The 2023 F1 season is finally over. Of course, in terms of the championship situation, it is actually over long ago, but the battle for the team's runner-up position and the driver's ranking after the third place are still going on at the closing station...
closeThe teams that are still in suspense at the top of the championship standings before the curtain are Mercedes with 392 points and Ferrari with 388 points. The drivers are Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso with 200 points, Lando Norris with 195 points and Charles Leclerc with 188 points. There is still the possibility of a comeback. , so even though it does not involve competing for the championship, it is still a dangerous battle. And anyway, for Red Bull or Max Verstappen, those are just wars between the two armies, or even just wars between the earth and the car.
The pole position and victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have never changed hands since 2020 - it's all Red Bull's Verstappen - and even this Grand Prix has been won by the pole position winner since 2015, and Red Bull's 2023 car More invincible than ever, there was certainly no suspense about the pole position. Verstappen took the pole position for the fourth consecutive year and the 12th time this season. Second place was Leclerc, who was 0.139 seconds slower. At the beginning of the final, Leclerc was still clinging to Verstappen, but after a few laps he drifted away.
Although Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez missed a single race and entered qualifying Q3 again at this station - as the second driver of the championship team, even Q3 is a task - he was only in ninth place. Although his annual runner-up has been determined, this performance even makes people doubt his gold content as a runner-up. However, after the first rest wave, he began to gain rankings and improve all the way. By the time the last rest wave passed, he had already Reached fifth place, but collided with Norris on lap 47...
Perez failed to overtake at that time and did not succeed until the same corner on the next lap. However, the previous collision caused him to receive a five-second penalty three laps later. At this time, there were seven laps left before the finish line. In order to stop the loss, he He rushed even more fiercely and passed George Russell with four laps left to reach third place! But this third place was fake - because he was still carrying the extra 5 seconds after the race - so if he wanted to really get on the podium, he had to rush forward. As a result, this rush actually passively affected the critical moment of Ferrari and Mercedes. The race for second place in the team.
At this time, Sainz has retired (0 points), and Lewis Hamilton is in 9th (2 points). If Leclerc remains 2nd (18 points) and Russell is 3rd (15 points), Ferrari will be 4 points behind Mercedes before the game. After only recovering 1 point and being unable to reverse the runner-up finish of the year, Leclerc came up with an operation method (please see clearly: it was not the idea of the team strategy team, but the driver himself): as long as he does not block Perez, let the latter run to the front. Just be more than 5 seconds away from Russell, but not less than 5 seconds away from yourself.
In this way, Perez will finish second and become third after adding 5 seconds. Leclerc will still be second, but Russell will become fourth (12 points). In this way, Ferrari will have the same points as Mercedes, and Ferrari has one point this season. Victory but Mercedes did not, so Ferrari will be higher than Mercedes in the annual ranking, that is, it has successfully reversed the runner-up position! One can't help but admire Leclerc. He was calculating points while driving in the race. He immediately asked the team, but the team had no response!
Asked a second time, the team still didn't respond, but the race was coming to an end and could not be delayed any longer. Leclerc then let Perez go first on the last lap, but Russell already knew his plan, so he still did not relax and maintained the gap between himself and Perez. within 5 seconds. When he passed the finish line, Perez was 2.665 seconds ahead of Leclerc and 3.875 seconds ahead of Russell. Leclerc's plan didn't work. Adding in Perez's 5 seconds, he was 1.125 seconds behind Russell and only fourth. Therefore, the result was the same as Leclerc's handicap. .
Ferrari won the third place in the annual team with a gap of 3 points from Mercedes. Not only was it one place lower than in 2022, but it also received US$9 million less in team dividends: Although Ferrari is not short of money-even the budget cap prevents them from spending more- ─I still can’t say I don’t feel the loss of this money. Looking back with hindsight, Leclerc's movements were slower - although still faster than the reaction of Ferrari's strategy team - he should have slowed down earlier to let Perez pass, so as to have more time to get rid of Russell's seconds difference.
But even if the movement is slow, there is still a chance to save. Leclerc can still have a more extreme way of slowing down: slowing down to slow down Russell, so that Perez can instantly open a safety gap in front, but this operation has One risk is that Leclerc will be thrown away by Perez for 5 seconds if he is not careful! Under the premise of being connected before and after, it is a very difficult and high-precision operation to make Leclerc fall behind by less than 5 seconds, but to make Russell fall behind by more than 5 seconds. Even if Michael Schumacher comes back, there is no guarantee of success!
If this operation fails, Leclerc will still only beat Russell by 3 points in the end (18-15 becomes 15-12), and Ferrari can still only recover 1 point: anyway, it seems that there is no more loss, so why not take a gamble? But in this way, Leclerc's personal total points will not be able to win even Norris, and can only maintain the sixth place in the year (because Sainz retired, he dropped from fourth to seventh in the year). In the end, Leclerc ranked second in the competition, surpassing Sainz and Norris in the annual rankings, and sharing the same points with Fernando Alonso.
Like the team rankings mentioned earlier, the same points are compared to the single station rankings: Leclerc and Alonso have no wins this season, and the second place is also three times, so then compare the third place: Leclerc three times, Alonso five times, so Leclerc ended up fifth in the driver of the year, while Alonso's fourth place was his best annual ranking in the past ten years (including two years of absence), allowing this player to continue to raise the F1 record for the most appearances─until the 2023 closing race. It’s been 377 races so far──the driver seems to be rejuvenated (fight for another ten years?).
The final race was at Ferrari─or Leclerc to be more precise─and the race was over at the hands of God, and the 4th to 7th place drivers of the year went through a scuffle. As for the team, Ferrari, which had been lagging behind Mercedes all year, failed to make a comeback; Aston Martin, which was ranked second at the start of the season, was overtaken by Mercedes after the seventh stop, by Ferrari after the 14th stop, and by McLaren after the 18th stop. In the end, they only finished fifth in the year and were last in the early stages of the class, but at least the team still had a period of prosperity at the beginning of the season.
In comparison, Alpine, which ranked 4th last season, started this season with an all-French lineup. However, after experiencing an earthquake in the top management and friction among teammates, it not only fell back to 6th place - the leader of the second class - but also lost to the previous team in terms of total points for the year. An Aston Martin has more than doubled! The most surprising thing in the second half of the class is that Williams improved from the 10th last season to the 7th this season - with an increase of 27 million US dollars in dividends - and the former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles came over to serve as the team leader for the first time. Cry's performance was an instant hit.
In the end, we have to bring back this season's championship and Red Bull, who wrote the record for the strongest team in the history of F1: 21 wins in the year (just one short of a complete victory), 14 consecutive wins in the year, and 15 consecutive wins in total (since Standing at the end of 2022), the most points in a single season, the largest points gap with the championship runner-up... These are unprecedented records in the history of F1, and driver Verstappen has even more records (please see the attached table for more)[Verstappen's 2023 F1 refresh record]), who can surpass it in the future? In the short term, they may be the only ones left.
This post was last modified on December 29, 2023 8:42 am
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