Rolling Motorsport Thread 2023 (F1 etc.) 🏁 🏎 🏍

Did quite enjoy the snide response of ‘Give them my regards’ over the radio on hearing of the five second penalty for the lap one turn one incident.

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I’m sure they’ll be reviewing the positions of the cameras for next years race. That wide shot is really the only way you know they are in Vegas, in every other shot you hardly see anything to show where they are. They don’t seem to have the expected ‘money shot’ of the cars on the Stipe with all the neon and lights of the casino’s in the background.

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EDIT: I’ve just noticed that twitter is now flagging this as ‘potentially sensitive content’, so I will add a trigger warning that you should not click on this video if you are sensitive to seeing Bottas riding a hobby horse in the nip.

https://twitter.com/ValtteriBottas/status/1726462617412153851

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Pointless season. Hamilton still coming 3rd is very funny, seems like Red Bull negated their penalty by having the chassis ready from late 2022.

Don’t know what happens next year you would think the powers that be are going to try and mess around in someway to let everyone else catch up.

End of season ratings:

CNT: Phenomenal achievement that will never be surpassed, rendering the previous record book moot. Talent now beyond any question. 10

PER: Up until the race in Miami, teased a decent chance at landing the big one, and then fell apart spectacularly. The car clearly carried him to 2nd and he’ll be in a very hot seat in the first half of next year. 6

HAM: Strong mid-season run and podiums got him up to 3rd come year’s end, at which point predicting the week-to-week competitiveness of the Merc was an absolute lottery. Not sure what he’s going to get out of two more years, or into his 40s - but then again, see the next guy. 7

ALO: Incredible early season run and clearly still sharp as a tack. Let down by Aston Martin’s response to tech clarifications and further development actually took the car backwards. Performances in Bahrain and Brazil were masterclasses. 8

LEC: Consistently at the peak of his pace and overcoming his previous tendencies for self-sabotage, only to be limited by the pace of the car itself and some horrendous luck outside of his own control. Highlight was a punchy performance in Vegas. 8

NOR: Becoming F1’s perennial nearly-man. McLaren’s updates for Austria onwards rescued his season and some great results followed, but the top step of a podium still eludes him. As per last year, what has to happen so he can finally get there? 8

SAI: Only non-Red Bull winner all season, his victory in Singapore the obvious high point of a fairly mixed year. Ferrari improving as a unit, but the expectation is that Leclerc is the more likely driver to take it to the next level. 7

RUS: Much more fractious year than 2022, and generally got himself in more bother than he needed to on-track. Quite surprised by the margin between him and Hamilton at season’s end. Big push required for 2024. 6.5

PIA: Expectations tempered by McLaren’s rough start to the year, then proved that the talent was there once the upgrades took them forward. Clear highlights of the year were back to back podiums in Japan and Qatar, plus the sprint win in the latter. Top 5 for 2024? 7.5

STR: Dad has not lost patience…yet. Looked lost in the back half of the season. Absolutely impossible to know what to do with the Aston’s second seat without him in it. Only one of the championship’s top 12 to not have a single podium all year. 5

GAS: Spoils in the Second French Civil War (aka Alpine F1 Team 2023) go to Pierre. Not quite as consistent as Esteban, but a surprise podium in the Netherlands helped his cause, and fought hard - sometimes too hard - elsewhere for what spoils he could find. 7

OCO: Also had a shock podium - in Monaco, where he could have also come away with pole - and the team mates didn’t entirely kill each other despite their best efforts (see the second restart in Australia). Direction for progress is an unknown. 7

ALB: Williams gave him a slightly better car and he got the most out of it. Low downforce pace over one lap is exemplary, but needs something that can give him pace over a full weekend. His drive in Canada was one of his career best. 7

TSU: A riddle in an enigma. The steadiest upward curve throughout the year, from a fairly low base, but bar Abu Dhabi, no real standout weekends. Don’t expect the Red Bull top brass to call him up. 5.5

BOT: Finland’s most naked moustache man went through the motions in a bang-average Alfa. Two eighth place finishes not a lot to write home about given how he was scoring regularly in early 2022. 5.5

HUL: The return of the Hulk confirms what we already knew - has pace, not going to pull up trees in a backmarking shitbox. Only regular points finish a notable 7th in Australia; 6th in the wet sprint in Austria was also skillful and a few Q3s. 6.5

RIC: Crouching Daniel, Smiling Honey Badger made his way back to a RB-adjacent seat after De Vries got the axe. Missed five races with a broken wrist. 7th in Mexico City after starting P4 got attention. A second life redeemed? 6

ZHO: Fairly anonymous given the flashes of excitement in his debut season, not helped by the aforementioned averageness of the Alfa. Pourchaire’s F2 title win should light a fire under both his and Bottas’ seats. 5

MAG: Mostly beaten by Hülkenberg over the year, but with more points finishes, albeit all in 10th. The vigour of 2022 seems a long time ago, but that’s probably down to driving a Haas for two years. 5.5

LAW: Dropped into the Alpha Tauri seat vacated by Ricciardo’s wonky wrist and did a generally good job with the little window of time he had. 9th in Singapore was a worthy result. Will we see him in an F1 car again? 7.5

SAR: Had moments in F2 that made his signing to the senior team fairly logical, but hasn’t gotten to grips with the highest level. Got a solitary point at COTA, which felt like a fair reward for his struggles. Might not be there next year. 4

DEV: Even though Alpha Tauri were bobbins out of the box, a massively disappointing spell for the former F2 and Formula E champion. Moving into the RB stable didn’t make sense then and got tossed aside without a single point to his name. Potential career killer. 2.5

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I will never stop finding this funny

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On a similar note, here is a photo of my cat doing an uncanny CNT impression

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Didn’t know this or I’ve forgotten

8 for Alonso and 5 for Stroll?

surely Alonso is a 9 and Stroll a 3 maybe 4

If I were running a team and had to choose between Stroll and Sargent based on 2023, I’d take Stroll without a second thought in fairness.

He got decent, if not great results in the opening part of the season while still recovering from his preseason injury and likewise has ended the season with a few decent drives and reasonable results at the end of the season too.

Obviously he doesn’t deserve a top 4 car and isn’t one of the 20 best drivers in the world, but he’s had an okay season all things considered imo.

Maybe underscored Fernando by .5 or so; Stroll has had some surprisingly good recovery drives from bad qualifying (key weakness of his is single-lap pace) to decent points, whilst also being destroyed inter-team by one of the GOAT contenders. Very hard to see who’d get into the second seat and elevate the team’s constructors standing beyond what it was.

just seen this on reddit… if you remove all of the sprint points for the whole season, the top 10 drivers are still in exactly the same positions in the championship

it’s only Ocon and Gasly who swap in 11th and 12th

What the hell do they think the “Paddock Club” hospitality is?

This isn’t a smart question, from someone who doesn’t know anything about F1 but is just curious…

Is Verstappen far and away the best driver in F1? Or did he benefit from having the best car and his rivals not having great cars this year? Like… will this season be remembered for dominance of the driver or the car (or both, given that the driver still has to drive the car? Will anyone challenge next year if their car gets better?