Max Verstappen, Bottas, Lewis Hamilton discussed on The Autosport Podcast


You'll notice I'm not Ariana. In just a few hours she'll be flying off to Abu Dhabi with the rest of the F one paddock. So instead, I'm temporarily taking the reins, and I'm joined by Luke Smith, F one reporter for auto sport and Hayden Cobb editor of autosport dot com. But before we all try and make sense of exactly how that Grand Prix played out, for those listeners who tune into the podcast for the results, and we know there are a few of you. Here's the short version. In a bizarre race that required two restarts and four virtual safety cars, Lewis Hamilton beat Max Verstappen to victory to set up a final round showdown as they head to Abu Dhabi level on points. That's the first time that's happened since 1974 with McLaren's Emerson Fittipaldi, battling Ferraris clay regazzoni for the championship. Bottas took third from ocon in a dash to the line on the final lap, finishing just a few meters ahead. Behind them, Ricardo managed to climb up to 5th, followed by gasly, leclerc, saints, jovina, and a disappointed Lando Norris rise up the points in tenth. Max Verstappen picked up a 5 second time penalty for passing off the track, and after the race was issued a ten second time penalty for sudden breaking and causing a collision for the break check incident with Lewis Hamilton. But that penalty didn't end up affecting the results as Bottas was 16 seconds behind max. There were two red flags, two standing restarts, three different pole sitters, four virtual safety cars, and at least two clashes between the title rivals in a race which is easily the most frantic of the year. And with that said, and I'm pretty surprised that we managed to get such a succinct summary considering the action, I wanted to kick off the podcast as we usually do guys by asking you for your ratings for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. I'm really interested to know what you guys are going to say. I think there's such a mixed feeling towards this race for various reasons, but Luke, why don't we start off with you? What was your rating for the race? Yeah, very mixed feelings, actually, because we've had this amazing fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Don't get me wrong, it was incredible to see the instance and everything that happened. And there was so much drama throughout the race, but in terms of actual strategy or intrigue or on track action, it wasn't actually like overtaking or anything like that and a raw fight between the two title rivals. Yeah, maybe it maybe didn't hit some of the heights that we've seen earlier in the season. So there's a bit of a funny one. I thought it was a bit of a messy race with all of the VSC's and debris and everything like that going on. And yeah, it was kind of we kept having these continual battles where we had Lewis will get close to max, max would then be aggressive, Louis would have to back out, we keep repeating that basically. So yeah, I would probably give it a 7 or an 8, I would say. I probably I think, yeah, it's not the kind of race. It's a race on me don't remember and we will remember this so so much. It's so exciting for the championship. But in terms of an out and out race, I think if you take away that lead battle throughout the rest of the field, actually it was quite tame in places. So yeah, I would go with the name. It was a very memorable race and a good race and many places, but it wasn't a ten out of ten or anything like that. For me, can I have two ratings, please? I'll explain why. First one is the entertainment side of it in terms of what makes an entertaining race and I think you've got to go ten out of ten for that because like you say there is so much going on. I'm so impressed the way you summed it up in about three minutes because just trying to cover it in the written form, it's like pages upon pages of everything. So it just had a little bit everything that you almost forget little instances to happen here or there, which for the spectator taking out the sporting purist take on it. It just was incredible and difficult to kick up with. But as Luke said, I think yeah, from perhaps more to what was pure sporting racing situation, take a few marks down from there. I'd agree on the 7, because yes, the back of the front was great, but maybe we didn't see a great deal else going on, but that probably because of the Java suit carnage that was actually unfolding everywhere you looked. Yeah, it was definitely, I think a controversial, I don't even want to because obviously it's been questioned as to whether we are even going to call it a race. And I guess in the fallout in the quotes that have come out post race, max and Red Bull have very much vocalized the fact that they don't believe this is Formula One, that this was an example of penalties and politics, getting in the way of quote unquote racing. Which I'm sure we're going to get on to when we get around to the penalties. But I thought I have to agree with you guys in terms of, I mean, my heart rate, I don't think dipped below one 60 BPM for that entire length of time of the race. Maybe see your doctor about that. I mean, genuinely, I felt like I'd been treat this trait this is therapy. This is a safe space for you. It's time to talk over the troubles that we've just witnessed and go from there. I mean, it's been great. I feel like I don't have to go for a run, because I basically did, however, long we had of some hard cardio based on the fact that it just never seemed to want to calm down. It just had every time you thought it couldn't twist anymore. It twisted again. And the momentum just seemed to swing between Lewis and max throughout. But in order for us to really process and analyze and give the listeners a bit of a viewpoint on exactly what happened out in Saudi Arabia today, I thought we would try and attack this by going through it in chronological order. Just the major points otherwise we will probably be doing a 5 hour podcast, but why don't we begin? Because I guess to your point Luke, the race started off quite simply, given the start for formula two, we'd seen that it can get quite chaotic and there was also throughout the weekend the worries about the safety of the track and formula two with the crash that we saw in formula two as well. Not necessarily to do with the circuit itself, but obviously was quite a harsh start of race procedures today. What did you make of the start of the Grand Prix? And what did you believe was going to be playing out? Did you think it was going to be that boring the whole way through? Or did you know that chaos was most likely coming? It was a quite a serene start and it tallies with a lot of Italy's with what a lot of drivers said that it would be one of two races that would either be chaos and crazy and lots going on or it would be very tame and not a lot happens. And I think back to Baku when it had its first race, the F two race was absolutely crazy. All of the F one guy saw it and thought, okay, if I take it easy and just get to the finish, that will probably be enough..

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