanlike at least.

Edited by Prost1997T, 17 September 2012 - 11:03.


#13 Peat

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:12

i laughed when i saw it, it was a good move! A bit like Roger getting Helio onto fresh rubber to try and spoil the party too....;)

#14 GSiebert

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:34

For those who missed it:

Sad to see so many empty grandstands for a championship finale :(

Edited by GSiebert, 17 September 2012 - 11:35.


#15 greenman

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 12:20

I did read a couple of times now that BB2 mentioned the possibility using red flag in these sort of situations back in July and also mentioned it pre-race. But I haven't actually seen a source for that...

What he did was not against any regulation, although it is also not usually applied in similar circumstances. I agree that there should be a more concrete rule on when to throw the red flag out. How about:
- when an extended medical help is needed for the driver/personell by the track
- when the track is too blocked for the cars to go through
- when there is a considerable damage to the track/fence/wall (you could continue here ... and it can't be repaired in "xy" time.)
- when the work on clearing the track and repairing the damage, is expected to last for too long for the race to finish under green.

It's not a GWC, it doesn't extend the length of the race or screw with the fuel strategies. Another thing - if the crash happens on the very final laps of the race (let's say 3 or less), it is impossible for the race to finish under green anyway, as the whole procedure takes a few laps as well. In this case, the crash happened with 9 to go, and the race restarted with 6 to go. Thus, it wouldn't work in Iowa. And of course there's nothing to prevent the race ending under yellow if Sato.. I mean something happens on the last lap.

Another thing about the race - when I watched it live I thought RHR won't be able to lose it unless he screws up or tangles with Sato. But seeing this again, if Sato doesn't spin, then it becomes very close, because Castroneves on fresh tyres approached really really fast. Considering there was a full lap to go, it would be a close call at the finish. Same with the battle for the lead... But then Sato did what he does best, unfortunately


#16 FenderJaguar

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 12:20

I mean, if you had a lab and combined Nigel Mansell at Estoril in 1989 with a brainless sea creature who's merged his central nervous system with the controls of an Indycar, you've basically got Takuma Sato.


Ahh - enjoyed those words!


#17 Red17

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 12:33

OT, what was Sato's finish ratio? He was like 90% DNF's a while ago.

#18 greenman

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 15:20

OT, what was Sato's finish ratio? He was like 90% DNF's a while ago.

He crashed out of: Indy, Texas, Milwaukee, Fontana (classified as 7th), Detroit and had mechanical issues at St Pete, Barber, Sonoma and Baltimore. I also think he got taken out on the last lap of Long Beach, so if you add it to that list, it means he failed to finish at 10 out of 15 races

#19 Woody3says

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 16:22

I did read a couple of times now that BB2 mentioned the possibility using red flag in these sort of situations back in July and also mentioned it pre-race. But I haven't actually seen a source for that...

During the broadcast Jan B said Beux reitterated before the race (I assume that means the drivers meeting) that a red flag being thrown was a possibility.