Grand Prix 2018 Austrian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

There will be a car in Austria this weekend that should be regarded as one of the most famous ever made. It's a silver-grey colour and in most respects not that remarkable. The chap who drove around in it was an extremely divisive figure. Arrogant and authoritarian, loved by many but equally hated by a good many as well.

Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes?

No.

The car in question sits in the Museum of Military History in Vienna. It's a Graf and Stift Automobile and was the car in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife Sophie were murdered on the 28th of June 1914. Just 30 days later and the powers of Europe entered into a war that in four years would see around 31 million (just get that number around your head) people who had taken up arms, killed, wounded or missing in action and the deaths of around 8 million civilians.

At the end of the war, the so-called war to end all wars, Europe was left shattered and broken. The victorious powers took their revenge on the Central powers, dismantling the old orders, pulling apart the Austro-Hungarian empire and in the Treaty of Versailles, attempting to ensure such a thing could never happen again.

The disaffected soldiers of the Central Powers returned home to find a collapsed economy, fragile leadership and no real hope. While the great depression badly affected the globe, it created in central Europe the seeds for another power to rise. The leader of the National Socialists was a down on his luck, former Army Corporal, born in Austria but now settled in Munich. His rise to power has been well documented.

After the second world war the Allied Powers showed they had learnt their lesson from the failures of Versailles and a great deal of effort went in to re-building German industry. Great car makers such as Daimler-Benz and Volkswagen were soon turning out vehicles at an impressive rate. Mercedes dominated for a few years in Formula 1, taking back their place at the head of Grand Prix racing they'd held with their great rivals Auto Union during the inter war years.

Austria had never produced formula 1 cars but they certainly produced great drivers and two of the best known were the 1970 world champion Jochen Rindt and the triple world champion Niki Lauda.

Then in 1987, a drinks company was formed in Austria, modifying an energy drink already on sale in the far east, it became known worldwide as Red Bull. Already involved in sponsoring F1 cars, they eventually purchased the remains of the Jaguar team in 2004 and in 2005, Red Bull Racing was born. Much like Benetton before them, Red Bull took a while to establish themselves in F1, all this changed when along came a German. One Sebastian Vettel. Quickly taking the team to the top step of the podium and then on to drivers and constructors world championships, Austria could now lay claim to having both World Champion Drivers and a World Champion team. Something that America, the great bastion of the motor car cannot yet claim.

Red Bull saw an opportunity to bring F1 back to Austria in the shape of the Red Bull Ring. Formally known as the A1 Ring and before that, the fearsome, Osterreichring and it is here that we will find ourselves this weekend.

Finally, one last bizarre fact that will take us back to where we started.

The First World War ended on the 11th of November 1918. The 100th anniversary will be this year.

The 11th of November 1918 can be written as 11/11/18

The registration plate of the car in which the Archduke was killed?

A111118

Bizarre but true.
 
1. Verstappen drove a great race...did a nice "bump and pass" maneuver on Raikonnen

I'm surprised that you don't have an issue with Verstappen's "bump and pass" move on Raikkonen as it was exactly the same thing that Vettel did to Bottas in France and my understanding was that you thought that the penalty that Vettel got was fair and square. As for me I think that if Vettel had bumbed and passed Verstappen it would have been the end of the world, not only he would have been punished for it but we would be talking of what a bad sport he is, etc etc. Mind you I don't think that Verstappen should have been punished yesterday, I'm sure that it was unintentional, the point is that Vettel's move on Bottas in France was unintentional too so IMHO we have the old issue about double standards.

