Here’s the deal, happy meal. I am about a week and a half late on this post, so I could write an introduction that drags on and on, or I can cut right to the race results and my takeaways from the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Which will it be?
Well, let me tell you about the time I…just kidding.
Let’s get to it.
1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
3. Lando Norris (McLaren)
4. George Russell (Mercedes)
5. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
6. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
7. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
8. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
9. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
11. Alex Albon (Williams)
12. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
13. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
14. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
15. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
16. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
17. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
18. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
19. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – DNF
20. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – DNF
1. Still don’t like Sprint Races
Formula 1 introduced Sprint Races as part of the Qualifying format at three races last year and will have them at three races this year, as well. Maybe I’ll do a bigger post about Sprint Races in the future, but for now I’ll just say that I’m not a fan.
That doesn’t mean they can’t win me over eventually. They just haven’t, yet.
It feels like they’re giving away the first 1/3 of the race on Saturday, leaving me with little to look forward to on Sunday. Race days are special because you get to see the race. But now we get two races in two days? It’s sort of like they are overdoing Christmas.
Every time there’s been a Sprint Race, I’ve lost excitement for the actual race on Sunday because it feels like I’ve already seen what happens.
As for regular Qualifying, which happens on the Friday, my interest level has gone way down. It feels insignificant. It’s like, “Congrats, you qualified 1st for the chance to see if you actually start the race in 1st.”
Maybe it’s a time zone thing, but Friday qualifying just feels like I have to record it and ignore the internet all day until I can watch. Otherwise, I’ll just see spoilers and not watch it.
I understand the financial reasons behind this entire concept, but Sprint Races have, so far, completely dampened my excitement for race weekends.
2. Leclerc Gets Greedy
Ferrari, at their home track, had one of their drivers (Carlos Sainz) retire from the race on the first lap. Their other driver (Charles Leclerc) was sitting in second place with 13 laps left, when he and the team decided to come in for a pit stop, so they could put on soft tyres and go for the fastest lap of the race. This would grant them an extra point.
I’m not really a fan of cars making a late pit stop, just so they could pursue the fastest lap, especially if they’re in a podium position. I don’t care if they have a big enough lead to the car behind them to not lose their position.
It just feels like too much risk is involves for a chintzy reward.
Anything can go wrong in a pit stop. We see it almost every race. I don’t think it’s worth losing your spot on the podium, just to go for one more point. Maybe later in the year, if you really need it, but now? It’s way too early in the season. I don’t want to hear the, “Every point matters, no matter when you get it” argument.
This was just greed.
Leclerc comes in for his soft tyres, drops down to third, giving Red Bull a 1-2, and then in his effort to catch up to Sergio Perez in 2nd, Leclerc spins out and has to come in the pits again. He eventually finishes in 6th place.
It wasn’t worth the risk, at all. And Ferrari should know better than to try and jeopardize a podium at their home race. They will learn from this.
3. Mercedes Disparity
George Russell finished P4, while Lewis Hamilton couldn’t get passed the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly, and finished P13. Hamilton was even lapped by Max Verstappen.
The big question is: “If the cars are the same, how does this happen?”
I don’t have the answers. I just know what everyone else knows right now. Mercedes does not have a championship-winning car right now. As fans, we’ve almost been programmed to expect Mercedes to always be at the top and now that they aren’t, it’s very strange.
I am enjoying seeing other teams get their taste of glory, though.
4. Love Rain
Can we all just rise and give the rain a standing ovation? It makes every race better.
My favourite is when it’s only raining at one end of the track, while the other end is still bone dry. It’s such a unique dilemma that only Formula 1 can provide.
5. $ad Sainz
If Carlos Sainz didn’t have bad luck, he’d probably have good luck. On the first lap of the race, he was taken out by Daniel Ricciardo and left to spin his tyres in the gravel.
Ever since I was little, I’ve always felt bad for the drivers who see their race come to an end on the first lap. All the excitement for the race gets taken away from them in an instant.
It’s like if someone gave you a slice of pizza and just as you’re about to take a bite, they knock it out of your hands and step on it. What are you supposed to do after that?
Twenty years ago, I feel like drivers were more aggressive at the first corner on the first lap. Now, it feels like they have an “agreement” to not do anything stupid. That’s just my observation. I’m sure there’s a “first corner crashes” statistic out there somewhere that would set the record straight.
Back to Sainz, though. He signed a two-year extension with Ferrari, so that’s not sad. He deserves it. Maybe I should go change the S to a dollar sign. Hold on. And, done.
My first thought was, what does this mean for Mick Schumacher and his potential future with Ferrari? I just assumed it was inevitable and maybe it still is, but I guess it will now be later, rather than sooner. Charles Leclerc is locked up until 2026.
If Haas is actually “good” again, then maybe two more years with them wouldn’t be so bad for Schumacher. But will he want to wait until 2025 for a shot with a top team? Will someone else come calling? Would Ferrari allow him go? Would he even want to go?
I should do a whole post of just hypothetical questions.