Official 2021 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix Thread ***SPOILERS***

Official 2021 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix Thread ***SPOILERS***

Author
Discussion

Piginapoke

Original Poster:

2,599 posts

157 months

Thursday 25th November
quotequote all
Round 21 and we’re in Saudi Arabia. This will be the 2nd fastest track after Monza, so with Mercedes more powerful engine back in the car, it could well be a cakewalk for Hamilton.


Date(s): Friday 3 December to Sunday 5 December 2021.

UK Broadcast Timings (and local time)

All sessions are live on Sky F1 and as highlights on Channel 4.





Live timing for all sessions available here:

https://www.formula1.com/en/f1-live.html

Lap times, PU component use, technical reports and Stewards' decisions for the weekend will appear here:

https://www.fia.com/events/fia-formula-one-world-c...

Weather forecast:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/105343

Tyre options:

Teams have two hard, three mediums and eight soft sets available per driver for each weekend.



2020 race result:

N/A

2020 Race Highlights:

N/A






kambites

62,887 posts

193 months

Thursday 25th November
quotequote all
As ever, cheers Pig. smile

Assuming Mercedes swap back to the Brazil engine, it certainly looks like it should be Hamilton's race to lose, which bodes well for a final race showdown for the WDC. Although with so many tight corners and long straights it looks like a rear limited circuit, which will probably mean the Redbull is kinder on its tyres than the Mercedes?


Edited by kambites on Thursday 25th November 20:25

TheDeuce

11,905 posts

38 months

Thursday 25th November
quotequote all
kambites said:
As ever, cheers Pig. smile

Assuming Mercedes swap back to the Brazil engine, it certainly looks like it should be Hamilton's race to lose, which bodes well for a final race showdown for the WDC. Although with so many tight corners and long straights it looks like a rear limited circuit, which will probably mean the Redbull is kinder on its tyres than the Mercedes?


Edited by kambites on Thursday 25th November 20:25
Depends how tuneable mercs 'sit down and beg' trick rear suspension is. If it works as I suspect then they actually have more control on rear tyre wear than RB with their more traditional high rake setup to achieve the same sort of benefit.


Carlososos

507 posts

68 months

Thursday 25th November
quotequote all
I watched virtual lap and this place looks fast as you like!

Flooble

4,334 posts

72 months

Thursday 25th November
quotequote all
Thanks as ever for starting the thread Pig.

With the high speed "corners" I am guessing the Mercedes tyre warm-up problem will be somewhat mitigated, but I can see that Red Bull's ability to maintain downforce without needing much wing may help them to maintain speed through the twisty bits. So this could be quite an interesting duel, if perhaps Mercedes are faster on the straights (trick suspension, "spicy" engine) but Red Bull can nail them on the "corners". Might come down to which driver is cleverest with their ERS/DRS/Positioning.


LaurasOtherHalf

20,903 posts

168 months

Thursday 25th November
quotequote all
A must win for Hamilton, if he does (and despite engine pool it's still a big IF) it's imperative that Bottas at least achieves something this weekend. If it's a Mercedes 1-2 this weekend I can see Red Bull imploding in the last race.

My biggest concern is that Max knows if he takes himself and Hamilton out, he goes to the last race not needing to win. Plenty have tried worse in the past.

Can McLaren get back into the mix as they did Monza?

Edited by LaurasOtherHalf on Thursday 25th November 23:44

Flooble

4,334 posts

72 months

Thursday 25th November
quotequote all
I don't think Max can risk trying to take both Bottas and Hamilton out. But I don't think he will need to.

I'm afraid I ecan't see Bottas doing anything other than going backwards again.

As you say, a Mercedes 1-2 here would really set Red Bull back. It would also make it trickier for them to sacrifice Perez to get fastest lap off Hamilton too.

But over the last few races Bottas has not managed to get close, other than Brazil where he at least brought it home in third (from pole though ...).

