Saudi Arabia GP Review | The Parc Fermé F1 Podcast Ep 760

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Join Paul and me as we review the chaotic Formula 1 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix. We cover each team as they finished and spend a lot of time talking about the Lewis vs Max battle. We even offer some awards and read your questions.

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Sebastien

Hi. Thanks for the pod, I have been listening for a long time. I appreciate a difference of opinions but how is it possible, especially for you Paul involved in professional motorsports, not to strongly condemn brake testing for any reason whatsoever. I was listening to Todd winding up and was really expecting you to shut it down. I can’t believe it… Everything is debatable up to a point, but surely not this! And the fact that Christian and Helmut, along with Max himself, saying they didn’t understand why Lewis ran into the back of him… Todd maybe you need… Read more »

Sebastien

Thanks a lot for taking some time to reply in such detail, I really appreciate it. I hope it’s ok for me to reply in full, so we can hopefully dig deeper into the issue. I’d like to start by apologizing for being overly aggressive in my initial post. Jeddah was so intense, I admit having a difficult time processing it all. I am “TeamLH” but like you I am also TeamF1 above all. After reading your reply I decided to take some time to think, research further and listen to the whole show again and took notes along the… Read more »

jsharpe

I’ve enjoyed your podcast for the last few years and probably will again. However your defense for Max’s driving seems unjustifiable by your own standards. What he did was not “elbows out” racing. It was dirty and illegal and IMO for everyone but hard core Max fans is hurting the sport since the stewards are allowing and apparently even encouraging it. Great “elbows out” race craft was what Alonso did to hold back Hamilton in Hungary. That’s what I would like to see more of, not the garbage style of wheel to wheel racing that max seems to be so… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by jsharpe
Sebastien

I obviously agree with you and struggle to understand why we have to debate around “brake checking”… I find it so difficult to discuss when in reply we see “Max did this, Lewis did that”. Just because I am a Lewis fan doesn’t mean I can’t think critically. Every incident should be judged on its own. I was shouting in anger at Lewis in front of my TV when he was holding Nico up in Abu Dhabi 16! This event shows the issue at large that the community is being divided by: the difference between hard racing and dirty racing.… Read more »

Louis Jansen

Thanks for the measured opinions on the title fight. Here in the Netherlands there is also heated opinion and the tv coverage is also extremely biased, towards Max of course. Next year the tv rights for F1 will be taken by Viaplay and we will have expert analyses on track form Mika Håkkinen, David Coulthard and Tom Kristensen from the circuit. This will we backed up by studio expert Christijan Albers! How about that?!

Louis Jansen

And also to mention is Guido van der Garde as studio analist. It is changing a lot and we hope to get more mature and measured commentary next season. Thanks for your efforts which are also mature and measured!

Louis Jansen

I am watching F1 since the late Seventies and in that era we could only watch Dutch tv broadcasting only the Dutch GP and I believe also the German GP. In the beginning of the Eighties we could receive Belgian tv and they showed all the races. The commentary was very nice, knowledgeable and not in any way biased. Although they had their interest in Thierry Boutsen, their local driver. Then in the late Eighties we could also tune into the BBC. Commentary by Murray Walker and James Hunt, that was very good! Enjoyed that very much. Also alternatively we… Read more »

Xean Drury

Completely agree with yours assessment on ‘Crash Gate 2.0’. VER wanted HAM to pass for DRS advantage, HAM didn’t want to pass because of DRS advantage. It’s pretty obvious. For anyone on Team Hamilton, if you can present one instance of this world class driver coming upon a slower car and not passing immediately, especially on a clear piece of track where it can be see that there were no perils present, then I’ll eat my hat. Drivers pass slower cars, period. Unless there’s a tactical advantage to be gained, which there was. Lewis realistically did not need to know… Read more »

