Formula 1: It's Race Week! We're on to Imola

After watching the awesome Netflix docuseries I got hooked. I never realized how much strategy was involved before, but not I am deep in the #process and have been watching or DVR’ing all of the races.

To add to the intrigue, the drama is bordering on NBA offseason, “this league”, levels of absurdity.


I’m not super into it. Can you explain the qualifying thing where several teams were too slow last week?

I’ve started watching more this season, probably due to the Netflix series. I used to always watch the Monaco GP, and maybe catch one other. I don’t watch every race now, but I’ve flipped between the F1 race and #CoffeeGolf on quite a few Sunday mornings this summer.

Oh yeah that was wacky. So basically during qualifying a lot of drivers wanted to get on the track towards the end of the session where it would be more crowded so they could catch the stripseam created by cars in front of them. Unfortunately if you are the first driver in that pack you don’t get the benefit, so they all were jockeying for position to not be first, which led to just a pack of nonsense. It was pretty hilarious.


So every team that didnt make the time was out of the race?

how was the actual race then?

I’m not too knowledgeable on the actual sport but the movie Rush is pretty good. That may earn some sharp remarks but its not great, its not terrible and its an interesting (albeit probably very modified) history of one of the sports old rivalries

Nah just started in the back of the pack

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I was watching live, and it was hilarious. Basically, the way they do qualifying is that everyone is out at once for 10 minutes. You can do multiple laps during that period, and the fastest one counts. Since all the cars are out, there’s some gamesmanship to make sure you’re able to draft off someone for at least one of your hot laps. Most teams set it up so they’ll have one teammate lead for one lap during the session, then flip with their teammate so none of them are left out to dry, but there’s some maneuvering with the other teams as well. Lastly, F1 does three qualifying periods, and cuts the slowest 5 after each one. The first one has all 20 cars, the next has 15, then the last has 10.

Last week in the final period, there was a crash at ~5 minutes that pulled all the cars off the track. A few guys had already put up decent times, but not everyone had yet. Instead of going out right away, all the teams were playing chicken which each other because no one wanted to go out first and not get the drafting benefits. Renault finally went out with like 1:45 left in the period and everyone followed, but they went really slowly to dare someone to pass them and break the wind. They ended up not going fast enough to actually get around the track to start the hot lap before the time expired. The rule is that you have to start the lap with time left on the clock for it to count. Everyone’s previous times counted some of which were good (LeClerc’s) some of which weren’t (Vettel’s). A few guys didn’t have times recorded, so they got pushed to the back of the pack.


Vettel’s whole race weekend was just an utter shit show.

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So, what are the top teams, and who are the big stars?

Does a middle of the road guy ever win? Are there any Cole Trickle v. Rowdy Burns type teammates that dont get along?

Also have gotten deeply into it due to the Netflix series, which I would definitely recommend to get a feel for the rules and the strategy and to build some loyalties to various drivers (Riccardo = yay! Verstappen = booooooo). The mid-field battles are really interesting.

Good explanation by @ericrbens, though both Leclerc and Sainz did actually squeak by in time to have their hot laps count. And correct my if I’m wrong, but those that didn’t complete a lap in Q3 just start at the back of the top 10, not at the back of the entire field, correct? And Vettel qualified in 4th so it’s not like his initial lap was awful - though he was awful in the actual race as @JBors pointed out.

Though the first half (the summer break isn’t really at the halfway point but you know what I mean) of the season (and over the last few years) Mercedes and specifically Lewis Hamilton are dominant. Ferrari usually gives them a run for their money but did not win a race in the first half of the season but their 21 year old new driver for this year, Charles Leclerc, has won the first two races following summer break.

Red Bull is the #3 team, with Max Verstappen, their young really talented but very douchy driver has also won this year. Red Bull has a second, essentially “back up”/AAA team called Toro Rosso. Over summer break they demoted their other driver, Pierre Gasly, and promoted Alex Albon from Toro Rosso. Gasly was new this year after Daniel Riccardo surprised a lot of people and left Red Bull for Renault (these two teams seem to hate each other Red Bull historically used a Renault engine but switched to Honda after last year and there was no love lost prior to and during this transition).

