2018 Germany Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Everyone sees Vettel went from an eight point lead to a 17 point deficit, a 25 point swing. But, it's worse than that. Vettel entered the race with 171 points. Had he won, he would have had 196 points. At the time of his crash which brought out the safety car which shuffled the front runners, Hamilton was in fourth place. Maybe he would have gotten Raikkonen. Maybe. And then maybe he would have gotten past Bottas. But let's say he didn't. He then would have wound up with 12 points giving him 175 points. Sure, there are a lot "would haves," but potentially, Vettel went from a 21 point lead to a 17 point deficit. That's a swing of 38 points! A close championship battle would be hard pressed to overcome that.
TRACK: Hockenheim can't afford the grand prix every year. Nürburgring can't afford the grand prix every other year. So, it appears the German GP is off the calendar again next year.
EVENT: Perhaps Max Verstappen should get a commission. His massive following at Spa arguably saved the Belgium GP. Will his massive following at Hockenheim save the German GP?
QUALIFYING: Vettel keeps his positive momentum going, Hamilton keeps his negative momentum going, Bottas nearly saves the day for Mercedes, and once again Leclerc makes it to Q3 even if you factor in Hamilton and Ricciardo not taking Q2 runs.
RACE: First, the threat of rain had the strategists pulling their hair out. Then, the rain shook everything up. Too bad the downpour didn't come in time for the last lap...
START: Everyone has an excellent, clean getaway, making it, perhaps paradoxically, a thriller.
HAMILTON: Lewis is right. Never give up.
BOTTAS: Once Hamilton's tires warmed back up, we don't think Valtteri could have caught him. Before the team issued stay put orders, Bottas had a couple of laps, but was losing ground.
MERCEDES: Silverstone taketh. Hockenheim giveth.
VETTEL: Sebastian blew it. Completely, 100%, absurdly blew it. If he loses the championship by a few points, this moment will haunt him for years.
RAIKKONEN: While possibly lame duck Kimi racks up another podium.
FERRARI: With the sudden health issues of Sergio Marchionne, there could be chaos swirling around the team. How well the new leadership handles this unplanned transition could ultimately decide the championship.
VERSTAPPEN: Continues to keep it clean.
RICCIARDO: The whole purpose of taking the grid penalties this race was to avoid them at the impossible to pass Hungaroring. Well, so much for that strategy.
RED BULL: Now they are in the driver's seat with contract negotiations.
HULKENBERG: We feel no matter how many good drives Nico puts in, his window to going to a top team has closed.
HAAS: Completely caught out by the safety car and their tire choices.
FORCE INDIA: Complete winners of the safety car and their tire choices.
GROSJEAN: But Romain makes an excellent comeback from that setback for a rewarding sixth place finish ahead of the Force India's.
ERICSSON: Marcus takes advantage of the craziness to finish in the points.
HARTLEY: Brendon finally grabs a point. Albeit, thanks to Sainz's penalty.
GASLY: Going to intermediates was somewhat debatable to begin with. But, who made the absurd decision to put Pierre on full wets even if you were hoping for heavy rain which wasn't in the forecast till the very end?
LECLERC: One of the best 360 degree spin and continue. Unfortunately, that was followed by an all out off course excursion.
FIA: And once again the inconsistency returns. First they wait 90 minutes to even kick off an investigation. Then, they come up with cowardly way out to not penalize Hamilton for an infraction every driver in the past has been penalized for.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Slippy.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 3 -- The number of laps at the German GP Sebastian Vettel led in his career before this year. And, the position Vettel finished this year ... if you held the classification sheet upside down...
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The last time a German manufacturer other than Mercedes (not counting just engine suppliers) won the German GP was in 1960. Which was also the last time the race was not part of the World Championship. The reason was because the organizers converted the race to Formula 2 in order to give Porsche a chance at home. It worked. Joakim Bonnier won in a Porsche. It was run on the 4.7-mile Sudschleife (South Loop) section of the Nürburgring. Heavy rain, a delayed start, a poor crowd, and fog made it a dismal affair.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: We all knew what Ferrari was telling Raikkonen. We all knew Kimi knew what Ferrari was telling him. Kimi knew we all knew what he was being asked to do. But, Raikkonen wanted it all out there for the world to hear, "Do you want me to let him go? Just tell me!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Fernando Alonso knows his F1 days are up, even it not immediately. When asked what he thought about the possible new regulations, he answered, "I don't know. I won't be here."
SCHEDULE: Essentially the summer break starts now. It's not like we are going to see any passing at the Hungaroring...
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