Sebastien

Todd, sorry for reiterating but I think you are underestimating the significance of this race, and therefore misunderstanding the reactions. The fact that there are so many pundits and reports that you disagree with doesn’t mean you are right. The racing community is fighting hard over this because it is important. I have never been active here before because I have always found your podcasts fair, even though I sometimes disagree. This is different. Yes Lewis is clearly pushing the limits to the max (dad joke) but it does not excuse anything. You can draw similar parallels on the road.… Read more »

Sebastien

That’s the thing, I honestly think you are not clear. Repeating “hitting the brakes hard with Lewis on his tail” while mentioning Lewis had room on the inside all the time is not a clear condemnation of something that is very wrong and should be called what is. Maybe you should start here: was it, for you, brake checking? What you have yet to mention is that this is incredibly dangerous on Max’s part. There’s a difference between saying “you don’t do that” and “you don’t do that because it is dangerous”. Yes it might go without saying but try… Read more »

Sebastien

Maybe you’re right, but IMO words matter…

Sebastien

Always interested in data. And once again I want to thank you for continuing the exchange, it’s really appreciated as I’m sure you have a lot of feedback to deal with and I’m learning a lot. I read your article and will check out the vid. The more I think about this whole thing, the more I think this might actually be a difference in perception. I have to tell you my honest opinion: saying A did something wrong BUT B got him triggered, or BUT B did something bad 10 years ago sounds a bit like victim blaming. I’m… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Sebastien
Sebastien

I understand your reasoning regarding historical context. I honestly can’t tell you why I felt different this time around when listening to the show, but the article you posted does help me see how we think differently. I watched the video (great job from The Race for sure), and this is where we probably have to agree to disagree: for me, it was a brake check. Although the data does not conclusively prove it wasn’t, I can definitely see that there is room for interpretation however. I also see why you might want to reserve the term brake checking for… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Sebastien
Sebastien

Maybe they were both playing games, but this does not excuse brake checking. You are not addressing the main issue here.

Sebastien

I was not replying to your comment here. I was replying to Xean’s comment.

Xean Drury

The term ‘Brake Check’ implies that Max intentionally hit the brakes in hopes that Lewis would run into him. Any time one of these cars even touch each other, there’s a high chance of one or both cars being out of the race. That either of these drivers would take that chance is dubious. If Lewis stayed behind Max and decelerated in time, both cars would have been stopped on track, right before the DRS detection line, as that is the trajectory of both cars’ deceleration prior to Lewis getting on with it. Unfortunately, as Lewis accelerated and jinked left,… Read more »

Peter

THANK you for explaining the DRS line issue that the TV folks missed! Look, the key issue here was Horner saying ‘strategically’ to Max… that was a clear driver instruction (ahem, where’s the rules on that?) and that lead Max to try and make sure that Lewis passed him JUST BEFORE the DRS line. If Lewis had, then max could have passed the DRS line, opened the DRS and gotten past Lewis again. In his desperation to achieve this, perhaps Max decided, seeing the line advancing, to brake harder, forcing Lewis to go around. Lewis was smart enough to know… Read more »

Peter

Absolutely I agree, but I still think that driver instruction by Horner set this all in motion. The end result was, as you and Paul explained it, logical. What noone wants to assess is the driver instruction from Horner (himself a wily racer!).

Peter

Question: Are driver instructions allowed? If RB had said, let him pass (orders from the Stewards)… but adding “strategically” seems to me to be actual driver instructions… no? I KNOW this is a moot point because, in the end Lewis knew what was happening all the time even if Max was desperate (Quali and in the race).

Peter

Ah, okay. I must have missed that update. Appreciate the constancy of your knowledge.

Sebastien

The voice you heard on the team radio is Gianpiero Lambiase, Max’s race engineer, but Christian may have been involved. They may even have been discussing this before the race after what happened in Bahrain.
Remember that Lewis was penalized for doing exactly that (overtaking after letting past) to Kimi in Spa 08, losing him the race after it had ended.
This rule needs to be looked into for sure.

