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Pete, while I am pretty confident that Russell will push Hamilton in qualifying, I don’t believe that he has yet developed the race craft of Alonso - or Lewis. If the next Mercedes is less than the best, that will be important.

As to Alonso, after not just switching teams, but being out of the sport for two years and then spending two of the four weeks prior to limited testing on a liquid diet after having two metal plates inserted in his jaw… just remarkable. And yes, his racecraft, sense of the limits of his car on cold tires and his race starts are still exceptional.
 

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Speaking of Alonso, did anyone else think that Alpine hung him out to dry over the radio while showing their preference for his French team mate? Alonso had a better start and then was bumped off the track by Ocon, then switched back to overtake him on the outside of the next corner. After Ocon, who had the benefit of DRS, whined that he was faster than Alonso, the team told him that Ocon was faster - i.e., he should let his past. Alonso calmy replied that he was conserving his tires and the proof was in the pudding - Alonso pulled out to a six second advantage by the first pit stop. His tire preservation strategy also played out at the end when he was able to not only catch, but pass a Ferrari that had been faster all weekend.

In the post race interview, when it was suggested that he seemed to be enjoying his return to F1, Alonso was non-committal. He spoke of how hard it was to set a pace to preserve the tires and optimize overall race performance when the teams were lacking data on that circuit. I suspect what he really meant by hard is that the team made it so for him, even though he was ultimately proven to be correct.
 

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Not saying they want to be rid of Alonso, but after Ocon’s fluke win and in view his three year extension, which came just prior to Alonso out- running Ocon for six consecutive races prior to the win ( and which led to some criticism of Alpine’s management savy ), I suspect that they are really pushing for an extended Ocon bounce back. Even if it is at the expense of Alonso, who is only extended for one more year.
 

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Alfa Romeo with stunning new livery to Monza

 
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Things are looking good for Alfa this weekend with both cars in the top ten in FP2. It’s unfortunate that Kubica couldn’t get a clear lap in qualifying as he was right on the pace of Giovanizzi in this session, in spite of his lack of experience with the car.

I have never been a fan of Gio and Kimi has largely been only going through the motions for a few years now. That Kubica was able to run that quickly may have given us a better picture of the true pace of the car.

In any event, it will be interesting to see what Bottas can do in next year’s car as he once again proved what kind of pace he has over a single lap. It will also be interesting to see who gets the nod as their second driver.
 

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Great to see DR finally put in a first rate performance. I hope, however, that neither he nor Lando get too aggressive going into turn one and take out Verstappen. I suspect that McLaren will run a split strategy on tires with Riccardo on softs, hoping to jump Max at the start, but we’ll see.

It was also nice to see Gio put up a solid sprint race in the Alfa. Hopefully he can convert that into a solid points performance in the feature race and with passing being extremely difficult, he likely only needs to stay out of trouble.
 

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RICCI !!!!👍

Now the SHOE..
 
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2015 Chevy (Holden) SS, 1989 Milano (Shankle Sport), 1991 164S
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Interesting race today, as it clearly demonstrated that Max is a dangerous driver. Had no business being where he was. Hamilton had the perfect line for the apexes of the S turns, esp the second. Max tried to force his way in, as usual rather than understand the the race has many laps to go.

Indeed, Max found to be a fault and given penalty for next race. He is a very fast driver, but not smart.

Unless... he figured like Schumacher did with Damon Hill (which I saw) take the other car out on purpose in order to retain the points lead. Then, I suppose, if he gets away with it, it is smart in a ruthless and certainly dangerous manner. In this case, he would have potentially killed Hamilton if the halo protection was not there. To quote: "wheel was on Lewis’ head".

I think he should be excluded/banned from at least the next race.
 

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I agree. The guy didn't even stop to check that Hamilton was uninjured, as he walked away from the wreckage. Immature and inhuman conduct.
 

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Guys it was F1s slowest ever accident. The wheel on Lewis was never going to hurt him.

Not agreeing with Max's driving, but let's not start saying things like Lewis could have been killed.
Pete
 

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Still think it was largely a racing incident. Max’s front wheel was more than in front of Lewis‘s rear into the corner which meant he had to give him room under the rules. It was a split second decision for both and I cannot believe that there was time for strategy. However, in one of their collisions this year Lewis was found to be principally at fault, and in one it was Verstappen. Let the beat go on….
 

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"but let's not start saying things like Lewis could have been killed"

I don't think you can say that, as without the halo, there could have been several hundred pounds bouncing off Hamilton's head. Could have broken his neck at the least, or worse.

"Max’s front wheel was more than in front of Lewis‘s rear into the corner which meant he had to give him room under the rules"

The Stewards ruled that because of this, Max was the one at fault. Not far enough ahead along side Hamilton's car. Tried to barge in where he knew he would run out of room. Very Schumacheresque and intimidating in manner, he having done that in the past more than a few times, expecting the other driver to chicken out. Sometimes the chickens come home to roost, so to speak. Max could have never made that corner without Hamilton backing out if he could, and he was never going to do that, being ahead.

It's is hilarious that Max says both drivers should cooperate in such a situation, and yet, it is his practice to never do that, by demonstration in past races. He is a barger.

It is interesting just how some drivers are liked and some are not, and the reactions of the fans of either. Those who do not like Hamilton, for whatever reason (racism included judging by past happenings), always say it is his fault, regardless, and if it is Max's fault, it is just a racing incident. Do I like Max, not really, for the same reasons I didn't really like Schumacher when he was driving. Do I like Hamilton, maybe, maybe not. He is a proven winner but I wonder whether or not he has the cajones to withstand outright aggression from someone like Max, or even Schumacher when he was driving. Up til now, he's always had a superior car.

Oh well, will be an interesting ending to the season. Happy that McLaren had such a good day. Pretty fast cars now. Alfa just plain stinks.
 

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Suggesting that anyone who sees this as a racing incident is a Hamilton hater and possibly a racist is unfair and can only stifle legitimate debate. Alonso has said that he reviewed it and a couple of other contacts between cars at the same corner and has also described it as a racing incident. He pointed out that in the other incidents, the cars merely banged wheels and continued on.

During the broadcast, Paul di Resta and Felipe Massa also expressed the opinion that it was a racing incident. Damon Hill and Johnny Herbert disagreed. Honest people can honestly disagree.
 

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That is true. We all see things a little differently from our own knotholes, based on what we've witnessed/heard before through the years. Judging racing incidents is always a matter of degree. Minor, let them go; major, let's take a closer look. The Racing Authorities end up judging what is permissible, and what is not. In this case..they judged it was fairly obvious. Max barged where he shouldn't have.

As for racism, sorry to say It has been expressed toward Hamilton before, and racers in other venues abroad and here. Just part of the picture of fandom in many sports, et al. Many choose to not think about it.

Based on what Alonso has said before about Hamilton in the past, I never thought he was particularly a fan.

And, I will say again, the Alfa F1 endeavor sucks. Was hoping for better performances, esp with support from Ferrari, but then again, they are not really great shakes either.
 

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"but let's not start saying things like Lewis could have been killed"
I don't think you can say that, as without the halo, there could have been several hundred pounds bouncing off Hamilton's head. Could have broken his neck at the least, or worse.
I agree with Pete on this. While looking in slo-mo you might think this was violent, and if it was very high speed, it would have been violent. But it was not really high speed. The wheel would have bumped his head, but the HANS device would have prevented this low (relatively) impact from causing neck injuries.

It probably prevented a huge headache and some shoulder pain, but I think that's it. Did not seem life threatening at all.
 
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