McLaren has surprised a lot of people this year and has been the solid number 4 team, with Renault improving a lot post-summer break. Haas, the only American team, has performed horribly this year after doing well last season.

A lot more to go into - highly suggest watching the Netflix show to get a feel for all of this. They’re doing a second season following this year’s season which should also be a good watch.


It is very rare for any of the mid tier teams to win much. It requires so much money to product a car that it’s very difficult for anybody to compete with the Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bulls teams year in and year out. A team will occasionally get lucky and have a very fast car for a weekend, but it does not happen very often.

You definitely get teammate issues on F1 teams due to how team strategy is composed so their is usually an A and B driver and the A driver will almost always get the better strategy and will be tasked with helping the A driver win.

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Love F1… have been following since the mid-90s

Unfortunately, the sport has become terribly boring compared to what it used to be… i think they are making improvements though. That said, the Netflix doc was amazing.

Also on Netflix, perhaps the greatest documentary of all time is an F1 documentary called “Senna”

If anyone is remotely in to F1 and has not watched it, please do.


Correct regarding Sainz and Leclerc. Leclerc already had the pole, so he didn’t bother to complete the lap. Sainz was stuck out front by himself, so he had no chance of putting up a good time with no one to draft off of. And yeah, they just fill in the back of the top-10, so it’s not a huge deal, but it was funny to watch in real time.

Definitely was. Watched the replay Saturday night and it was great.

So first of all, there are two main competitions: driver standings (individual) and constructor’s standings (team). Each team has two drivers and there are 10 teams total.

Mercedes is far an away the top team. Lewis Hamilton is their #1 and far, far ahead of anyone else in the points standings. Valterri Bottas is their #2, and usually on the podium. They are also leading the constructor’s standings by quite a bit. Not really a challenge.

Ferrari is the #2 team, their drivers are Charles LeClerc (young guy, first year with Ferrari) and Sebastian Vettel (been around for a while, raced for several teams). Vettel has typically been a challenger to Hamilton, however he is having a rough year especially the last few races. LeClerc is the young stud on the circuit, and bumped another veteran Kimi Raikkonen off the Ferrari spot this year. LeClerc has also won the last 2 races (his first two career wins). Absolute alpha.

Aston Martin Red Bull is the #3 team, their drivers are Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon. Verstappen is #3 in the drivers standings and another young stud - however LeClerc is right on his ass and Red Bull has kind of been messing around lately opting to go to a new engine spec early which gave their team a penalty the last race (starting at back of grid). Albon is also a baby and just starting to cut his teeth, but folks are high on him.

The other teams mostly suck and compete for 4th best. McClaren holds that spot right now very narrowly over Reanult. Renault is interesting because they poached Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull this season, he pretty much used to be the Max Verstappen of the series, but now he is just in a shittier car and 8th overall. Pierre Gasly for Toro Rosso (also owned by Red Bull) is the next up and comer and I could see him moving to a bigger team (realized I literally just confused Gasly for Albon due to Red Bull flip flopping them this year).


Senna was great.

And though I’m definitely new to the sport this season has been pretty entertaining though I definitely understand where you’re coming from on current form compared to the past. Austria, Germany, and Hungary were wild. Hopefully they will continue to make things more competitive by changing some of the requirements to the strategic elements (tires, pitting, etc.).

@aannddyy00 Another thing I like about it is the qualifying (which is really required watching given how important it is) and the races are fairly quick and it’s easy to watch on demand on ESPN if you’re unable to watch live. The fact that it’s typically early in the morning is also nice because I can typically watch the race and not feel like I’ve lost out on anything for the rest of the day.

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Yeah, Netflix series got me hooked too. Download the F1 app, it’s very good.

I am sure a lot of you would find Kimi Räikkönen’s antics over the years pretty entertaining.