Victor Brown

There was talk of staying behind for at least 1 corner. Carr 33 did not do this! The rule did not exist at the time the Spa 08 occurred. They created it post that race. Problem I had with this at the time was he was punished for what the FIA/stewards felt wrong, but not legally wrong! 25sec…. Wow! I would post a lot more but Sebastian said literally everything I was thinking – I’ll only add that Paul must be looking forward to one day MV gets to race in the IMSA Sports Car Series, get a chance to… Read more »

LD71

Max was def out of control, we can disagree on that. But what you missed was RB big mistake on tires at Max’s pit stop. They knew Lewis took hard tires, there was a long race to go, but they went with Med tires. Big error, unless Max drove Lewis off the track(!), he would’ve been easily passed by Lewis at the end

Sebastien

I actually think they knew that. They put him on the softs so he could jump ahead of Lewis and Esteban at the start (which he did). I think at that point they already knew that Lewis’ PU would be too strong to chase and overtake during the race proper. Maybe they were banking on another incident, or maybe they didn’t think the drop off would be that massive, or maybe the collision made matters worse with damaged diffuser etc… Honestly I think putting Max on the softs was genius at that point.

Oldskoolnigel

Unpopular opinion – but, as soon as Lewis downshifted and pulled in behind Max he lost all rights to complain – there was room, he was faster, nothing would have stopped him from maintaining the inside and running Max wide at turn one, etc – he had the faster car at the time, and with the number of laps left he was only going to be faster. Lewis was playing it to cute by half, and all but got caught out. Anyone defending Lewis,what if (hypothetically) Max did have an issue, that locked up the rear of his car –… Read more »

Sebastien

Man, this choice of words again… “hitting the brakes hard with Lewis on his tail”. To be clear there is no doubt in my mind that Lewis is playing mind games. I think people overlook how incredibly demanding this sport is mentally. The hands might be holding the steering wheel, but the real athlete might be the mind (misquoting something I heard on Beyond the grid!). Did you see, on the first “proper” repass, how Lewis immediately starts harvesting and opens the corner super wide going all the way right? He KNEW Max would dive down the inside to get… Read more »

Sebastien

One is dangerous and illegal…

Matthew Royer

Sorry but the Max versus Lewis portion of this podcast was terrible to listen to. You would have thought Lewis Hamilton was the one guilty of 15 penalty seconds worth of driving infringements the way he was constantly brought up to defend or excuse Max’s behavior. I thought it was especially desperate to bring up Hamilton incidents from 10, 11 years ago like that has any relevance whatsoever to Max’s conduct on the track. Also, the claim that Lewis “brake tested” Vettel in Baku is false. The stewards investigated that incident and concluded Hamiltons brake input wasn’t erratic and was… Read more »

Fabio

Man, this whole Max/Lewis things has really gotten out of control.
Like I’m impressed with all the new DTS fans getting engaged in the series, and I know the media is not helping, but wow, everybody take a breath and relax.

Sebastien

I agree with that last point completely. Agreeing to disagree is super important when going into any discussion and is terribly underrated these days. It seems like more and more it’s winners vs losers with no room for debate. And Todd I hope you don’t consider me as someone out of control, haha. Clearly the new influx of fans is very significant for the sport, and a great thing. At this point it’s normal to see tempers flare up as the championship is getting to a close. I for one definitely feel tense as we’re getting close to the weekend,… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Sebastien
Sebastien

Haha, I understand. Thank you for your service! :D
Let’s hope for an epic race this weekend, looking forward to hearing your take on it, there will probably a lot to unpack!

Fabio

You just know that the last race will totally anticlimactic.

Anthony

Wow, can’t confess to having read all the threads below yet, but a hornets nest has certainly been stirred it seems. I don’t comment here often – but always listen to the pod – thanks for the great listen! But, I need to vent: what’s really grinding my gears about the Saudi race is this BS Max / Redbull are spouting in the media about, hat-tip Motorsport, [queue Todd’s quoting voice]: “Other people do exactly the same thing and they get nothing,” he said. “Both of us were off the track [at Jeddah], we were outside of the white line… Read more »

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