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2021 Russian GP race day


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Poll: 2021 Russian GP (105 member(s) have cast votes)

Race winner?

  1. Norris (35 votes [33.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  2. Sainz (6 votes [5.71%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.71%

  3. Russell (2 votes [1.90%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.90%

  4. Hamilton (53 votes [50.48%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 50.48%

  5. Ricciardo (2 votes [1.90%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.90%

  6. Alonso (1 votes [0.95%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 0.95%

  7. Perez (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  8. Bottas (1 votes [0.95%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 0.95%

  9. Verstappen (4 votes [3.81%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 3.81%

  10. Someone else (1 votes [0.95%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 0.95%

Where will Verstappen finish?

  1. Victory (2 votes [1.90%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.90%

  2. Podium (43 votes [40.95%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 40.95%

  3. P4-6 (45 votes [42.86%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 42.86%

  4. P7-10 (9 votes [8.57%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 8.57%

  5. Outside of the points (6 votes [5.71%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.71%

Will Mercedes' Bottas gamble work?

  1. Yes (23 votes [21.90%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 21.90%

  2. Definitely not (82 votes [78.10%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 78.10%

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#1 TomNokoe

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:00

It's all gone silly in Sochi, with the grid turned inside out for today's grand prix.

 

So many points of interest - can Norris go one better than Monza to give McLaren a proverbial London bus victory? Will Sainz have the race pace to go with him? Just how hard will Russell fight these guys on the first lap? Can Hamilton capitalise on Verstappen's engine penalties?

 

And that's just the front four ... there's interest all down the field. Quick cars out of position, slower cars battling for points. What about Alonso, Perez, Vettel, Gasly, Bottas, Leclerc? They will all feature in the torn-up script that awaits.

 

We'll find out very soon, it's race day in Russia! (Race start 2 hours from this post).

 

Sochi-Start.jpg

 

Sochi-Grid.png

 

Sochi-Weather.png

Should be a dry race, risk of rain is constantly receding.

 

Sochi-Strat.jpg

 

All drivers have plenty of new tyres, of every compound.

Pit lane loss is quite high, 23-24s

 

Sochi-Start-Time.jpg



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#2 Jordan44

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:04

So how will Mercedes miss an open goal today? Slow pit stop? Poor start? Lewis outbraking himself int T1 a la Rosberg 2014? Parts falling off the car? It’s strange expecting a team that dominated last season to screw up somehow.

Edited by Jordan44, 26 September 2021 - 10:05.


#3 Lesky

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:04

"Valtteri, its Toto - DO NOT OVERTAKE any more cars, just stay in the DRS train and ruin Verstappens race"


Edited by Lesky, 26 September 2021 - 10:05.


#4 statman

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:06

so...what about the weather?

 

 

 

/runs away  :D



#5 TomNokoe

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:08

So how will Mercedes miss an open goal today? Slow pit stop? Poor start? Lewis outbraking himself int T1 a la Rosberg 2014? Parts falling off the car? It’s strange expecting a team that dominated last season to screw up somehow.

Hamilton will be overtaken by Ricciardo and Alonso at the start.

 

They'll be carnage at Turn 2 (Stroll? Tsunoda?) resulting in a big melee. Verstappen will expertly make his way through the chaos and past Bottas.

 

Safety car lap 1, Hamilton P6, Verstappen P13.

 

Hamilton will struggle in the DRS train, while Perez and Gasly will let Verstappen through. P6-P11.

 

Verstappen joins the train and decides to box early. Hamilton can't respond tucked up in traffic and is undercut thanks to a slow 4.5s stop. Complains on the radio about how far back he is.

 

Norris untroubled out front. Max and Lewis make their way through the field, with Max on the podium and Lewis just behind. Championship over :-)


Edited by TomNokoe, 26 September 2021 - 10:10.


#6 JimmyClark

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:09

so...what about the weather?




/runs away :D


Most forecasts I've seen say 50% chance of light rain during the race.

So it will be bone dry.

#7 TomNokoe

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:11

so...what about the weather?

 

 

 

/runs away  :D

I would be shocked if it rained



#8 DaddyCool

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:11

So Mercedes went from what was supposed to be a relatively easy 1-2 to Hamilton maybe can challenge for the win with a good start and Bottas relegated to a moving roadblock to cover your main competition who starts dead last.