So, if Hamilton manages to stick it on pole, I can't see Max qualifying below 3rd or 4th. He'll then breeze past Bottas and then will have the option of sticking it up the inside of Hamilton.

And of course, Max could always qualify first or second and not even need to get past Bottas. Bottas' engines are older than Hamilton's now. He hasn't taken a new one since America. I think he "lost" his Monza one as it was stripped down?

Max has been lucky in a way that Spa didn't happen, as that's a significant amount of wear he has saved. Same for everyone of course, but it does mean he'll likely get to the end without any more engines (think there is a quote somewhere that Honda can only turn their engine up by 1/5 as much as Mercedes extra headroom so it's not worth taking a new one and turning it up. But also think the quote came from Marko or Horner so who knows).

If this track is rear-limited, that's the Mercedes weakness. So this may turn out to be a Red Bull track and end of championship, negating all our speculation. At least the guys who are going out to Abu Dhabi have other stuff to do!

LaurasOtherHalf

20,903 posts

168 months

Thursday 25th November
quotequote all
Flooble said:
I don't think Max can risk trying to take both Bottas and Hamilton out. But I don't think he will need to.
I didn’t mean to type that-amended!

Bright Halo

1,792 posts

207 months

Friday 26th November
quotequote all
With Toto saying “We will get our spicy equipment out for Saudi Arabia” it seems a bit ominous for RB and the rest.
It is unlike Toto to be so bullish. If they fit the Brazil engine and possible other upgrades then Lewis is going to be quick.
My guess is +0.5 secs in quali to second.

LaurasOtherHalf

20,903 posts

168 months

Friday 26th November
quotequote all
Mercedes’ spicy rear wig in action;

https://twitter.com/motorsportsure/status/14628438...

Sandpit Steve

4,741 posts

46 months

Friday 26th November
quotequote all
Onboard virtual lap. Looks bloody quick.


Derek Smith

40,886 posts

220 months

Friday 26th November
quotequote all
Sandpit Steve said:
Onboard virtual lap. Looks bloody quick.

After watching that video, I felt a sudden urge to post a parcel.

AW111

7,316 posts

105 months

Friday 26th November
quotequote all
LaurasOtherHalf said:
Mercedes’ spicy rear wig in action;

https://twitter.com/motorsportsure/status/14628438...
I've watched that clip twice, and still can't find the hairpiece frown

LaurasOtherHalf

20,903 posts

168 months

Friday 26th November
quotequote all
Derek Smith said:
After watching that video, I felt a sudden urge to post a parcel.
That’s got multiple safety cars written all over it.

DrDeAtH

3,417 posts

204 months

Friday 26th November
quotequote all
At least we shouldn't have any track limits issues... maybe a few safety cars where someone has been friendly with the wall though.

Big Nanas

840 posts

56 months

Friday 26th November
quotequote all
Crikey that's a properly fast circuit with lots of walls. Maybe we should start a bet on how many safety cars we're going to have!

TheDeuce

11,905 posts

38 months

Friday 26th November
quotequote all
Sandpit Steve said:
Onboard virtual lap. Looks bloody quick.

That actually looks like it could be an awesome circuit.. if full of drama because it's going to be relentless to drive and so unforgiving if anyone gets it wrong.

Hungrymc

5,430 posts

109 months

Friday 26th November
quotequote all
Has to be a high chance of some random result here. Very high speed and all the walls. A number of accidents, lots of Safety cars squeezing the field and very fast / slipstreamy SC restarts…

If the circuit In isolation favours Lewis and Merc. The opportunities for points dropped through chaos favour Max and RedBull (with points in the bag)


jimPH

2,785 posts

52 months

Friday 26th November
quotequote all
Nowhere to hide at track limits.

Piginapoke

Original Poster:

2,599 posts

157 months

Friday 26th November
quotequote all
jimPH said:
Nowhere to hide at track limits.
And slippery, brand new tarmac....