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Abu Dabby Grand Prix

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Last race of the season for everyone, and it's at one of the most boring tracks on the calendar!

I completely understand why F1 chooses Abu Dhabi to be the last race of the year because of the spectacle and the glamour of Abu Dhabi, but in terms of the racing, it would be so much better to have it somewhere like Brazil or the USA in my view. Megapersonal

Bet Hamilton is gonna win again zzzzz igtools

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  • 3 months later...

The first part of this is my crude summary of the events of the last laps of the final Gran Prix. The second part is my proposed best case scenario hypothetical. Please let me know if I missed something or overlooked a key point.


Latifi crashes when the lead cars are on lap 53. The race is yellow-flagged then shortly after a Safety Car is deployed. Max pits for fresh soft tires and comes out onto the track with 5 cars in between Max and Lewis on lap 54. Lap 56 Gasly, being the last car to bunch up behind the SC, does so at turn 6 when the SC is approaching turn 8 On lap 56. Just after all cars are in a pack at turn 8, the message "lapped cars will not be allowed to overtake" is given. As the drivers and SC passed the site of the crash at turn 14 on lap 56, the last Marshals were just leaving the track. No marshals are visible from the camera of the last car (Gasly) as he crosses this point. On lap 57, between turns 8 and 9, the message is displayed and instructions given to the first 5 lapped cars. By the time the SC reached turn 9, these 5 cars passed the SC to unlap themselves. It is announced the SC is ending and the message "Safety car in this lap" is displayed. Lewis is free to dictate the pace and ultimately resumes the race just after turn 12 of Lap 57. Max overtakes Lewis on the final and 58th lap going into turn 5 and keeps this lead and crosses the checkered flag in P1 and wins the Gran Prix.

My argument is the SC could have ended at the end of lap 56 with 2 racing laps instead AND without breaking any rules. Wait, hear me out. According to 48.12, it is not required to let any lapped cars through. It would be uncommon but it's not required at all. The rules do however  state that the SC is to remain out until the cars have bunched together (48.10 The safety car shall be used at least until the leader is behind it and all remaining cars are lined up behind him). As mentioned above, Gasly is the last car to join after his pit stop at turn 6 of lap 56. The track is completely clear of marshals and debris by the time Gasly, the last car, passes the turn 14 crash site on lap 56. The track was clear before then but I used this reference point as he was the last car ensuring it was safe for the SC to end. If then, hypothetically, no unlapped cars were allowed to pass, 48.12 wouldn't apply and 48.13 would apply which states after the message "safety car in this lap" is displayed, the safety car would leave at the end of THAT lap(56). If they didn't let any cars unlap themselves and started the race as the order was, then Max would have 5 cars to get past. I think this would have been highly likely since Lewis would probably have resumed normal racing around turns 13-14. He could have waited until turn 16 even due to no threat of being overtaken on the start/finish straight because Max would have had 5 back markers to get past. Even if you said Max couldn't get past the final blue-flagged car until turn 5 or 6 of the hypothetical lap 57, that would still give him plenty of time to catch and pass Lewis.  Considering Max passed Lewis on turn 5 of the first and only full racing lap at the end of the race and held him off until the end, it would be a hard argument to make to say Max couldn't have caught up to Lewis and passed him. No rules would have been broken or "manipulated" and with Max's pace he showed earlier in the race on his first set of soft tires and Lewis' tires being on their last leg, I think it was a likely outcome. 

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