2017 Azerbaijan Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: The telemetry showed Hamilton did nothing different than from the previous restart. The problem is, and we've been saying this for years, is Formula 1 is clueless with restarts. They really need to look at American racing on how to properly execute restarts (except Scott Goodyear) as America has been doing it since the start of racing.
TRACK: Everybody thought last year this track would produce mayhem. Instead, everyone behaved themselves at a new layout. This year showed how this track is indeed just one step away from all hell breaking loose.
EVENT: However, the event is still a complete failure and adds nothing to the growth of the sport. We're even convinced the fans in the grandstands didn't even pay for their tickets.
QUALIFYING: Hamilton finally gets Baku right with an astounding lap before the tires properly heated up, Verstappen woes abandoning his lap, Ricciardo woes hitting the wall, and Stroll goes faster than his veteran much more established teammate.
START: No such luck for a clean start this year, the Finns tangle again, Kvyat causes his teammate to spin, Perez jumps Red Bull, and Vettel says, "Thanks, guys!"
RACE: I went to a Formula 1 race and a NASCAR race broke out.
RICCIARDO: Crashed in qualifying, dropped to the rear on lap 6, had car issues, and won the race. Yeah, sure. Who's making this stuff up...?
VERSTAPPEN: Seems to have caught Alonso-itis.
BOTTAS: Crashed at the start, fell a lap behind, and finished second. Yeah, sure. Who's making this stuff up...?
HAMILTON: After all the chaos, one forgets. It was only the loose headrest which prevented Lewis from winning.
STROLL: You can cry out the word luck all you want, but if you do, you have to take Ricciardo's victory away. The fact Stroll haters don't want to admit is Lance was in the right place at the right time and performed perfectly while in the right place at the right time. In fact, how many walls did Stroll hit or escape roads he took during the whole weekend? How many did each of the other drivers? How far up the timing sheets was he after every session? Quite frankly, Stroll has performed better in the past two races than drivers with supposedly better credentials to get to F1 like Palmer, Kvyat, and Sainz.
MASSA: Ignore the talk that a driver controversy may be brewing at Williams. Felipe's job, first and foremost, is to mentor Stroll. That's the only reason Massa has that ride.
VETTEL: As Hamilton said, he disgraced himself. Just like Multi-21, Seb showed his true colors.
RAIKKONEN: Yes, it was Bottas' fault. But, you could learn from your fellow countryman on how to drive around with a punctured, delaminating tire without destroying your car.
FORCE INDIA: They now have themselves a major driver controversy. And they can't afford that sitting in fourth place in the championship. They have got to nip this in the bud. After all, they could have finished 1-2 in the race.
OCON: Clearly, Esteban's fault.
PEREZ: How will Sergio react? With maturity he's gained over the years or revert back to the Perez teams didn't want?
MAGNUSSEN: Nice points for Haas, jumping them past Renault.
GROSJEAN: Okay, we get it. Your brakes suck. Funny how your teammate, both years, don't seen to have those problems...
SAINZ: He overreacted. However, did he overreact because he was so cognizant to make sure he didn't hit his teammate? Had it been someone else, perhaps he would have tried to thread the needle?
KVYAT: The madman strikes again.
MCLAREN: They finally scored points! But, Sauber is still ahead of them.
ALONSO: Not to poop on Fernando's parade, but we will. Had the race not produced seven DNFs, Alonso would still have no points.
KALTENBORN: Long overdue sacking.
SAUBER: Only this race could have gotten people to forget about the turmoil on the Swiss team.
PALMER: Poor Jolyon doesn't even have a chance to save his ride if his car doesn't last long enough to prove himself.
FIA: On the one hand, you say kudos for the Stewards to actually penalize a Ferrari driver. On the other hand, it was not nearly enough. It's time for the FIA to call Vettel in.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Road Rage.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 1 -- The number of podiums Lance Stroll now has, which is one more than Nico Hulkenberg.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Some may have been confused -- we were -- when they announced Lance Stroll became the youngest rookie to get on the podium at 18 year and 239 days. After all, we all remember Max Verstappen's young age for his first podium, a victory no less, at the 2016 Spanish GP. However, we forgot it wasn't his rookie year, only his first
year race with Red Bull at 18 years and 228 days. Had this crazy race occurred in Montreal, Stroll would have had both records.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Sebastian Vettel when he heard about his penalty, "When did I do dangerous driver?" Seriously?! That's the kind of bullshit a five-year-old says when he's caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Oh, wait ... we get it now...
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Kimi Raikkonen after being crashed into by Valtteri Bottas on the first lap, "That guy does it to me again."
SCHEDULE: Good luck Austria trying to top that...
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