Anyway the race was good, there were some good moves (Vettel on Hamilton, Bottas on the first lap on Kimi, etc), I feel a bit sorry for Hamilton because I think that yesterday he drove a very good second part of the race (the times he pulled with that blistered tyre were amazing) as well as for Ricciardo who was doing equally well. Verstappen drove well but in the end Verstappen, Kimi and Vettel were all rather lucky because in fairness they didn't have the pace to challenge the Mercs (I'm surprised that Vettel didn't seem to have a stronger pace and that Kimi did so many mistakes at turn 1 and at the hairpin, that was quite unusual for him)
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
RasputinLives - I have a slightly different tinfoil hat on... Hamilton’s retirement was due to (allegedly) loss of fuel pressure. Historically, this was always a euphemism for “we ran out of petrol”.., so, if we assume he ran out, there are a number of possibilities:
  1. The team didn’t put enough fuel in at the beginning
  2. The loss of electrical power led to higher fuel usage
  3. Hamilton turned the engine up, using more fuel following the botched pitstop
  4. A pump broke.
Now, whilst 4. is probably the truth, it’s much more fun to discuss 1.or 3.!
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Ayrton Senna could have been 1986 or 1987 World Drivers Champion but for that pesky loss of fuel pressure. Lotus were notoriously bad for getting the poorest economy out of their Honda's.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
7. Attrition: 3 of the top 6 cars died this day. Suspect that was because of the heat. The temperature at Silverstone could be an issue.

I found the unreliability a delightfully old-school development. If the circuit is too short and in need of more interesting sections, they could bring back the old section of track over the back of Turn 1 - that was almost too interesting at times.

The thin-gauge tyres are back at Silverstone, so I suspect the blistering won't be repeated there. And knowing Silverstone, there's still every chance of icicles forming on the halo.

8. Leclerc: Even after going off the track on the first lap, still looked impressive. He did a lot of nice passes with almost no drama. Very good drive.

Well, yes, but the ideal drive wouldn't involve going off on the first lap. Credit for the recovery, but Ferrari's expectations of him will be higher.
 

Ruslan

Podium Finisher
I'm surprised that you don't have an issue with Verstappen's "bump and pass" move on Raikkonen as it was exactly the same thing that Vettel did to Bottas in France and my understanding was that you thought that the penalty that Vettel got was fair and square. As for me I think that if Vettel had bumbed and passed Verstappen it would have been the end of the world, not only he would have been punished for it but we would be talking of what a bad sport he is, etc etc. Mind you I don't think that Verstappen should have been punished yesterday, I'm sure that it was unintentional, the point is that Vettel's move on Bottas in France was unintentional too so IMHO we have the old issue about double standards.

Anyway the race was good, there were some good moves (Vettel on Hamilton, Bottas on the first lap on Kimi, etc), I feel a bit sorry for Hamilton because I think that yesterday he drove a very good second part of the race (the times he pulled with that blistered tyre were amazing) as well as for Ricciardo who was doing equally well. Verstappen drove well but in the end Verstappen, Kimi and Vettel were all rather lucky because in fairness they didn't have the pace to challenge the Mercs (I'm surprised that Vettel didn't seem to have a stronger pace and that Kimi did so many mistakes at turn 1 and at the hairpin, that was quite unusual for him)

Well, actually I do have an issue with Verstappen's "bump and pass." It is part of the reason I mentioned it that way. Of course the difference is that Vettel's move took Bottas out of the race (effectively) and damaged his car, whereas Verstappen just got a place from it (which of course led to his win). I am not sure Raikonnen was damaged and did not have a chance to come back and fight.

So yes, one could certainly argue in this case that Vettel should not have been penalized, or one could argue that Verstappen should have been penalized. Of course, if Verstappen got a five second penalty, I think he would have still won the race.

From a practical point of view, cars are going to bump and rub a little during the course of a race. What you don't want is people taking each other out, especially if they are contending for a championship. So I think the "degree of violation," primarily measured by how nasty the hit is, is an issue. I think it is a different standard if you take your opponent out.
 

Ruslan

Podium Finisher
I found the unreliability a delightfully old-school development. If the circuit is too short and in need of more interesting sections, they could bring back the old section of track over the back of Turn 1 - that was almost too interesting at times.

The thin-gauge tyres are back at Silverstone, so I suspect the blistering won't be repeated there. And knowing Silverstone, there's still every chance of icicles forming on the halo.



Well, yes, but the ideal drive wouldn't involve going off on the first lap. Credit for the recovery, but Ferrari's expectations of him will be higher.
Well, I have my doubts that Leclerc should spend his sophomore season at Ferrari. After all he is a kid. I think a number of drivers would have had a more balanced view of things if they have not been moved up to top teams so quickly (you could argue that this comment would apply to Raikonnen, Hamilton, Vettel, Verstappen and even Alonso).

I did like the old school feel of the race with all the reliability problems. It is a team sport after all.
 
