Fun Fact: I tried really hard to get this named as “Dutch Pot”. I had to settle for my written review on the blog. It was totally a reference to the Caribbean cooking equipment, honest!
Episode #321 is predominantly based around the Dutch Grand Prix for Formula 1 at Zandvoort. It was a race where Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen absolutely stole the show. It’s a strange one because Max Verstappen never really looked like he was going to lose over the weekend, but Lewis Hamilton absolutely threw the house at him to try and force an error. It just never came.
We talk about Valtteri Bottas’ role in the race as well, on the alternate strategy that very nearly worked with the undercut being viable, but maybe being kept out a little bit too long. We also gushed over Pierre Gasly’s 4th place finish, where he absolutely clobbered the superior McLaren and Ferrari cars in their own battle for the bronze in the constructors, as well as the Alpines who he’s almost single-handedly fighting for 5th. A performance worthy of the Driver of the Year talk he’s been getting, probably alongside Lando Norris in that discussion.
We also address the booing we heard on the Saturday of the weekend. It’s an interesting debate because in most other sports, booing is socially acceptable. With the added danger and inherent risk that F1 carries, a lot of people will tell you that booing the drivers isn’t okay. The media absolutely has a say in this too. It’s kind of elitist, but I get it. It’s a fun debate, especially when we tackle the fact that the added danger didn’t stop people booing Sebastian Vettel, or even the holy grail of NASCAR’s popularity in Dale. Yes, that Dale.
In the second half of the show, we talk F1’s Silly Season, because the day after Zandvoort the dominos officially started falling in the driver market. On Monday, Valtteri Bottas was announced at Alfa Romeo to replace the retiring Kimi Raikkonen. On Tuesday, the big one was finally announced with George Russell replacing Valtteri at Mercedes. And on that same night, we saw a leaked picture of a Williams photoshoot (Not that we knew it at the time, but it turns out it was a elaborate by the rascals at Veloce, with SuperGT in the role of…) Alex Albon! Returning to F1 through the Williams team to take Russell’s spot. And with AlphaTauri announcing a retained lineup of Gasly and Tsunoda for 2022, it means that there’s really only one seat left for the 2022 grid.
We talk about the announcements, about what to expect from George Russell’s rookie year at Mercedes. We talk about which of the lower down moves between Albon and Val could have the greater impact, as well as pondering how no-one even tried to make a play for Gasly, a victim of a stacked midfield without a lot of wriggle room. And finally, we speculate over the final Alfa Romeo suit given the heavy rumours of F-E and F2 Champion Nyck De Vries, Antonio Giovinazzi, F2’s Theo Pourchaire and even Guanyu Zhou all competing for the one remaining seat left.
So the Dutch Grand Prix, and the Silly Season wrap-up all on Episode #321. Hope you enjoy, and if you prefer the video version, that’s down below!