#9 Leibowitz

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:15

Mercedes looking really desperate to resort itself to Ferrari 2012 tactics. I hope it backfires on them.

Norris has a legitimate chance of winning the race because I don’t think its going to be an easy job to overtake people in front.

Still, Lewis is the favourite and it’s probably going to end up HAM-NOR-SAI as the top 3.

Edited by Leibowitz, 26 September 2021 - 10:15.


#10 sportyskells

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:16

I keep a eye on turn 2 as we had a tangle there in the past which might trigger the Aston Martin safety car

#11 JimmyClark

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:16

I can't see Sainz on the podium. The ferrari will be a sitting duck on the straights.

#12 anyeis

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:16

Do they really expect Bottas to do active blocking? I guess they are just hoping for a DRS train


Edited by anyeis, 26 September 2021 - 10:16.


#13 Lesky

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:19

Do they really expect Bottas to do active blocking? I guess they are just hoping for a DRS train

This, and also if Bottas can keep Max behind for like 10 laps that might be enough to ensure he misses the points or only get P10 for example.



#14 RPM40

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:21

This, and also if Bottas can keep Max behind for like 10 laps that might be enough to ensure he misses the points or only get P10 for example.

 

Unlikely. Red Bull will take 2 seconds per lap in race pace out of the midfield.

 

Bottas won't keep Max out of the points, but he might do enough for Ferrari and McLaren to get away.



#15 Risil

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:23

Racing soon!! I'd better hurry up and mow the lawn.

#16 JeePee

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:26

So this washed out weekend turns into a Q3 on slicks and a bone dry race. F1 and it's weather forecasts...

#17 RPM40

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:27

So this washed out weekend turns into a Q3 on slicks and a bone dry race. F1 and it's weather forecasts...

 

The rain had quite a substantial impact on qualifying though, only in the dying minutes did it change, and it substantially mixed up the order.

 

I think that was the perfect amount of rain, made things exciting, the race and quali aren't endlessly delayed or cancelled.



#18 SophieB

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:32

Thanks for doing the race day thread, Tom - very much appreciated.



#19 PhilArny80

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:37

Can see this going spectacularly wrong for Merc.

I see Lando, Max, Perez as 1,2,3.

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#20 Scaboo22

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:38

Excited for this one, let’s go Max, let’s go Lando!

#21 P123

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:38

So Mercedes went from what was supposed to be a relatively easy 1-2 to Hamilton maybe can challenge for the win with a good start and Bottas relegated to a moving roadblock to cover your main competition who starts dead last.

 

He couldn't cover him from 7th?  Would be invisible to Max in 7th?

 

I see gibbering paranoia  is alive and well!



#22 JHSingo

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:38

Not a fan of those tactics from Merc. Hopefully Max gets a fantastic start and is ahead of him by the end of the first lap. It is Bottas, after all... 



#23 Goron3

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:39

I'd be surprised if Bottas held Max up. He's starting ahead and the cars ahead of him are massively slower.

#24 HuddersfieldTerrier1986

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:40

#F1 #BBCF1 #RUSSIANGP SUN 11:30BST: Albeit shower risk is overall much lower versus yesterday, some are moving NNE from the Black Sea towards the coastal district, possibly including circuit. In response, FIA guidance to teams has raised to a 40% risk of showers (previously 20%)


#25 SamH123

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:43

Why do Merc prefer Bottas starting only 3 places in front of VER compared to 13 places, not sure I see the logic there. 

 

Unless Bottas actually won't try and pass cars in front which could get quite controversial 



#26 Lesky

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:47

He couldn't cover him from 7th?  Would be invisible to Max in 7th?

 

I see gibbering paranoia  is alive and well!

If Bottas started from 7th he could have made P2 during the race with a good start. Meaning VER would be free to get up to P3 if lucky. With this strategy Merc will ensure Max scores as few points as possible as Bottas can act as a roadblock. 

The key is that Bottas cant advance too much up the field, that would enable VER to follow. The slower Bottas is at overtaking cars, the better for Lewis. If Bottas can get stuck in DRS train at place 12, thats perfect for Merc.Just **** Bottas over to **** over Max. If Merc looses some points in the WCC, it does not matter as Lewis would benefit in the WDC.


