Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Time for a decision: DRS dreams in Portugal

Two Sebastian Vettels, one thinking "dammit, I wish I had double points" and the other one thinking "what he said"

This weekend's Formula One grand prix, taking place in the gorgeous Algarve on the south coast of Portugal, is a default DRS race for the F1 Losers League. 

What does this mean? Let's explain.

WHAT IS DRS?

DRS means Double Race Scores. If a Losers Teams plays a DRS at a grand prix, all their scores for that race are doubled.

Each team gets nine DRSs to allocate to races throughout the 23-race season. This means nine opportunities for a points bonanza – or a points blow-out.

If a team scores strongly at a race, and they've applied a DRS doubling to that race, they'll shoot up the leaderboard of the F1 Losers League. Bonanza!

However, if they score poorly at a DRS-doubled race, it's a wasted opportunity. Blow me.

What's a "default" DRS, as mentioned above? Let's explain that too.

WHAT IS DEFAULT DRS?

We don't want DRSs to go unused, so every Losers Team starts the season with DRS automatically allocated to every third race, plus a couple of bonus DRS races at the end of the season. We call these "default" DRSs.

This means if you're feeling lazy and don't want to participate much in the Losers League, you'll still get your double scores at nine races in the season.

The nine pre-allocated default DRS races for 2021 are as follows: May 2 Portugal | Jun 6 Azerbaijan | Jul 4 Austria | Aug 29 Belgium | Sep 26 Russia | Oct 24 United States | Nov 21 Australia | Dec 5 Saudi Arabia | Dec 12 Abu Dhabi.

These default DRS races are labelled on our season calendar and you can also see them on your individual team page listed on the Entries page.

WHAT THIS MEANS IN PORTUGAL

As you can see, this weekend's race in Portugal is one such default DRS race. This means we'll be tootling around the Algarve with almost every Losers Team getting double points. Some will benefit massively: for others, this will be a costly mistake.

As is already happening with Portugal, some teams might choose to move their DRS allocations to other races, so different races get double points instead. In fact, Losers Teams can move any DRS to any future race in the 23-race season, and do this as much as they wish.

They can even stack up to three DRS allocations in one single race: this is a higher risk strategy that will see teams getting triple or quadruple points.

If you want to see which races have DRS allocated for your Losers Team, go to your individual team page listed here.

TIME TO DECIDE

So then, Losers Teams, you need to ask yourself a question. Do you stick to the DRS we've automatically given to you for this weekend's grand prix in Portugual? Or do you de-allocate that DRS and move it to a different race later in the season?

If you want to, you can move a DRS allocation using the control panel on the DRS page.

As the famous Portuguese philosopher Cristiano Ronaldo once said, "I feel an endless need to learn, to improve, to evolve, not only to please the coach and the fans, but also to feel satisfied with myself. It is my conviction that here are no limits to Double Race Scores, and that it can never stop, no matter what our age."

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Pitlane Punt: The Giantkiller (active — bet now)

The Giantkiller: play this Pitlane Punt

PITLANE PUNT: THE GIANTKILLER

The punt:

  • Bet on the title contenders Hamilton and Verstappen *not* winning at a particular race.
Fee-fi-fo-fum, we smell the winner of Formula One. Be he a Lewis, or be he a Max, you'll bet on someone else taking chequered flags. Read on to play this Punt.

Pitlane Punt: The Charles Chance (active — bet now)

The Charles Chance: play this Pitlane Punt

PITLANE PUNT: THE CHARLES CHANCE

The punt:

  • Bet against a Charles Leclerc top six finish at his home grand prix in Monaco on May 23rd.
  • This means, when the leading six cars take the chequered flag at the Monaco grand prix, if none of them are Charles Leclerc, you win the punt
Charles is a Monégasque driver, which means he was born with a silver yacht in his mouth. Let's see if he can be crowned a loser at his home grand prix. Read on to play this Punt.

Pitlane Punt: The Iberian Question (closed)

The Iberian Question: play this Pitlane Punt

PITLANE PUNT: THE IBERIAN QUESTION

This Pitlane Punt is now closed. The punt was:

  • Predict the number of retirements at the Portuguese grand prix (May 2nd) and the Spanish grand prix (May 9th) combined. 
If you were pootling around a race track in Portugal or Spain, you'd park up and head off to the beach instead, right?

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Losers League standings after the Emilia Romagna (Imola) grand prix

After two races, things are shaping up nicely. How did your team do at the weekend? (Have a look here.) Was your result in Italy like a lovely pizza, nice and hot, dripping with cheese? Or was it like chewing on a rusty hubcap? Mmmm. Hubcaps.

Here are some tables with (a) the F1 Losers League standings, which we're still calling the loserboard, (b) the driver standings after such a crashy grand prix, and (c) the constructor standings. Read on.

Losers Team scores: Emilia Romagna (Imola) grand prix

Kimi Raikkonen driving on a gravel run-off area saying "someone should sweep up all this debris"
 
THE BIGGEST LOSERS IN IMOLA

It was a long wait, but the cars finally hit the track for the second race of the 2021 F1 season... then promptly spent a lot of time driving off the track. 

The half-dry, half-rain weather conditions at the Emilia Romagna grand prix (Imola to its friends) caused mayhem for the Formula One teams. Before you carry on, have a look at the points we awarded to the drivers and constructors in Imola.

How did the Losers Teams fare? Which teams got wet feet? Which teams left their brolly on the bus? Which teams were singing in the rain? Can anyone make sense of these confused metaphors?

Let's look at who did a terrible Italian job. Read on.

Driver & constructor points: Emilia Romagna (Imola) grand prix

Amid crashed cars, Bottas gives the middle finger to Russell, saying "give me one ring when you get home"

The biggest story of the Imola grand prix appears to be George Russell and Valtteri Bottas playing bumper cars at 200mph. One driver is hoping to be a Mercedes driver next year, and the other is trying very hard not to stay as a Mercedes driver next year. 

Perhaps, however, the biggest story is the sinister wizardry that happened on lap one. Nikita Mazepin throws his car off the track with alarming regularity, as if possessed by some kind of aerodynamic poltergeist. On Sunday, in an impressive feat of demonic transference, he touched Nicholas Latifi's car ever-so-slightly, and it was Latifi who was propelled into the barriers. Is Latifi now possessed with the Phantasm of Mazepin? Who will the curse pass into next?

Latifi was the driver who scored the most losers points: that crash got him 10 points for a DNF plus 5 points for an Earliest Exit. And thanks to our unpredictable Beige Flag awards, it's Tsunoda who was the second biggest losing driver – more details below.

Williams topped the Losers Points for constructors in Italy: what a terrible race for them. Mercedes find themselves in second place in the Losers points, as a growing number of cross-constructor arguments cause a few twitches from our Beige Flags.

Let's dig a little more. Read on.