The Drive to Survive part of the race needs no explanation, it was a spectacle of cutting edge racing. A battle fought by the riders on the track and by the team bosses next to it, who want nothing more than to put a lot of effort into each other.
It was also an incident-rich first GP of Saudi Arabia with various races, as it were, between the red flags and safety car periods, just like with the Netflix series ‘Squid Game’. After each incident, one participant dropped out and the race continued.
Even at Netflix they probably never dreamed about this scenario, Verstappen and Hamilton enter the last race with the same number of points, but Verstappen still leads the position because he counts one victory more than Hamilton. If both drivers finish outside the top ten in Abu Dhabi, Verstappen is world champion and therefore Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff takes into account that there will be a collision.
But the race in Jeddah was more than a spectacle on the track, there was also a lot of negotiation between the stewards and the teams behind the scenes. So it came to a rather strange conversation between Michael Masi and Red Bull after the first restart.
On that restart, Verstappen was allowed to start from pole and had to leave the lead to Hamilton in the first corner, but in turn two Verstappen passed him back by going outside the track limits.
Just after that, another red flag came and Masi reported to Red Bull that Verstappen could start from second place, but the Austrian formation was not satisfied with that. They were willing to accept second place if Esteban Ocon could start from pole and Masi’s counter-proposal was to have Verstappen start behind Ocon and Hamilton.
All parties agreed to this, but it is unusual in sports for such negotiations to take place. When the race was stopped, Ocon was in second place, but only because of Verstappen’s action in turn two. Red Bull had thus succeeded in negotiating with Masi to force Hamilton into second place after all.
So also in the field of intrigue, the fans were not left hungry, just like in the drama series ‘Succession.’
So everything was there this past race weekend in Jeddah: Drive to Survive, Succession, Squid Game and Wacky Races. That promises for the season finale next weekend in Abu Dhabi.
More F1 news:– Max Verstappen should already fear a race suspension in 2022– Helmut Marko is furious: “The stewards don’t treat Red Bull the same as Mercedes”– Team boss Max Verstappen lashes out at race director “The sport missed Charlie Whiting”– “Very disappointing to lose a podium place like this”– “An eighth world title does not make Lewis Hamilton bigger than Michael Schumacher” (F1journaal.be)