Edited by Lesky, 26 September 2021 - 10:51.


#27 P123

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:50

Why do Merc prefer Bottas starting only 3 places in front of VER compared to 13 places, not sure I see the logic there. 

 

Unless Bottas actually won't try and pass cars in front which could get quite controversial 

 

Isn't that standard VB?  I kid, I kid....  I do think some are fapping themselves into a paranoid frenzy.  Max is going to have to pass a comparable car at some point... Merc have made that a little bit easier for him- the sooner the better for him.  Merc will expect that Bottas can easily come through from where he is.  He's going to face tougher competition from the Honda engined cars than Max will (wahh conspiracy, grrr, etc).



#28 JimmyClark

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:51

At what point does Hamilton and Mercedes make so many errors that they are no longer "uncharacteristic"? Sky seem to have used that word three times already.

#29 jwill189

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:53

I find this strategy by Mercedes to be clever and even genius, but cheap at the same time.



#30 P123

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:53

If Bottas started from 7th he could have made P2 during the race with a good start. Meaning VER would be free to get up to P3 if lucky. With this strategy Merc will ensure Max scores as few points as possible as Bottas can act as a roadblock. 

The key is that Bottas cant advance too much up the field, that would enable VER to follow. The slower Bottas is at overtaking cars, the better for Lewis. If Bottas can get stuck in DRS train at place 12, thats perfect for Merc.Just **** Bottas over to **** over Max. If Merc looses some points in the WCC, it does not matter as Lewis would benefit in the WDC.

 

If Bottas can get stuck in a DRS train, is that not also a risk Max faces in the race? 



#31 Lesky

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:54

If Bottas can get stuck in a DRS train, is that not also a risk Max faces in the race? 

Of course, but Max wants to overtake, Bottas would only want to stay put and block Max.



#32 P123

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:55

At what point does Hamilton and Mercedes make so many errors that they are no longer "uncharacteristic"? Sky seem to have used that word three times already.

 

Characteristic for this season.

 

And imagine watching Sky's pre-race stuff...



#33 gillesfan76

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:56

The gloves are completely off in this championship. Mercedes not afraid to use Valtteri to try and make life difficult for Max, but whether that happens is another thing altogether. Anyone thinking that Red Bull has some sort of better sportsmanship are duping themselves. Just picture Marko, together with Horner, naaah they’ll do anything too if it would work and they could get away with it. Biggest problem for them is that Checo just doesn’t give them the flexibility to do a lot.

 

I personally don’t agree with Valtteri starting 3 places ahead of Max for no other reason than I don’t think it’s going to work very well. It puts him too close to Max, and a bad start by Valtteri can negate any effect he could have. Not to mention that it puts him in the same strategy area meaning that even if he’s ahead, unless his race pace is superior to Max, then he’ll probably get passed in the pitstops. I think better to have him start where he qualified, which will give him a buffer to Max even if he gets a poor start. Also they can then pit him later where he will still come out ahead of Max and can interfere with Max’s progress in the last stint.

 

So far almost every time Merc has tried to get too cute with strategy, they’ve failed.



#34 P123

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:57

Of course, but Max wants to overtake, Bottas would only want to stay put and block Max.

 

I'd think he would want to be far enough ahead of Max so that any strategy play by Red Bull can be countered.  By moving VB closer to Max, Merc have made it an easier task for Red Bull to jump him.  And he really is the only comparable car that Max needs to worry about in what should be an easy trip to the podium by the end of the race.



#35 chhatra

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:58

Seems pretty stupid to put your driver in the thick of action going into T2.

Imagine how stupid it would look if Verstappen gets a crazy good start and overtakes him.

#36 jjcale

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:59

Hamilton will be overtaken by Ricciardo and Alonso at the start.

 

They'll be carnage at Turn 2 (Stroll? Tsunoda?) resulting in a big melee. Verstappen will expertly make his way through the chaos and past Bottas.

 

Safety car lap 1, Hamilton P6, Verstappen P13.

 

Hamilton will struggle in the DRS train, while Perez and Gasly will let Verstappen through. P6-P11.

 

Verstappen joins the train and decides to box early. Hamilton can't respond tucked up in traffic and is undercut thanks to a slow 4.5s stop. Complains on the radio about how far back he is.