From a practical point of view, cars are going to bump and rub a little during the course of a race. What you don't want is people taking each other out, especially if they are contending for a championship. So I think the "degree of violation," primarily measured by how nasty the hit is, is an issue. I think it is a different standard if you take your opponent out.

I think that it's only natural that drivers bump into each other every now and then, they are at the very limit, mistakes can happen, I'm sure that Verstappen didn't really mean to hit Kimi but it still happened, it was unintentional, I'm glad that the stewards didn't punish him. My point is that Vettel's move on Bottas was very similar, on that basis I think that it was a racing incident (even though I'm sure that you remind that IMHO Vettel was at fault for hitting Grosjean)
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
Congratulations to the Haas Team!!!!!!

Well-deserved and overdue success at last.
 
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Ruslan

Podium Finisher
I think that it's only natural that drivers bump into each other every now and then, they are at the very limit, mistakes can happen, I'm sure that Verstappen didn't really mean to hit Kimi but it still happened, it was unintentional, I'm glad that the stewards didn't punish him. My point is that Vettel's move on Bottas was very similar, on that basis I think that it was a racing incident (even though I'm sure that you remind that IMHO Vettel was at fault for hitting Grosjean)
Understand.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
After catching up with all the F2 and GP3 I can confirm this track is fantastic for close wheel to wheel racing....as long as your regs are set up to allow wheel to wheel racing.

Seems to be a common theme. When we hear 'this track is difficult to overtake on' we be hearing 'this track is difficult to overtake on because of the way the cars are designed'.
 

Ruslan

Podium Finisher
Ruslan - It is most careless for a Formula One team owner to be convicted of a felony...
It was before he became an F1 owner, but Gene Haas served 16 months in prison from January 2008 to May 2009. It occurred when he was a NASCAR team owner.

Whole Wikipedia account:

On the morning of June 19, 2006, Haas was arrested by IRS agents for investigation of filing false tax returns, witness intimidation, and conspiracy. Four others were indicted together with Haas, all of whom pleaded guilty.

Just before Haas's case was to go to trial, a plea agreement was reached with Haas, whereby he would plead guilty to felony conspiracy to commit tax evasion. He was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $75 million in restitution.

Haas was incarcerated beginning January 2008 and was released on probation May 2009 after serving 16 months of his two-year sentence.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I am a big enough cynic that I believe that, if you dug deep enough into the finances of ANY mega-rich person, they could all be hit with tax evasion. Why do you think Trump won't release his tax returns as he had promised? He's ashamed it would make everyone jealous about how brilliant he is?

If Haas were richer, he could have bought off witnesses rather than threaten them. That's what most really rich folks do.
 

marksawatsky

Podium Finisher
Contributor
I am a big enough cynic that I believe that, if you dug deep enough into the finances of ANY mega-rich person, they could all be hit with tax evasion. Why do you think Trump won't release his tax returns as he had promised? He's ashamed it would make everyone jealous about how brilliant he is?

If Haas were richer, he could have bought off witnesses rather than threaten them. That's what most really rich folks do.

I guess I'm a bigger cynic than you because I think the government could charge and convict ANYBODY, not just rich people.
 

Angel

Race Winner
Contributor
I am a big enough cynic that I believe that, if you dug deep enough into the finances of ANY mega-rich person, they could all be hit with tax evasion. Why do you think Trump won't release his tax returns as he had promised? He's ashamed it would make everyone jealous about how brilliant he is?

If Haas were richer, he could have bought off witnesses rather than threaten them. That's what most really rich folks do.

Like Bernie every time he was taken to court for something.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
I was very curious in what eyetime was the title sponsor of f1 & after a bit of research also the Austrian moto gp at the red bull ring, as I was assuming it was a eyesight charity or the Austrian specsavers. but I got surprised as they were nothing like that according to marking stuff on app store "Eyetime is the messaging system of the future that will revolutionise personal and corporate communication. With innovative features, state-of-the-art encryption and worldwide connectivity" but then I got really surprised when I typed in "eyetime app" into google & came across this link which if the allegations the author makes are correct then it could be very murky indeed

Inside Line: Is Eyetime part of a Ponzi scheme? | GRAND PRIX 247
 
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