Conclusions | Verstappen is not out of the woods, stewards have lost their way

06-12-2021 08:32
F1 News
Conclusions | Verstappen is not out of the woods, stewards have lost their way

The Saudi Arabia Grand Prix was a big chaotic weekend. Qualifying and the race were spectacular, but is it perfect for Formula 1? After the titanic battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, here are the conclusions after the weekend in Jeddah.

Stewards are at a loss.

The decisions of the stewards and race organisers have become a mystery. In Saudi Arabia, we were suddenly told that Michael Masi and Red Bull Racing were negotiating for a place on the grid. In football, a referee will never ask a team to accept a red card in exchange for a penalty.

Besides, they play around with the rules. The same incident for which no penalty was given in Brazil is punished in Saudi Arabia. It's difficult to follow the sport.

Jeddah Corniche Circuit is not safe for F1/F2

Although qualifying provided some great images, the moments where you thought 'this could have been much worse' could not be counted on one hand. Formula 2 already provided a chaotic race, but when you add up the incidents in qualifying and the F1 race, you know this could have been worse.

It wasn't an incident because the circuit is a combination of narrow roads at too high a speed. It's asking for trouble and trouble it was. This year it didn't have any major consequences, but something really needs to change to improve safety.

The RB16B has a chance against the 'rocket engine'

While many had given up hope of a world title for Verstappen after the Brazilian Grand Prix following the dominating performance of Mercedes' new engine, that dominance seems to have waned somewhat. In qualifying, Verstappen had the fastest car in Saudi Arabia. He could have taken pole and with a big margin.

If Verstappen can do that on a circuit with so many (relatively) straights and on a circuit where so much power is needed, it can also be done in Abu Dhabi. Mercedes celebrated as if they were world champions in Jeddah, but Verstappen could well secure a victory in Abu Dhabi.

Constructors' world title in the bag for Mercedes

Although still possible in terms of points, it will be virtually impossible for Red Bull Racing to win the constructors' title. With Sergio Perez's retirement and Valtteri Bottas' return to P3, Mercedes has gained 23 points on Red Bull and are now 28 points ahead with one race to go.

Of course, there are still 44 points to go and Red Bull can still fight back, but they would need a major miracle to do so in Abu Dhabi, which has been known as Mercedes country in the past.

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