 

Norris untroubled out front. Max and Lewis make their way through the field, with Max on the podium and Lewis just behind. Championship over :-)

 

i was going to praise you for the awesome first paras of your OP ... but then you game out with this depressing ****. 

 

Ive had to tell my family to hide my belts, bedsheets and bootlaces ...



#37 jwill189

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:00

Seems pretty stupid to put your driver in the thick of action going into T2.

Imagine how stupid it would look if Verstappen gets a crazy good start and overtakes him.

 

I think it's a pit lane start so Bottas will be dictating the pace out of the pits.



#38 monolulu

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:00

Chance of rain increasing. Do any of the teams have new inters?



#39 F12020

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:00

If Bottas started from 7th he could have made P2 during the race with a good start. Meaning VER would be free to get up to P3 if lucky. With this strategy Merc will ensure Max scores as few points as possible as Bottas can act as a roadblock. 

The key is that Bottas cant advance too much up the field, that would enable VER to follow. The slower Bottas is at overtaking cars, the better for Lewis. If Bottas can get stuck in DRS train at place 12, thats perfect for Merc.Just **** Bottas over to **** over Max. If Merc looses some points in the WCC, it does not matter as Lewis would benefit in the WDC.

the problem with that plan merc is to quick round here to be held up by the midfield  



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#40 Goron3

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:02

Chance of rain increasing. Do any of the teams have new inters?


Max has about 3 lol.

#41 LightningMcQueen

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:04

the problem with that plan merc is to quick round here to be held up by the midfield


So he can’t just not overtake them and play the long game.. hang around verstappen long enough to make himself a real nuisance

#42 as65p

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:05

i was going to praise you for the awesome first paras of your OP ... but then you game out with this depressing ****. 

 

I especially like "championship over" with like an 8 points gap and 7 races to go. :stoned:

 

I guess that's what 7 years of easy titles can do to people... pretty scaring.  ;)



#43 Lesky

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:06

So he can’t just not overtake them and play the long game.. hang around verstappen long enough to make himself a real nuisance

 

Thats the exact plan by Toto. And if BOT and VER collides when Max is desparate to pass, then thats the super jackpot for Merc!


Edited by Lesky, 26 September 2021 - 11:08.


#44 aray

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:08

If it rains,I expect Max and Charles to reach at front eventually with new inters in hands.

#45 jjcale

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:09

So Mercedes went from what was supposed to be a relatively easy 1-2 to Hamilton maybe can challenge for the win with a good start and Bottas relegated to a moving roadblock to cover your main competition who starts dead last.

 

Does Merc F1 have a board that Toto reports to? 

 

Who is there that can call him up if this race goes wrong and say the equivalent of "yo! dog? WTF??

 

This should have been two easy 1-2s .... 

 

Perform like this in any other walk of life and nobody cares what you did in the past ... you have some serious questions to answer. 



#46 milestone 11

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:11

Mark Higgins, doing the Aston Martin feature, is the guy with the fantastic save in Isle of Man.

#47 Burtros

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:12

"Valtteri, its Toto - DO NOT OVERTAKE any more cars, just stay in the DRS train and ruin Verstappens race"


James does dirty work, not Toto.

Bottas has heard it before round here too, in 2018.

#48 EndlessMotion

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:12

Seems pretty stupid to put your driver in the thick of action going into T2.

Imagine how stupid it would look if Verstappen gets a crazy good start and overtakes him.

Exactly what will happen most likely. Bottas will leave the door wide open as per usual, Max with his usual elbows out, coming through, and Bottas will struggle to pass as Max makes his way up into the points. Just need Hamilton to get bogged down off the line to lose 2-3 places by T1 and Merc will have successfully cocked up a weekend they could have had a 1-2 at before Q3 happened.

 

Hope to be wrong but the odds of Mercedes maximizing an advantage get worse as each weekend passes this season.



#49 Kao18

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:13

At this point I would not be surprised if Mercedes has instructed Bottas to not take any prisoners through T1 and T2 and if that includes Max the better.

My respect for Mercedes and Toto has really sunken to an all time low with all their off and on track antics this season.

#50 JimmyClark

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:13

Rain chance increased again to 60%.